The second in a six-part series: Truth Bombs About Major Gifts

“Fundraising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer people an opportunity to participate in our vision and mission.” — Henry Nouwen

The second truth about major gift fundraising is that it is spiritual in nature. I’m not talking about religion here. But after doing this work for so many years, Richard and I have come to believe that something mystical happens when a donor “gives up” part of the results of their labor to help alleviate a need.
When a non-profit leader, manager or front-line fundraiser finally realizes this truth, major gift fundraising becomes a great joy. You realize that, as the fundraiser, you’re bringing together a human being who has a desire to change the world with a great need – and helping address that need and bring joy to the donor.
You cannot help but be in awe of that kind of moment.
Richard and I have worked with many non-profit leaders who have a disdain for fundraising for any number of reasons. But we have real hope for the leaders who finally come to realize that asking a donor for a gift is changing the life of the donor as much as it is supporting the work they’re leading.
Fundraising isn’t about taking money from someone. It’s about giving people a way to express their passions and interests in one of the most profound ways imaginable… allowing them to give something away to gain something greater.
When human beings are allowed to perform that act of love, the world becomes a better place.
You get to wake up every morning and help make that happen. What a great responsibility and great joy you’re part of every day!
All the great fundraisers that Richard and I know have this awareness about fundraising in what they do. It guides them in all their work, their planning, goal setting, daily routines – the persistent and ongoing work of building relationships. It calms them through tough times, and it humbles them in celebration.
If you’re to be successful in major gift fundraising, you must hold this truth in your heart: major gifts work is spiritual in nature. (Tweet it!) Let it be your guide as you mature into a broker of love between the donor and the mission of your organization.
PS — Our new book, It’s Not JUST About the Donor, is out this week. We know it will inspire you to do great work with your donors.
Read the series “Truth Bombs About Major Gifts”

  1. It’s About Leadership
  2. Fundraising is a Spiritual Endeavor (This Post)
  3. You Must Have Alignment of Mission
  4. Major Gifts is Your Highest Net Revenue Generator
  5. No Structure, No Success
  6. There Has to be a Culture of Major Gifts