Everyone’s a Fundraiser

No matter what your role is at an organization, you are involved in fundraising. One of the biggest mistakes that organizations make is limiting the development process to fundraising staff. Because people are afraid of fundraising it is easy to set an organizational position that raising money is the sole task of the development office and that no one else needs to be involved.

Many executive directors, executive leaders, board members, and managers often take the perspective that they do not need to get involved in fundraising. Without the support of these individuals, a development office is dead in the water. Donors need to be able to connect with what is actually happening at an organization. Key donors need to be able to meet the senior leadership and talk with the staff running programs. Senior leadership needs to have an understanding of how money comes into their organization and what matters to the key supporters and community members.

Not every staff member needs to be willing or able to ask for a financial contribution. But, every staff member should be prepared to talk about why their job is important to the organization. I would not encourage you to surprise staff when you are bringing a donor around your office. Educate your staff on the value of your supporters and what they do and mean for the organization. Ask staff to be prepared to say a few words about their work and think about how they can positively represent the organization externally.

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3 Responses to Everyone’s a Fundraiser

  1. KatieG says:

    GREAT post – well said.

  2. Tim Merrick says:

    I think this should be read by the employees of every organisation from large to small

  3. Eva G. says:

    Excellent post and I agree that ALL staff should read this. In my email signature at work, I have a quote by the deceased historian, Howard Zinn. In one of his books, he talked about a chain of relationships and said: “…you read a book, you meet a person, you have a single experience, and your life is changed in some way. No act, therefore, however small, should be dismissed or ignored.” It’s should be the golden rule of philanthropy, because people don’t START giving you million dollar gifts. They start with volunteering their time, making a $25 pledge, participating in an event your organization puts together, etc. They are small acts, but they are important nonetheless.

    Love the suggestion on having all staff have an “elevator speech” about their work and its importance.

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