Introduction: Let There Be a Shift
Not a shift in what you are doing, but more a shift in who you are being.
there is an inherent problem with being a taker. It does not feel powerful.
If you are a taker, you are not at your best. Your self-esteem is not on the rise. You feel completely beholden to others, and you are almost always dealing with them from a weak po sition, a position of fear and anxiety.
If you want to have great success in fundraising, you need to shift your thinking away from a self-concept of obsequious begging. You need to stand tall and proud when looking in the eyes of your donor. Because when you shift your thinking, you shift your whole way of being. You become someone who attracts money, not someone who makes it stay away.
A shift from being a taker to being a giver.
relation-shift, because it alters forever the way you relate to the people you raise money from.
MYTH #1: You Are Robin Hood
MYTH: You as a fundraiser are in the business of taking money in order to give it to a good cause.
REALITY SHIFT: You as a fundraiser will now be giving instead of taking for a living.
TAKE FROM THE RICH. GIVE TO THE POOR
As long as you think of yourself as a taker (even a good taker like Robin), you will be unable to expand your relationships with your donors. Because the more you take from them, the harder it will be to become close.
“Taking people’s money" is what stops us from being able to receive a lot of money from people. But you can change that forever once you arc willing to shift your mission from solicitation to contribution.
DID YOU SAY I HAD A LOT TO GIVE?
And you begin the process by realizing how much you have to contribute.
your relationship will feel very pleasantly reversed. When donors come up to you at a meeting or a social gathering, they will thank you when they see you.
YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE
They are like frantic farmers screaming at the damp ground, "Grow, you idiot, grow! I can’t wait for the harvest time!"
In this instance, the weeding, fertilizing, watering, and nurturing of donors has been left out of the process. And because it has, no crops will grow. Because you can’t hurry love.
the more desperate you arc, the less chance you have of succeeding. (This echoes the biblical saying, “To him that has more shall be given, from him that has not, it shall be taken away.")
KING HARVEST WILL SURELY NOT COME
In fundraising you water the seedlings through service to the donor.
you must now shift to providing him a service.
BUT OH. THAT MAGIC FEELING
Whatever your first charitable act was, you’ll never forget that feel ing .,. that very magical moment when you knew deep inside that you had enhanced the life of another human being. You had made a differ ence.
It’s what we all long for in the secret of our innermost being: the magic feeling of having made a difference.
Usually, there is no magic feeling at all. There is only another letter to the donor a year later asking for more money! How offensive that is: We are going to reward your giving by further attempts at taking.
Put your donor in touch with the results of his giving. Let your donor experience havtng made a difference tn tomeonet life.
Let your donor experience having been a contribution to the life of another. You will be thrilled at what happens after that.
He needed a vivid illustration of what his contribution did. He needed dramatic and informative thanking, not just thanking.
LET THEM BECOME INSIDERS
Your donor longs to hear about the inside of your organization. Your donor longs for details about the service his donation has funded.
You yourself are already on the inside, so you are not as excited by the magic of it as an outsider is. Maybe you were during the first few weeks you worked there. Remember that feeling?
Get that feeling back into your imagination, and then give it to your donor.
‘There is a wonderful, mythical law of nature.” wrote Peyton Con way March, “that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.
MYTH #2: Fundraising Is a Science
MYTH: Fundraising is a science, and major gifts come from distinctive stages of manipulation:
REALITY SHIFT: Fundraising is a lost art—the art of relationship-building.
FUNDRAISING AS WEIRD SCIENCE
The embarassment we all feel at the thought of asking money leads us to do many crazy things. One of the craziest has been to try to turn fundraising into an exact science.
All these attempts to remove creativity and human emotion from fundraising have led to such awkward absurdities as the famous Three Stages of Solicitation myth just mentioned.
YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND
The only way to have a friend is to be one.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Great relationships in fundraising happen the same way great friendships happen. You get to know people, you share things with them. You become pan of their lives and they become part of your life.
you can’t talk to people you barely know about their wills and trusts. But you can certainly talk to friends.
If your relationship with a potential donor seems to be stuck on hold, ask yourself what you would do if this were a close friend of yours.
If you are fearful about taking the donors time for a presenta tion, then don’t do the presentation. Create a relationship. Large gifts come from relationships, not presentations.
HOW TO BE A CLOWN FISH
We would try to dramatize the interdependence of natures creatures and vegetation under the sea, and draw the parallel between those symbiotic relationships and the relationship you need to have with your donor.
We wanted our clients’ donors always to be saying, “I don’t know why they're going to all that trouble for me when, after all, I only gave them xxx.
THE UNGRATEFUL DONOR
You meant more to him than he wanted anyone to know," his widow told Jennifer at a private gathering after the services. “He saved all your cards, and I know he read them often. Every report you sent him about your organization was also saved and filed carefully. You made an impact. And I think you’ll be pleased to know that he’s left something for your organization in his will.”
At that meeting the lawyer and Mrs. Fletcher presented the organi zation with a donation that exceeded half a million dollars, To be donated in the memory of Mr. Laird Fletcher.”
MYTH #3: Planned Gifts Depend On Death
MYTH: Your planned gifts have no value unUl your donor passes away.
REALITY SHIFT: Living donors of planned gifts are money in the bank. The security you build for your organization through planned gifts can and should be best appreciated while the donor is alive.
AMERICA GROWS OLDER
To get good word-of-mouth generated, you need to create customer delight. Delighted people talk. People who are pleasantly surprised talk.
MYTH #$: A Down Economy Is Bad for Fundraising
MYTH: It is more difficult to raise money in a down economy.
REALITY SHIFT: The statistics dramatically demonstrate that a down economy has no substantial effect on charitable giving, and while others are wringing their hands over the imaginary gloom, you can build stronger relationships than ever before.
Our life is what our thoughts make H
MARCUS AURELIUS ANTONIUS
There is actually more money available to you when the economy turns down, because fewer people are pressing positively to raise it.
The only sure investment in these economic times is your investment in a relationship.
MYTH #%: Its All in Who You Know
MYTH: It’s all in who you know.
REALITY SHIFT: It’s actually how well you know
them. Your “contacts" with the rich and famous are meaningless compared to your long-term, carefully built
MYTH #6: You've Got To Get The Word Out
MYTH: We’ve got to get the word out (because nobody out there knows about us!).
REALITY SHIFT: “Getting the word out”to the mosses is absolutely unimportant compared to keeping your individual donors well informed.
THE AGE OF THE INDIVIDUAL
You need to communicate with individuals, not masses. It s the only thing that works.
FOOTBALL OVER THE PHONE
Ticket buyer: Hello?
Head coach: Hello, is this Robert Malmberg?
Ticket buyer: Yes.
Head coach: Robert, this is Coach Dick Armstrong calling, and I
just wanted to thank you for buying your season tickets this year. Ticket buyer: Wait a minute, arc you kidding, is this really Dick
That phone call took less than a minute. But the long-term impression it made will last a lifetime.
MEMBERSHIPS OF GOLD
Those donors who had paid $100 for a lifetime membership were being treated by everyone in our organization as if they’d each given $10,000.
To some cynics observing what we were doing, this whole project seemed crazy and ill-advised. That was until the retirement commu nity’s unofficial “mayor,” Wylie E. Seaholm. gave us an unexpected six- figure gift! Suddenly the project was being called “interesting” instead of “loony."
YOU CAN BE UNREASONABLE
Never in the history of the world has there been such abundant opportunity os there is now for the person who is willing to serve before trying to collect.
WHAT IS YOUR REAL APPEAL?
“One of the most important things an organization can do," says management consultant Peter Drucker, “is determine exactly what kind of business it is in."
Ask other people. Don’t trust yourself to know, because you may be too close to see it.
PULL YOUR ANCHOR AND SHIFT AWAY
Your own communications will be as powerful as the people they talk about.
THIS OLD MAN
Because people over fifty years old control over three-fourths of the nation’s assets, it would empower your organization to address its com munications to that target audience.