I’ll never forget when Taylor Conroy of Change Heroes and now Journey333 said that at the beginning of a talk at one of our summits.
Clearly Taylor has a flair for the dramatic, and he certainly got the attention of a room full of fundraisers, and made me, his host, feel just a little uncomfortable.
After making sure we were all listening, Taylor went on to say that as fundraisers we need to find a higher purpose. Simply asking people for money is not motivating and will not be effective. People want to do great things. They want to be involved in making the world a better place. They want to help. They want to be someone’s hero. They are not motivated to ‘give you’ money in order to help your organization.
As soon as we, as fundraisers, can set our egos aside and get rid of our motivations for raising funds and focus on what makes our donors excited, we are unlocking a brand new potential.
The distinction is subtle but important. People don’t like being asked for money but they want to be invited to do something great. Let’s focus on giving them that opportunity.
This isn’t new thinking Henri Nouwen was making the same point years ago in A Spirituality of Fundraising, when he said: “Every time we approach people for money, we must be sure that we are inviting them into this vision of fruitfulness and into a vision that is fruitful.”