What is Fundraising? The Answer is Surprising

What is Fundraising? The Answer is Surprising

hands open offering a ball of hundred-dollar bills

What is fundraising? Fundraising is accepting money. This beautiful image is by HeatherPaque on Pixabay.

Fundraising is accepting money. Money wants to come in; fundraising is letting it.

The Hardest Part of Fundraising

Fundraising includes many things but the hardest for most people is letting money in.

If you don’t believe me, look at what people do with the money they accept. Look at what you do with it. First, people waste money. Secondly, they turn it away when it is offered. Third, they use it for things they don’t really want or need. Fourth, they use it for things they didn’t plan carefully. Fifth, they give money a tiny, narrow, squeezed-up channel and then complain that there’s not enough flowing in. The hardest thing for most people is opening up our channels to receive money.

Why Peaceful and Ethical Fundraising Makes It Easier

Ethical fundraising means accepting money in ways that don’t make you want to puke. Peaceful fundraising means accepting money in ways that bring you joy. Obviously, if you are doing peaceful and ethical fundraising, you love fundraising. You love accepting money and you love asking for it.

Peaceful and ethical fundraising becomes a self-reinforcing spiral that brings ever more abundance to your cause.

  • You are perceived as an ethical person to give money to.
  • You’re perceived as knowing what to do with it and what not to do with it.
  • You’re perceived as knowing how to use it. (Hint: Use it in the way you said you would.)
  • You’re perceived as a joy to give to and a joy to be asked by.
  • You are perceived as a great fundraiser and a great fund-user.

If You Don’t Love Fundraising: Diagnosing What’s Wrong

If you don’t love accepting money, you have one of two problems:

  1. The way you fundraise makes you want to puke.
  2. Money itself makes you want to puke.

You can starting fixing #1 by reading our posts in this category, Fundraising.  You can start fixing #2 by reading posts in our other major category, Money Management. And then ask us for our very affordable (if I do say so myself) help.

What is Fundraising?

Fundraising is asking for and accepting money. When you ask, you almost always receive.

  • Did you not receive enough? Don’t forget to establish how much you need, and by when.
  • Did you not enjoy it? Spend a little time researching new ways to raise money. My favorite source is the Grassroots Fundraising Journal.  I have published several articles in the Journal. You can download these for free because I own the rights to them. Here they are.
  • Do you need more? Do it again. Make fundraising such a natural part of your everyday operations that you can’t help but ask for money when you do what you do. Don’t separate out money as some weird, gross anomaly that has nothing to do with what you do. (If you catch yourself doing that, you have problem #2, above.)

A Few Fundraising Ideas

Here are some ideas for how to accept money in ways that are ethical and bring you joy:

  • Do you like people? You can ask people for money. There are about a thousand ways to do this; ask us for ideas or see the Grassroots Fundraising Journal archive and type in the keyword “individuals.”
  • Do you like stuff? You can make, buy, sell, trade, or auction stuff. It can be beautiful fancy expensive stuff or easy-to-produce, simple, useful stuff. Your profits may not be tax-deductible if you sell stuff that has nothing to do with your nonprofit’s mission. We can help you figure this out.
  • You can also totally do a crowdfunding campaign, but importantly, pay attention to the lessons learned and recommendations in this article I edited, about a campaign I helped work on. (If you click on that link, the article downloads immediately.)

It’s most important to get out of your own way and learn to accept money when you ask for it.

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