08 Jun What is Fundraising? The Answer is Surprising
What is Fundraising? The Answer is Surprising
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:
- The way you fundraise makes you want to puke.
- Money itself makes you want to puke.
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.
- 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. Here are some.
- 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.
- Crowdfunding: yes, but. Check out my series on crowdfunding and my general thoughts about fundraising and its relationship to crowdfunding.
It’s most important to get out of your own way and learn to accept money when you ask for it.