February 4th, 2010

What is Fundraising?

I like to think of fundraising as a public offering that gives people and organizations the opportunity to invest in our mission and share with us the satisfaction of accomplishing our goals.  Asking for money is not begging for charity.  It is an invitation to participate in our mission and share the dividends.

The fundraising process consists of a sequence of steps.  We identify potential donors capable of supporting our organization.  We inform them about our mission, plans, and programs.  We may offer opportunities to visit or volunteer.  At an appropriate time, we invite them to participate by making charitable contributions or grants to sustain the good we do.  Then we thank them in ways that meet our legal obligations as well as our ethical responsibilities.  We assure funders that we use their funds exactly as intended.  And finally, we report to them about what their gifts accomplish.

Altogether, we strive to build trusting and transparent relationships, recognizing that donors and funders are just like us—they want and need to know that their contributions make a difference.  By providing clear and consistent interactions with heartfelt respect to each donor on an individual basis, we advance our organizations in tangible ways and we enable our donors to experience meaning and fulfillment in their lives.