It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO, major gift officer, program director, communications VP, CFO or Board chair, we are all in fundraising. We may not all be soliciting gifts but we are all in development.
One of the best parts of my job as vice president of training services is getting to work with various teams within an organization. However, Often in the middle of a training at a client site a staff members hand will go up and in a shaky, unsteady voice they begin, “I’m not in development, but…”
The truth is that every person in your organization has a role to play in fundraising. Naturally, it makes sense that fundraising would work infinitely better when everyone sees the value of philanthropy. This is why creating a culture of philanthropy is so important. Creating a culture of philanthropy isn’t about making everyone a fundraiser. A culture of philanthropy is one where everyone’s focus is on the mission, vision and values of the organization and the role of philanthropy in fulfilling that mission is embraced.
So, how do we stay true to our mission? How can we avoid mission creep by chasing funding? How do we engage everyone to embrace the role of philanthropy?
It starts with knowing what we stand for and having core values that reflect who we are and the values we hold dear. These are the beliefs we have about ourselves, our purpose and our values that underlie every choice we make. The next layer is our fundraising philosophy of how we will treat our donors. Everything, from our proposals to our messaging is centered around nurturing a relationship with donors based on trust and partnership. We tell them how they are making an impact and we honor their wishes.
Have you developed a culture of philanthropy? Consider these true/false statements:
- Most people in the organization act as ambassadors and build relationships.
- Everyone in the organization can articulate a case for giving.
- Fundraising is perceived as a mission aligned part of our organization.
- We put the donor’s needs first and our internal systems support this.
- Our leader is personally involved in fundraising.
Rome wasn’t conquered in a day and building a culture of philanthropy takes time! If you want to take the first step in initiating the internal conversations to develop a culture of philanthropy that runs throughout your organization you won’t want to miss our free resource, “Rethinking a Culture of Philanthropy.