Building community: another term for fundraising

GuideStar Blog

mage courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.Image c/o Stuart Miles

“This organization serves our tribe. I am giving. I invite you to join me.” That three-part statement is the basis of many effective solicitations. We talk a lot about the second statement (endorsement) and the third (solicitation), but we don’t often discuss the first (community). If we can become more conscious and articulate about what that means, we will be better fundraisers.

I grew up in the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and my first decade of employment was fundraising for Quakers institutions. My work essentially consisted of talking to other Quakers about how to strengthen our tribe.

Moving to a secular organization, the Wilderness Society, was not as big a change as I thought it would be. People supported wilderness conservation for deeply rooted reasons. My goal was to help them become more articulate about those convictions and how to manifest them. Same language, different vocabulary.


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