Saturday, February 13, 2010

You Can’t Hate A Nickel, Because It’s Not A Dime!

In this economy we all feel like we are being nickel and dimed to death!

However, nonprofits shouldn’t hate a nickel, because it’s not a dime. Just be thankful you’re still getting something!

The days of going after only the “big buffalo” in fundraising are over. Billions of dollars in assets have been wiped out. Despite what you might be thinking about an economy, those dollars are gone and the mindset of individuals have changed. Notice, however, I did not say people will stop giving. I think people will continue to be generous but I do think they will be more specific in who they help.

If you will for a moment, I’d like for you chew on another phrase which is: It takes one to know one!

So, I’ve got a question for you. How many millionaire nonprofit staff members do you know? My guess is very few. So as a practical question do you think a millionaire thinks differently about giving than you might?

Let’s even unpack this more and drop down a level. Can nonprofit executive directors or professional fundraisers really appreciate what it means to give a large donation if they themselves have never given one? Does it really matter?

I am not trying to start a class warfare argument but what I am trying to do is help the reader realize that regardless of your income level I have never met a Zombie Donor!

In my job I receive phone calls or emails daily from not just nonprofit organizations but also from donors that have a specific idea of what they want to do or how they want their estate settled and are looking for answers on how best to move forward.

I am quick to tell everyone I meet that I’m not an attorney nor a CPA so I do not give legal advice. However, I am more than happy to share what I know, free I might add, as well as give links to other information or point them to other individuals I know and trust that I think can help with their individual situation.

Over the years I have talked to all sorts of interesting people including professional athletes, children of movie stars, doctors and yes even Indian chiefs. People from all walks of life and ages and almost everyone I come in contact with ultimately see as a goal to help someone else!

A real key for me taking the time to hear exactly what it is the person wants to accomplish and not pushing someone to a specific product or service.

Nonprofits might learn something from this. Instead of pushing your wants on a donor, find out what they want instead. What interests them about your organization?

Also a news flash for those that might not be aware: Just because someone has money does not mean they should give it to you just because you were kind enough to ask for it!

If you are going to get serious you have to understand that just showing up for work is not enough. You have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and put the time in that is required to make your organization a success. If you need help doing that just ask! Visit:

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