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The Curse of Inferiority

There is plenty of philanthropic money out there in good times and in bad. Do you have the confidence it takes to get out there and get it?

Many staff (and board members) suffer from inferiority complexes. They think they have to go begging to donors and that they should be asking for the least possible amount of money.

At Rescigno’s, we know that’s the wrong attitude to have. Nicely, you have to be willing to get in the faces of donors and prospects to let them know that when they don‘t give to your cause, they are missing out on a very important opportunity to have a real impact in someone’s life.

If this is a problem affecting your board members, explain to them that they need to be talking about the benefits that will occur as a result of donor investment.

Think about it this way: in fundraising, we are selling benefits (not products). We’re still sales people though, aren’t we? We’re selling a cleaner environment, a healthier lifestyle, better-educated young people, for example. Something more intangible, rather than tangible.

When a donor makes a decision on giving it’s no different from his or her decision to “invest” money in stocks. Similarly, when investing in your organization the expected “return’ is the benefit your organization is able to pass on to the community or to the world—be it cultural, environmental, educational, health related, or in any of a variety of other disciplines.

Remember, your cause is providing a service to the community. Philanthropists willingly pay for that service. It’s really a sort of a quid-pro-quo arrangement, isn’t it? Certainly, it shouldn’t be thought of as going around with a tin cup in your hand begging for someone’s leftovers.

If you can keep this concept in mind, you will be able to raise money as boldly/bravely as any business seeking to grow its income through sales and investments.

Does your organization have a culture of asking boldly or timidly?

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