I’d like to direct you to a juicy post on Dollar Philanthropy
by guest blogger Michele Martin
writing on scarcity versus abundance, and why this distinction is important to those of you who raise money for nonprofits. Her post reminds me that one of the reasons I love fundraising is because it utilizes both my left- and right-brain
, the linear and creative parts of my psyche.
As you probably known, your left-brain is home to your linear and mathematical side. Here lives the part of you that enjoys systematic planning and outcome measurements. Many commonplace fundraising tools such as gift charts, research databases and long check-off lists, rely on the strengths of your left-brain.
But the successful fundraiser knows these tools alone aren't enough. In fact, your goal should be to learn and forget them. Not forget as in deny or ignore, but forget as in letting them becoming second nature. It’s the Taoist approach, for the successful fundraiser knows that her job is both a science and an art.
So while the science of fundraising is very left-brained, the art of fundraising is primarily right-brained. The later is home to your holistic and abstract side. Here lives the part of you that enjoys cultivating relationships and inspiring others. Perhaps your most important right-brain fundraising tool is your ability to listen to and tell stories.
Why is this distinction important? Because by understanding both the science and art of fundraising, you can help somebody reframe their life, moving from scarcity to abundance. A gift truly given -- whether $10 or $100,000 -- has the potential to transform not only the recipient, but the donor as well. For in this act of generosity she may recognize -- perhaps for the first time in her life -- that she simply has "enough." Enough that she can even share with others, others whom she may begin to see aren't all that different from herself. This is how we begin to heal the world.
Globe-trekking fundraiser and author Lynne Twist
has written a lot about this. "In a world where huge proportions of financial resources are moving toward consumption, destruction, depletion and violence, (our mission as fundraisers) should be to to inspire, educate and empower people to realign the acquisition and allocation of their financial resources with their most deeply held values -- to move from an economy based on fear, consumption and scarcity, to an economy of love, sustainability and generosity."
All this takes is a little planning, a good ear and a powerful story. Are you ready to give it a try?
Labels: Fundraising_Resources, Generosity