Why is Fundraising More About Leadership Than About Skills? editor notes #93

Fundraisers never lack for advice. One board member tells you that foundations should be giving you money, while another thinks we should talk to Bill Gates. The staff thinks you should raising money from corporations. And the friend you run into at the grocery store tells you to raise money via Twitter or on Kickstarter.

The reality is that the board members should be raising money from foundations and major donors. The staff and the executive director should be raising money from corporations. The friend should be raising money for you on Twitter and Kickstarter.

So actually, fundraising isn't about you raising money, it's about all of them raising money. And your job isn't about so much for you to raise money; your job is about getting all of them to raise money.

And right there is the link between fundraising and leadership.

In fact, fundraising has more in common with volunteer management and community organizing than it does with technical knowledge about prospect research or grantwriting skills. Let's start calling fundraisers what they are: organizational leaders and movement builders. And fundraisers: let's start acting like what we really are!

* Are you an executive who followed a founder or longtime executive director with a compelling story to tell? Much of the literature on nonprofit executive transition has focused on the departing executive director. What about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the person who comes next? We want to interview you for a First Person Nonprofit article; you can choose whether to use your name or stay anonymous. Please send an email and include your contact information and time zone!

* Discounts and free stuff for the next Blue Avocado Bonus Issue: Got a truly unusual and nationally accesible opportunity our 64,000 readers would love? Let us know! Email Susan Sanow susan at blueavocado dot org.

* In this issue: Ten Things Your Board Is Doing Right And Doesn't Even Realize It, Fundraising in Communities of Color, a quick DIY project with bylaws, and a guest humor columnist about a board comprised of cows (yes, cows). And news from our sponsor, American Nonprofits. -- Jan Masaoka and the Blue Avocado team

 

Share this > Read more

Comments

Hi Blue Avocado Editor,

Your article was well timed and much needed. Thanks for the fundraising confidence builder during the dead of winter.
 
--Brianne

I am Blue Avocado's biggest fan! Thanks for all the work that you and your colleagues put into this fantastic newsletter.  I've enjoyed it for year and I'm always excited to see it pop up in my inbox.

Interesting lead article. 
 

Post new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.