Donors are looking for a better philanthropic value proposition. They want to know how their dollars will be turned into differences.
Traditional fundraising loses four out of five first-time donors.
They give. Nothing changes. They move on.
Traditional fundraising works best at places that have delivered value and built community but the organizational self-centeredness on which it is based misses many partnership-building opportunities.
Donors say, “Show me the impact.” Fundraisers clamor for more compelling concepts.
Traditional fundraising is a hand-off function, a job delegated to down a sometimes entitled, aloof, detached, smug, or clueless chain of command. “Here’s what we want or need.”
Donors are ducking fundraisers disembodied from the difference-making part of the organization. They want to meet with doers and figure out how more can be done.
The traditional fundraising crutch which too many institutions have leaned on for too long is hemorrhaging donors and sub-optimizing philanthropic potential. It needs to be replaced by a supply chain model that engages the entire organization in the design and delivery of mission-advancing, difference-making initiatives.
The model below suggests how that supply chain model would operate.
Jim Langley is the president of Langley Innovations. Langley Innovations provides a range of services to its clients to help them understand the cultural underpinnings of philanthropy and the psychology of donors and, with that knowledge, to develop the most effective strategies and tactics to build broader and more lasting communities of support. Jim has authored numerous books including his most recent book, The Future of Fundraising: Adapting to New Philanthropic Realities, published by Academic Impressions in 2020.
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