Fundraising vs. Facilitating

Fundraising focuses on an organization’s process for raising money by requesting donations.
Facilitation focuses on helping others achieve their goals through philanthropy.
Fundraising is what most of you are told to do.
Facilitation is what most of your supporters want you to do.
Fundraising is what some of your board members refuse to do.
Facilitation is what all of your board members will be happy to do.
Fundraising is focused on tactics that generate donations.
Facilitation is focused on tactics that make people feel good (even if they aren’t ready to donate) and that generate donations.
Fundraising sometimes offends supporters.
Facilitation never offends anyone.
At Disney World, the staff are called Cast Members. At Google, they call themselves Googlers. Twitter calls themselves Tweeps.
Maybe it’s time we stopped calling ourselves fundraisers. Why not start calling ourselves facilitators instead? 

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betty johnson, cfre
8 years ago

Greg – another great article – thank you! appreciate your insight on fundraising or facilitating and the differences – nonprofits need to be better facilitators to keep our donors happy, engaged, and fulfilled.

8 years ago

Thanks Betty. That’s a very kind comment coming from an expert like you!

David Bundesen
David Bundesen
8 years ago

Great post Greg!

8 years ago
Reply to  David Bundesen

Thank you for reading David.

8 years ago

Right on Greg. My favorite line in response to people who ask what I do for a living. “i facilitate gifts that can transform lives of those served by The Salvation Army.”

8 years ago
Reply to  Zofia

Nicely said Zofia.

Kay Larrick
Kay Larrick
8 years ago

Great article! 100% agree with the term ‘facilitator’ being more appropriate than fundraiser!
I often note that we are the conduit between the donor and the mission that fits their passion and desire to make a difference, have an impact.
A good fund raiser is a good ‘match maker.’ 🙂

Robert C. Vogel
Robert C. Vogel
7 years ago

Thanks for the post … and similarly, from years of charitable development work and volunteer committees, I’ve proclaimed it to really be ‘fundraising vs development’, drawing the comparison that fundraising is akin to a ‘bake sale’, while development work is more like ‘building the bakery’. It’s a ‘short term’ vs ‘long term’ perspective.


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