Why your job is really about developing heroes, not dollars

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

People want to see themselves as good, just, righteous, and so on. 
In other words, they want to be heroic. They want to change the world. They want to feel like they have the power to make the world a better place. They want to be a hero. And they want to reflect on their life (their autobiography) knowing that they were the hero in that story.

If you can help them be that hero… If you find ways to facilitate that… If you provide experiences that help them… you will inspire them to make a major and/or legacy gift. They WILL take action.

That’s because all giving is emotional.
It’s not about taxes and legal stuff. That comes AFTER the supporter is helped (by the fundraiser/facilitator) to realize that they can be a hero in their own life story.

Your job is to facilitate experiences that help them see themselves as the hero they want to be. Your job is to make sure they recognize that, through giving, they can be empowered.

Show them that that making a gift will make them a hero. Develop that feeling and they’ll give more. Then, everyone will win.

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4 responses to “Why your job is really about developing heroes, not dollars”

  1. Caron says:

    Great point, Greg. It reminds me of the interesting work of Professor Russell James; help someone be a hero to a charity by having the conversation with them about the kind of legacy they want to leave, match their passions with a charity’s mission.

  2. Katherine McKay says:

    The “hero” concept is the perfect improvement to my own description of my work: “I don’t ask people for money. I give them the opportunity to feel really good about themselves.” If I don’t succeed, I didn’t give them the right opportunity. Thanks for adding in the hero image.

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