Want to Develop a Culture of Philanthropy? Take This Simple Quiz.

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Do you want to develop a culture of philanthropy? One that would help create amazing fundraising results?

Could not resist this picture to go along with the post!

Could not resist this picture to go along with the post!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an organization-wide effort to develop and engage supporters in your cause!

But how do we get there?


What Exactly IS a Culture of Philanthropy?

A culture of philanthropy is an attitude and a mindset shift.

It means that every single person in the organization supports fundraising and agrees that it’s an important priority.

The Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund Haas, Jr Foundation has just issued a fascinating report: “Beyond Fundraising: What Does It Mean to Build a Culture of Philanthropy?

To help your organization make the shift, here’s a simple test that is pulled right off the Haas Jr. Beyond Fundraising Report. Thanks to the authors for allowing me these quotes.

1. Shared Responsibility for Development

“Fundraising isn’t just one person’s job or the job of one department. Everyone—staff, executive director, constituents, board and volunteers—shares responsibility for fund development.” (Haas, Jr. report)

  • Everyone in your organization agrees that fundraising is important?
  • Everyone promotes and supports all fundraising initiatives and projects?
  • Everyone shares a sense of responsiblity for fundraising success?
  • Everyone participates at some level in fundraising- whether it’s talking with donors, building relationships, sharing stories, networking, spreading the word, making connections as ambassadors and advocates?
  • Fundraising is seen something that everyone does, not just your development staff alone?
  • Your marketing, finance and program areas also support and value fundraising?
  • Your CEO and your board members all embrace and support fundraising? They participate when needed?
  • Fundraising is seen as broader activity than just “getting money” – it’s seen as developing relationships with supporters?

2. Fundraising is integrated and aligned with your mission.

“Fund development is a valued and mission-aligned component of the organization’s overall work, rather than a standalone function.” (Haas, Jr. report)

  • The activities of fundraising are not walled off in a silo – instead everyone promotes and participates in philanthropy?
  • Fundraising staff are seen as “equal and valued partners” inside the organization?
  • Fundraising is respected as an important, vital and even happy function that you are proud of?
  • Fundraising is adequately funded, and planned for and staffed with enough resources to do this important work?
  • Fundraising is prioritized when the organization is distributing resources?

3. Focus on Fundraising as Engagement

“Fund development is no longer separated from engagement. This reflects the fact that people today are connecting with nonprofits via multiple channels (e.g., social media, volunteering, blogs, meet ups, petitions) and engaging with them in multiple ways (e.g., as donors, volunteers, board members, constituents).” (Haas, Jr. report)

  • Your organization appreciates that engaging stakeholders and supporters is an important function/goal?
  • Your organization:
    • sees fundraising as a means to engage supporters?
    • offers opportunities for donors and supporters to engage?
  • Your organization combines fundraising and engagement into one larger function – including communications, marketing, fundraising and even programming?
  • You look for ways to fuse activism and fundraising?
  • Your organization agrees that it owes your donors great service, great communications and opportunities to engage?
  • Your organization looks for ways to bring the entire community together to “engage with the mission in authentic and meaningful ways?”

4. Strong Donor Relationships will help develop a culture of philanthropy.

“Donors are seen as authentic partners in the work, not simply as targets or dollar signs. These organizations establish systems to build strong – relationships and support donors’ connection to the work.”  (Haas, Jr. report)

  • Your organization values the overall relationship with donors – not just the short term money/gift. Fundraising is about relationships – not transactions.
  • Your organization honors your donors by asking for more than just money – – you also ask for their help, their support, their ideas, their “skills, time, networks and talents?”
  • Your organization values donor retention over donor acquisition?
  • Your organization communicates your results and overall impact to your donors and supporters?
  • Your organization offers donors personalized attention?
  • Your organization values listening to donors?
  • You have a culture of terrific post-gift customer service to donors?

BOTTOM LINE – So you want to develop a culture of philanthropy?

Then how’d your organization score on this test? Lots of yesses, or lots of maybe’s and sort-of’s?

It’s ok. Everything is a work in progress.

But just look at your potential!

What might your organization be able to do for the people you serve, if you can develop a culture of philanthropy?

Good luck and let me know how I can support you!