Fund Raising and Institutional Purpose
There is a real sense in which it is the case that you simply cannot provide leadership for and within an institution unless you are able to talk about money. On the one hand, this means the economics of how organizations work; you can talk about money and mission and recognize that without money the mission does not happen.
But then of course, we also need to speak about the revenue – the source or sources of funding. And here as often as not we are talking about the institutional practice of fund development or, more specifically, “fund raising.” And this necessarily means profiling and celebrating your mission with those who have the capacity to invest in your organizational mission. It means making the ask – well, perhaps better stated, cultivating the relationship, the connection, and then making the ask and inviting the investment.
A donor is a partner in the mission; a key part of any non-profit or church. A donor is not an ATM! Rather they are a partner who believe in the mission as much as those who provide senior leadership. But they need to be asked; we never want it said that the only reason someone did not give was because they were not asked.
Asking means that folks can say “no.” We live with that; and we graciously accept that. But the bottom line is that we ask.
Here is a hugely valuable TED talk that captures as effectively as any the vital importance of fund-raising to the mission of your organization.