The nine basic truths of fund-raising listed below are taken from the introduction to my book It’s a Great Day to Fund-Raise, and they are the foundation of my successful career as a development officer for and consultant to nonprofit organizations.
- Organizations are not entitled to support; they must earn it.
- Successful fund-raising is not magic; it is simply hard work on the part of people who are thoroughly prepared.
- Fund-raising is not raising money; it is raising friends.
- You do not raise money by begging for it; you raise it by selling people on your organization.
- People do not just reach for their checkbooks and give money to an organization; they have to be asked to give.
- You do not wait for the “right” moment to ask; you ask now.
- Successful fund-raising officers do not ask for money; they get others to ask for it.
- You don’t decide today to raise money and then ask for it tomorrow; it takes time, patience, and planning to raise money.
- Prospects and donors are not cash crops waiting to be harvested; treat them as you would customers in a business.