In Need of Some Clairification?March 1, 2013 By Claire Axelrad
Claire Axelrad’s Clairification blog, which was one of our Best Fundraising Blog winners in the 2013 Fundraising Professionals of the Year Awards, got more nominations than any single submission in any category of any year of the awards. Last month, we announced the award winners; this month we’d like to formally introduce you to the blog. Here are some of Claire’s favorite recent posts.
Philanthropy, Not Fundraising: I Have a Dream
I have a dream for 2013 — and beyond. I have a dream this is the year your organization will move beyond defining yourself by what you’re not (nonprofit) and will begin to define yourself by what you are (social benefit). I have a dream this is the year your people will move from an attitude of taking and hitting people up (aka “fundraising”) to a mind-set of giving and lifting people up (aka “philanthropy”). I have a dream this is the year your staff and volunteers will move from enacting transactions to enabling transformation.
I have a dream you will push yourself and your organization toward transformative change. You will take the bull by the horns, adapt to the digital revolution and open yourself to the possibilities that change brings. You will give up on the static donor pyramid, ladder and funnel theory of engagement and put your donor at the center of a new, active engagement model that reflects the myriad ways people connect with organizations and causes today.
I have a dream you will learn who your best influencers are and you will embrace them. You will recognize you are no longer your best messenger. You will understand that many forces beyond you influence your donor’s decision to invest with you, and you will expand your thinking and operations from a one-dimensional to a multi-dimensional model. You will allow your constituents to engage with you at multiple points of entry, and to move freely between these points during the life cycle of their engagement.
I have a dream you will ask not what your donors can do for you, but what you can do for your donors. You will recognize that they don’t serve you; you serve them. You will embrace the true meaning of philanthropy as love of humankind. You will remember that your donors are humankind; you must love them if you want to be a part of philanthropy. Otherwise, you’re just transacting business.