WP Remix


I was asked recently by a loyal GettingGiving reader if I had any data on how many fundraisers support their own nonprofits. It was a great question, and I have to believe the percentage is extremely high, but I had no data to back that up.

So I consulted my research assistant, Mr. Google. He’s usually very reliable, but this time he wasn’t able to provide an answer. Admittedly, Mr. Google only performs well when I figure out how to ask the question, so the data may be out there and I’m just not finding it. If you have any information on this issue please let me know. . . I would love to share it with the GettingGiving community!

It’s long been a belief in the fundraising world that those of us who ask should also give. We may not give as much as our most generous supporters, but we should give. Something.

We often tell our volunteer peer solicitors that they should make their gift first. We explain that it will make them more comfortable if they can feel confident that they, too, have made a gift. If asked, they can honestly reply that they are giving because they believe in the mission of the nonprofit. If not asked, they can offer the information proactively and ask the prospect to ‘JOIN ME!” by making a gift of their own.

The same is true of professional fundraisers. I’d say that most of us truly believe in whatever nonprofit we work for, and if we don’t perhaps it’s time to look for another job. If you don’t believe enough to make a gift of your own, it’s exceptionally hard to sit across from a prospective donor and explain why they should part with their hard-earned money. It’s hard to ‘act’ passionate about the cause. If you’re acting, they’ll know it!

I don’t believe every fundraiser should be required to support their nonprofit, but I do think they should want to support it. Maybe not with $50,000 or $5,000, but certainly with with a gift they feel comfortable with given their particular financial situation.

I’d love to know if a study has been conducted on this topic. And I’d love to compare the success rate of fundraisers who believe in and support their nonprofit compared to those who don’t.

I’m willing to bet it DOES make a difference.

Category : Uncategorized

3 Responses to “Do Fundraisers Give?”

Rob Zinkan August 24, 2010

Amen! Yes, I'd be willing to bet that fundraisers who give to their own organization are more successful. And the same likely holds true for the entire organization…if you have a strong employee giving rate, I would imagine that the organization is more likely to experience success in its overall fundraising. It all starts, as it should, at home – the fundraiser and all of his/her colleagues within the organization.

andrew olsen August 27, 2010

Very interesting post. I just recently had a conversation with a development officer that just joined a new nonprofit. When she asked where she could get an envelope so she could make a gift, her boss responded with, "Oh, we don't solicit our staff."

I'm guessing I know what her first new initiative will be!

I can't help but feel that development staff who don't give to their organization are essentially mercenaries. Hired guns who don't necessarily have a vested interest in the success of the organization. That's probably a gross over simplification on my part, but it's my initial gut reaction.

Jeff Lindauer August 27, 2010

Thanks for the comments, Andrew and Rob! That story Andrew told is both hilarious and sad. And probably more common than we think!