The Generosity Network: New Transformational Tools for Successful Fund-Raising

Jennifer McCrea, Jeffrey C. Walker, Karl Weber

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0770437796

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Generosity Network is the essential guide to the art of activating resources of every kind behind any worthy cause. Philanthropist Jeff Walker and fund-raising expert Jennifer McCrea offer a fresh new perspective that can make the toughest challenges of nonprofit management and development less stressful, more rewarding—and even fun.    
            Walker and McCrea show how traditional pre-scripted, money-centered, goal-oriented fund-raising techniques lead to anxiety and failure, while open-spirited, curiosity-driven, person-to-person connections lead to discovery, growth—and often amazing results. Through engrossing personal stories, a wealth of innovative suggestions, and inspiring examples, they show nonprofit leaders how to build a community of engaged partners who share a common passion and are eager to provide the resources needed to change the world—not just money, but also time, talents, personal networks, creative thinking, public support, and all the other forms of social capital that often seem scanty yet are really abundant, waiting to be uncovered and mobilized. 
            Highly practical, motivating, and thought provoking, The Generosity Network is designed to energize and empower nonprofit leaders, managers, donors, board members, and other supporters. Whether you help run a multimillion-dollar global nonprofit or raise funds for a local scout troop, PTA, or other community organization, you’ll learn new approaches that will make your work more successful and enjoyable than ever.

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Today. Here are some other steps you can take to make sure that person-to-person communication doesn’t suffer amid the press of daily responsibilities: • Set aside part of each day for personal communication, and keep it sacred. Choose an hour or two at a time that suits your schedule and personality, and don’t allow anyone to usurp that time for staff meetings, report reading, or other routine activities. During this time, shut the office door, pick up your phone, and reach out to some people you haven’t recently been in touch with.

Tell your story with all its odd, seemingly bizarre quirks and you will probably find your audience nodding in recognition—because no matter how weird your life may have been, we’ve all been there. An African American student in Jennifer’s Exponential Fundraising class (we’ll call him Ron) remarked that he had been reluctant to spotlight himself partly because he didn’t want anyone to think he was claiming special privileges by virtue of his race. But when a colleague noticed that a grant proposal filled out by Ron had completely omitted any reference to his own background—including his origins in a tough inner-city neighborhood—he said to Ron, “You owe it to people to share your story.

Struck by the living conditions of the prisoners, he bought materials and supervised the renovation of the prison infirmary. Alexander returned to the United Kingdom but continued to work for the cause of prison reform both there and in Uganda. Initially, Alexander collected books and money to return to the prison and founded a library. Over time. Alexander’s effort grew into the African Prisons Project (APP). As of 2012, APP has touched the lives of more than 25,000 prison inmates and staff in Uganda, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.

Read the following case study, which describes a fairly typical fund-raising scenario. It concludes with a few simple questions that will help you focus on what the case can tell you about what you should do—and not do—to make the first meeting more effective. You are a fund-raiser for a nonprofit organization that is currently raising funds for a very important and potentially groundbreaking new project—we’ll call it Project X. Naturally you’re always eager to hear about possible new donors. So you’re excited when board member John Brown calls.

It’s a dynamic we’re familiar with from everyday consumer behavior, where drivers buy cars not to fill basic transportation needs but to enhance their self-esteem, where people choose clothes and computers based not on functionality but on the “cool” factor, and where, as cosmetics mogul Charles Revson famously said, “In the factory we make lipstick, but in the store we sell hope. ” Rather than fighting against the innate human yearning for emotional fulfillment, nonprofit organizations and those of us who love them need to appeal to it on behalf of the world-changing causes we serve.

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