#64 | How many gimmicks does your organization's fundraising strategy really need?

It was a pleasure to connect with Tobey Fossey in advance of my upcoming visit. Tobey is a member of the Women in Development of Central MA which has invited me to present How Fundraising Really Works to their group in early May. Tobey and I both share a similar background in fundraising for independent schools, so we took this opportunity to share some of our experiences and compare notes on a few of the things that we believe are getting in the way of effective fundraising. 

Similar to the conversation I recently had with Jennifer Cherney at The Gateway School, we began with the question of whether fundraising has essentially hijacked our organization’s commitment to community building and whether doing so has diminished the effectiveness of our efforts in both cases. Tobey and I agreed that it isn’t always helpful to combine our goal of strengthening the community with our desire to raise additional funds. 

I have been most adamant with my clients about the nonprofit sector’s reliance on gimmicks to generate additional funds, and Tobey evidently shares my frustration. I believe this tendency to move from one gimmick to another is rooted in a poverty mindset, low expectations of ourselves, and the misfortune of not seeing generosity expressed in more meaningful and significant ways. 

Interested in joining us for the next stop on the How Fundraising Really Works roadshow?

Here’s some feedback from those who attended our seminar in Toronto last month.

“I haven’t enjoyed a fundraising workshop as much as yours in many, many years!” — Maryann Kerr, CEO, The Medalist Group, Toronto, 2019

“Probably one of the best days of professional development I've experienced.” — Jack Silverstein, VP, Development at National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA, Ottawa, 2019

“I found the seminar fun, instructive, affirming and educational.” — Sue Ellen English, National Director, Development, Prison Fellowship Canada

If you're interested in joining us at an upcoming stop on the How Fundraising Really Works roadshow, it's it important to know that this is not the typical “Tips and Tricks” experience we've grown accustom to. Instead, we're going to confront the real reasons for why most fundraising strategies are designed to fail, challenge everyone’s assumptions about how fundraising really works, and ensure that fundraising professionals know how to be recognized and admired for meaningful work. Anyone who isn’t thinking more critically about the fundraising profession when they leave wasn’t paying attention.

For more information, visit lewisfundraising.com

Jason Lewis