Building a Culture of Philanthropy
November 15 marks National Philanthropy Day, a day to recognize community philanthropic contributions. President Ronald Reagan first signed an official proclamation for National Philanthropy Day in 1986 for Americans to celebrate the philanthropic contributions of individuals and organizations. Today, National Philanthropy Day is celebrated across the globe with hundreds of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) chapters hosting events each year.
The generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations is celebrated worldwide around National Philanthropy Day, but many nonprofit organizations struggle with creating a culture of philanthropy within their organization. Often those working in nonprofit organizations perceive fundraising to be part of the development officer or executive director role, but all employees and volunteers can play a role in raising funds to advance the mission.
Here are some tactics to help build a culture of philanthropy within your organization.
- Integrate fundraising into staff and board meetings. Many board members and staff outside of the fundraising team are uncomfortable asking others for gifts. Fundraising should be part of the mission of the organization. The saying goes, “No money, no mission.” When communicating the needs of your organization, share how everyone has a role to help open doors to raise funds that make the work of the nonprofit possible. Additionally, take opportunities to share financial needs with volunteers and staff members during one-on-one conversations so that they feel equipped to answer questions from others in the community who may express a desire to support the cause.
- Communicate program needs. Often those within an organization don’t know or understand how fundraising benefits the organization. Share details regularly on how fundraising efforts make it possible for programs to continue or be enhanced or expanded to serve more people in new ways. Equipping employees and volunteers with a slate of funding needs allows them to share with others who may not be on the organization’s prospect list.
- Invite the fundraising team and board members to shadow the program team in delivering services. To be able to raise funds, development team members need to have a comprehensive understanding of what and why funds are being raised. Give fundraisers and volunteers hands-on experience so that they can articulate their needs and impact when asking others for support.
- Engage other team members in fundraising activities. Similar to having a fundraising team and board members observe your organization’s services, program team members can benefit from participating in the organization’s fundraising activities too. This includes inviting a program team member to assist in making gift asks. Often program team members or volunteers experience first-hand the impact the organization has on the constituents served. During a donor visit, a program team member can share stories of their service to demonstrate empathy and impact. The development officer or executive director may share how their philanthropic support would assist the organization in furthering the mission.
AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising is proud to support National Philanthropy Day in several communities by sponsoring AFP events. For more information on creating a culture of philanthropy within your organization, contact our AMPERAGE fundraising team at 319.268.9151 or visit us at amperagemarketing.com.