On episode 55 of Shit We Don’t Talk About, Mia is joined by non-profit executive coach and fundraising consultant Mallory Erickson (she’s also the host of the podcast “What the Fundraising” ! Mia and Mallory dish on the hidden pitfalls of fundraising and money movement that … wait for it … we don’t talk about!
Mallory often comes across clients that will secretly confess their extreme level of discomfort over fundraising, asking people for money, and the rejection and shame that come along with that.
Women are often socialized to not talk about money, yet 75% of the non-profit sector is women, who are then forced to talk about money! This is something to work through. It doesn’t need to be addressed with software, or new campaigns, or ancillary “nibbling-around-the-edges” fixes.
Most people outside the fundraising sector will express surprise or shock that fundraising can be such a stressful task, yet will themselves avoid fundraisers like the plague.
Data suggest that people love to give, yet fundraising professionals often overestimate the amount of discomfort they are creating for other people. The movement of money toward things we value personally and societally is a wonderful thing, yet we’ve stigmatized it and turned into a borderline traumatic experience.
In many cases, corporations are seeing that they must define themselves as good corporate citizens and are adjusting their giving strategies in ways that are helping fundraisers. Foundations … not so much. In that environment ancient rules and restrictions still hold sway, requiring fundraisers to jump through unnecessary hoops that needlessly waste time and impede the movement of money toward good causes that matter.
When choosing a target for your charitable giving, choose organizations with leadership that demonstrates clear commitment to the values that matter to you. Some homework is required. And do NOT demand a dollar by dollar accounting of how your money is being spent. If you do not trust the organization’s management, do not donate to that organization. Overbearing donor behavior can paralyze good organizations by immersing them in the fear that they will “disappoint” donors.
Think of three problems you’d like to see solved in the world, then do your research to find worthy organizations that are working to solve those problems. When possible, choose monthly giving over a lump sum to help keep yourself connected to the cause and the organization. Monthly giving also helps the organizations you support with cash flow management and budgeting.
If you have no intention of supporting an organization or would like to stop supporting an organization, say so clearly – but kindly – so nobody wastes time and effort “bothering” you.
About Mallory Erickson
Mallory Erickson is an executive coach, fundraising consultant, and host of the podcast What the Fundraising, aimed at supporting nonprofit leaders to fundamentally change the way they lead and fundraise. Through her signature framework, the Power Partners Formula™️, Mallory provides unique tools to help nonprofits fundraise more from foundations, corporate partners, and individuals. She has trained over 10,000 fundraisers in 2020/21 alone using her unique win-win framework, which combines best practices from executive coaching, science-backed behavior design, and fundraising strategy. Her innovative approach to fundraising and dynamic education has been recognized in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, readwrite, and Inc. Magazine. If you want to feel differently about fundraising as well as clear and excited about your next steps, Mallory’s work is for you.
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