[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]
Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook

January 20, 2016

Stop Talking About Money

imageToo many times, those involved in fundraising talk to prospects about money as if raising money is the goal. While fundraising is about money, it is always about something much greater.

First, engage potential donors whose interests, desires and values align with your organization's mission. If you do, you will raise more money. A lot more money. Consider these tips.

No one wants to give money away
Many years ago, Bob Hartsook learned the key to fundraising success - and built a leading international fundraising consulting firm based on this simple philosophy: Nobody wants to give money away. But they do want to change lives. So from the beginning of the conversation to the gift appreciation and recognition, demonstrate how you change lives.

Money equals mission
You need money to accomplish your organization's mission, goals and vision. Tie everything, everyone and all activity in your organization - now and later - to your mission. Talk about how more money will make your organization better and more effective, and how lives will be better when your goals are accomplished.

Success breeds success
Celebrate fundraising success loudly and proudly. Show and share when you've met your goals, but make sure you are not just talking about money. Tie the financial support to the improvement of lives. When you communicate your success, often it tells your donors and prospects their money makes a difference and the mission is being accomplished.

Money is not a taboo subject, but it is often the wrong subject. At the right time, you will ask for a specific amount, talk about your organization's fundraising goals, announce gifts and share the impact of philanthropy. But money is not the goal, it is the means. The most important "M" word in fundraising is "mission."

Karin L. Cox, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer (Wilmington, N.C.) [email protected]


logoJoin Us on the Growing Philanthropy Tour

Next stops on the road to achieving Hartsook's mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
January 20, 2016

Boy Scouts of America, Gulf Stream Council
Board Leadership Training
Karin L. Cox
Ross J. Pfannenstiel

Richmond, Va.
March 8, 2016

Virginia Association of Fundraising Executives
"Sustainable Fundraising"
Keynote: Karin L. Cox

St. Louis
April 18-20, 2016

National School Foundation Association
2016 National Conference
Karin L. Cox

April 19-21, 2016

The Salvation Army
2016 National Community Relations and Development Conference
Bud Cooper

April 29, 2016

Indiana University
Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Franztreb Fundraising Lecture Series
John List, Homer J. Livingston Professor of Economics, University of Chicago

Bloomington, Ind.
April 30, 2016

Indiana University
Presidential Laurel Award Event
Recipient: Bob Hartsook

Kansas City
May 18, 2016

Association of Fundraising Professionals Forum
Matt Beem

San Diego
May 25-27, 2016

2016 Boy Scouts of America National Annual Meeting
Matt Beem
Ross J. Pfannenstiel
Tammy J. Weinman

Charlottesville, Va.
July 28, 2016

Virginia Fund Raising Institute
"Fundraising Leadership"
Keynote: Karin L. Cox

Kansas City
August 2016

Inspired Fundraising Summit
Adrian Sargeant

New Orleans
August 24-26, 2016

Boy Scouts of America Top Hands
Matt Beem
Ross J. Pfannenstiel
Tammy J. Weinman

Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle

Keep up to date on the latest fundraising trends with the Kindle ASR Media collection:

Book Deal of the Monthimage

Hartsook President and CEO Matt Beem's book Performance-Driven Fundraising: Taking Control of Your Success shares decades of fundraising insights and features campaign success stories, including many examples from BSA fundraising campaigns. Performance-Driven Fundraising will help accelerate anyone's learning curve and serve as a valuable reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers. Go here to purchase Performance-Drive Fundraising.

On the Web


Blogs and articles. Founder and Chairman Bob Hartsook and President and CEO Matt Beem regularly share simple, but powerful messages about philanthropy, fundraising and the power of relationships.


Timely Tips and Tweets! Follow us on Twitter at HartsookTips for tips and giveaways.


Facebook: Become a Fan and a Friend. Fundraising tips, event photos, news and updates - see what's new at Hartsook by becoming a fan of us on Facebook. Friend Hartsook Founder Bob Hartsook, CEO Matt Beem, or Chief Creative Officer Karin Cox for even more updates!

Visit the Hartsook website for:
- Educational opportunities
- Books/reference articles
- Conference/workshop speakers

Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, [email protected]. If you'd like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact [email protected].

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