Culture of Generosity

Successful fundraising depends on a culture of generosity inside the nonprofit. Who is responsible for creating that culture? In fact, every nonprofit executive is the cultural attaché for his or her organization.

Generosity is only one of the components found in a sustainable nonprofit’s culture. It is the component primarily responsible for the success of the fundraising effort.

How much more could you accomplish if you could spend less time thinking about fundraising? Your nonprofit’s culture of generosity strongly influences the generosity of your donors.

Without a culture of generosity, it is hard to attract, retain, and nurture the highly effective development staff you want and your mission needs. Creating a cultural of generosity starts with recruiting (staff, board, and other volunteers).

Recruiting the right people is a good start but there is more. Building the culture requires constant nurturing, modeling, and mentoring by all of your leaders. The culture will only be as strong as the leadership team’s ability to model it. The leadership team’s actions (nurturing and mentoring) speak much louder than the team’s words. Actions make the words authentic.

Next Step:

Ensure the people you recruit share your passion for generosity

Ensure your leadership team understands their role in enhancing your nonprofit’s culture of generosity

Ensure your nonprofit’s donor communication, internal communication, and processes and procedures reflect your spirit of generosity

If you are unhappy with your fundraising results or the performance of your development staff, a quick check may identify a cultural gap. It is seldom easy or quick to change an organization’s culture but a strong culture of generosity is critical if you want to have a strong mission, sustainable funding stream, and engaged donors and volunteers. The sustainability of your nonprofit depends on your culture of generosity.

The best development professionals are passionate about generosity. Your ability to attract and retain those professionals depends on your nonprofit’s culture of generosity.


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