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[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]

November 14, 2018

Are You Building a Culture of Philanthropy?

imageProfessional fundraisers know where the buck stops. However, in order to raise the most money possible, every member of the staff should understand the role they play in growing philanthropy. The value and mindset of philanthropy needs to permeate the organization’s culture, beginning with gratitude.

Having a culture of philanthropy includes a variety of objectives where everyone is committed to thanking and appreciating donors, telling the story and demonstrating outcomes, connecting new prospects, and deepening relationships.

Here are three aspects of building a culture of philanthropy:

Relationships are the key.
Keep relationships on the highest rung of a fundraising mindset. Donors may initially give to a cause because of who asked them or because of the focus of the campaign, but building strong relationships based on their interests will keep them engaged and giving.

Board development is central to building a fundraising culture.
As a board considers its own growth and membership, it should continue to seek individuals who understand the importance and the necessity of fundraising as a means to advance the mission. Without underestimating the roles others can play, whenever possible, individuals of influence, affluence or both should be cultivated for board leadership roles.

Fundraising responsibilities must be defined and shared.
To build and reinforce a philanthropic culture, all staff members should be aware of the roles they can play in ensuring the organization has the support it needs. Everyone should be able to articulate the fundraising goals and the purposes for which the funds are being raised. What will philanthropy support and how will it impact those you serve?

To build a culture of philanthropy, everyone in the organization should understand that they play an important role in ensuring the mission is fulfilled through increased fundraising. In addition, all staff should learn major donors’ names and make sure they feel appreciated; and try to identify potential donors and connect them with the organization and development staff. Whether answering the phone at work or telling a neighbor about your mission, staff members can make all the difference. And donors know the difference.

Karin Cox, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Office

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].


Photo credits: National WWI Museum
and Memorial

Kent Sunderland
President and Trustee
The Sunderland Foundation

Recipient of the

Kent Sunderland was presented with the prestigious Growing Philanthropy Award in Kansas City by Hartsook President and CEO
Matthew J. Beem during National WWI Museum and Memorial’s VIP event, Night at the Tower.

He was nominated by Matthew Naylor, Ph.D., President and CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial, and was selected unanimously by Hartsook Institutes and the International Board of Visitors Growing Philanthropy Committee.

Kent was Vice Chairman of Ash Grove Cement prior to its recent sale. As President of The Sunderland Foundation, he has played a significant role in advancing philanthropy with major gifts.

The Growing Philanthropy Award recognizes a distinguished group of individuals and organizations whose efforts increase philanthropy through research, innovation and challenging the status quo. For more information, contact [email protected].