What is a culture of philanthropy?
It’s when everyone in your organization — from the janitor to the board chair — understands that philanthropy and fund development are critical to the organization’s success and that each individual, no matter her role, has a role in the process.
Fundraising can not sustainably be done in a silo — a responsibility for direct marketers, major gifts officers and grant writers alone.
Everyone on staff should:
- Understand and be able to talk about what makes you unique / why people should care and give to your group.
- Be comfortable being an ambassador for your organization / chatting with friends, colleagues and relatives about your work.
- Know where to direct donor inquiries quickly and efficiently.
Certain staff including program and policy teams should also help:
- Cultivate relationships with donors.
- Develop content and programs that donors find fund-worthy.
- Fact check content without making “subjective” edits to fundraising tone.
A culture of philanthropy is a shift in attitude. It’s about being both mission driven and donor driven.
It must come from leadership and it must be a priority for organizations to succeed in the competitive fundraising landscape we all face.