Why Do People Raise Money?
Oct 27 2008

Raising money is a hard thing to do and often harder when you are raising money for a non-profit.  The payback isn’t measured in dollars, in quantifiable ROI (return on investment), or in perks and huge salaries.  It’s measured in change.  It’s measured in the effect your cause has made on your community…on the world.  I have yet to read such an inspiring article/post on the matter of raising funds in a non-profit as the one written by Sasha Dichter, who works at the Acumen Fund, on Seth Godin’s blog called In Defense of Raising Money: a Manifesto for NonProfit CEOs.  Whether you are in a non-profit or a company trying to be profitable, it is a MUST read!  You can feel his passion in his post.

Here are a few excerpts, but please go read his entire post…it is truly inspiring.

“How good is your idea?  How important is your cause?  Important enough that you’ve given up another life to lead this life.  You’ve given up another job, another steady paycheck, another bigger paycheck to do this all day long, every day, for years if not for decades, to make a change in the world and to right a wrong.”

“Breast cancer has an unbelievable level of awareness in the United States, definitely ahead of all other cancers.  Yet breast cancer is actually the 5th leading cause of cancer death in the United States, behind lung, stomach, liver and colon cancer.(2)  So why does it get the most attention and the most funding?”

“So why are you so scared to ask people for money?  …

How about this instead: “You are incredibly good at making money.  I’m incredibly good at making change.  The change I want to make in the world, unfortunately, does not itself generate much money.  But man oh man does it make change.  It’s a hugely important change.  And what I know about making this change is as good and as important as what you know about making money.  So let’s divide and conquer – you keep on making money, I’ll keep on making change. And if you can lend some of your smarts to the change I’m trying to make, well that’s even better.  But most of the time, we both keep on doing what we’re best at, and if we keep on working together the world will be a better place.”

If only we could all feel as passionate about our lives and ideas with this same level of intensity every day, but most of us can’t (maybe even Sasha doesn’t feel this way every day) so we read posts like these and get inspired by someone else’s passion.  What a true gift of charity when people share their wisdom and passion…expecting nothing in return…except for maybe a little change.

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