fundraising relationships

Trust is Key to Fundraising Relationships

I recently was asked about a situation regarding sharing a director for fundraising.

The person writes: “My development director agreed to serve on the fundraising committee of another (non-competing) nonprofit. He has done so as a thank you to our former gala chair who is active with this other nonprofit.

“Is this appropriate?”

My answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

If your development director was invited to serve by your gala chairman, terrific. Fundraising is all about relationships, and this is the kind of quid pro quo that can be personally appreciated.

I suspect your development director knows he cannot solicit funds on behalf of the other organization — that is non-negotiable — but he can be a visible presence offering solid advice to the committee. His presence and expertise speak volumes about your organization.

And I bet good money that when he asks anyone on that committee for reciprocation, they do so.

Being active in the community means helping others, avoiding singular focus on your organization. The most successful nonprofits are often those who creatively engage in every aspect of the community.

Do not be afraid to mix it up a bit.

I’ll add the caveat that my answer above does not address a situation where you suspect your development director is shopping for a new job. Perhaps I’ll address that in the future.

Trust is key.