Giving thanks this week may seem trite. After all, that is the reason for the holiday. We believe, however, that true gratitude is not only meaningful, but transformational. Especially for nonprofit organizations who often reside in the day-to-day challenge of securing resources — which can feel more like a scarcity existence than abundant.
We challenge that, though.
An executive director of a small nonprofit said to me once, “we can’t afford that,” when referring to a new opportunity. The organization’s operating budget was $500,000. I reflected back to her that she had half-a-million dollars to fulfill her mission, so it was more a decision of how to spend the money rather than a belief that she had no money.
We’ve worked with more than 80 nonprofit CEOs, boards of directors, and directors of development, and, by far, those who see possibility rather than shortfall are the ones who are better able to drive change and reach goals. Abundance versus scarcity.
Here’s a test. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is the national Giving Tuesday campaign, designed to follow Black Friday and Cyber Monday consumer spending with a day of charitable giving.
When crafting your Giving Tuesday message, focus on gratitude — thanks for all the donors who have already given to your organization and appreciation for the volunteers who make your work possible — rather than a message of “we need more money to meet our budget.”
“We are proud to serve our community and to work alongside a family of donors and volunteers who bring our mission to life. Help us meet XX community need as we raise $YY for ZZ project. All gifts will be matched by a donor to extend the impact of your philanthropy and will make a difference. Let me tell you the story of … ”
Aligning your message with the spirit of the holiday — rather than the cash flow needs of the month — is the best way to inspire support.
PS: For Central Ohio area nonprofits, the Columbus Foundation is offering an incentive to those who give on November 27. The “Give Two On #Giving Tuesday” effort is to say thank you to donors who make two gifts on that day through the Giving Store. Each participating donor will receive a $20 charitable gift card to be used for more gifts.
Article by: Kerri Laubenthal Mollard, Founder & CEO