Focus on “Friendmaking” to Take the Fear out of Fundraising

Could fundraising be as easy as picking flowers? Maybe!

Could fundraising be as easy as picking flowers? Maybe!

I frequently tell my clients and audiences something rather revolutionary: that I’d rather have a “friend” of my organization than a donor. At first everyone is startled. Then they sit back and consider what it would mean to have “friends” rather than donors.

What will friends do for you? They will introduce new people to the cause and bring new friends on board. They will spread the word. They’ll help you in any way they can. And when the going gets tough, where are they? They are right there with you at your side.

And will your friends contribute money?

You bet they will!  They’ll even get other people to give money.

So, why don’t we just focus our fundraising on making friends?  And work towards bringing them closer and closer to our organization, so that they are as passionate about our cause as we are.

Because we know when our donors are as passionate and engaged as we are, raising money is as easy as collecting daisies in the field.

Why do I prefer friendraising?

  • It’s all about passion for the cause.
  • It emphasizes passion and energy; it does NOT emphasize money.
  • It’s not about the money, it’s about the movement.
  • It’s more natural than fundraising.
  • It’s better manners:  We are treating people like real people rather than sources of money.
  • It just may be much more effective than “fundraising.”
  • It’s more fun!

In TOUGH times you want to make friends out of your donors.  And in GREAT times you want to  make friends out of your donors.

What would YOUR fundraising program look like if you focused on friendmaking rather than fundraising?