Turning over rocks or skipping stones

Nate PetersenFundraising

Is anyone still watching The Amazing Race? In a recent episode, contestants were challenged to find a golden coin hidden under one rock in a bed of thousands. While some teams were quick to find their prize, others laboured tirelessly over the challenge for hours! As I watched one particular team struggling, it struck me how similar this challenge was to fundraising norms in the charitable sector – aimlessly flipping over rocks in hopes of finding the next golden coin.

Being a fundraiser is a notoriously difficult and stressful career path as is evidenced by its painfully high turnover rates. It’s a role that requires an individual to wade through rejection and disappointment with thick skin and relentless optimism. I dare to dream that there is a better way.

Our methodology at Stronger Philanthropy flips this model on its head. Rather than passively wait for charities to find our clients and submit a Letter of Inquiry to them, as is the norm, we help funders proactively identify a purpose for their giving so that we can match them with registered charities working toward the same goals. When there’s a match, we invite charities to complete a brief application (and we’ll even help them make it better!).

While our process is simple, the ramification of a streamlined approach is the elimination of rock flipping. The result, if you’ll indulge me, is more like rock skipping! There is an element of play in searching for and finding that perfectly smooth stone that works to skip seamlessly across a glassy surface. With our model, charities benefit from not needing to cold call potential donors and the major donors we work for are no longer solicited for funding by charities that are not aligned with their mission. All of this makes for a more relaxed, humane environment for linking funders with charities united by a shared passion.

Further Reading:

To Do:

  • To enjoy skipping stones and take a break from the tiresome turning over of rocks, we invite all charity leaders and major donors to engage with our digital learning community! Simply search for ‘Stronger Philanthropy’ in your app store to subscribe.