Leadership and The Workplace

Nonprofit Spark

Renee McGivern

Nonprofit Spark – Building natural relationships with individual donors – 10/29/12

One of the biggest challenges non profit leaders face is growing the individual donor base. It’s not unusual for them to be quite sophisticated about raising money from “professionals” at corporations and fundraising and then to be far less skilled at building relationships with individual donors.

On this show, I speak to the founder of a nonprofit that has increased giving from individuals by 70% within a few years. They raised $593,000 from 443 donors in 2009 and by the end of 2011, were raising $1,010, 324 from 613 donors. So, what happened?

Eric Howard is the founder and CEO of Outreach, Inc., a Christian ministry with the mission of equipping and empowering homeless teens and young adults to achieve stability and life transformation. It’s based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Eric tells an extraordinary story about a shift in his thinking about individual donors and money, and how he now spends so much more one-on-one time with his donors.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re religious or an atheist, the main thing to get from this show is how important it is for you to figure out a context for approaching donors that works for you, that empowers you so you get over your fear about talking to individual donors. Eric’s epiphany came after reading the book, A Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri Nowen.

Perhaps as you listen, you’ll want to order that book. No matter. My hope is that this interview causes you to think about how individual fundraising can become a natural self-expression for you. – Host Renee McGivern