Get Some Culture in Your Organization

Is fundraising everyone's job at your organization? Many believe that ought to be the case. They're calling this a "culture of philanthropy," and although it's not a new term, it's just starting to gain traction within the nonprofit community. In a culture of philanthropy, everyone- staff, board, CEO, constituents, volunteers- has a role in fundraising. It's about relationships, donor cultivation and retention,  and it's mission-driven from start to finish.

There are four core concepts that define a culture of philanthropy which can be used by organizations as a way to gauge whether or not they are moving toward meeting the definition:

Shared responsibility for development: Fundraising is not solely the responsibility of the CEO, development director or board members. Everyone across and within the organization works together to create a finely-tuned fundraising machine.

Integration of mission into all development activities: Looking at fundraising as a means to achieving programmatic success and maximizing impact, rather than as simply raising money to be allocated across the organization.

Focusing on fundraising as relationship-building: Communicating via multiple channels and creating connections at multiple touchpoints is integral to successful resource development.

Strong donor engagement: Paying attention to what donors want, and recognizing that they often have more than money to contribute. Being transparent and demonstrating impact are crucial to cultivating and retaining those who support your efforts.

Want to learn more about how you can instill some culture into your organization? You can find me at