Fundraising Kick: Fundraising is NOT from a diminishing pie

Each week, I send out a coaching email to nonprofit CEOs, Executive Directors, and leaders. These Fundraising Kicks are quick emails designed to help them get out from behind their desk and in front of donors. Often they have scripts or task lists. Sometimes they contain attitude adjustment reminders.

Here's one I wrote for today. It will definitely help in your fundraising this week.

Overcoming scarcity in nonprofit fundraising - it's not from a diminishing pieGood morning, Kickers!

I’m relieved that last week’s Kick was helpful for so many of you. Thanks for the feedback. And good for those of you making the necessary steps to get out of bad relationships.

This week, I wanted to write to you about pie. Really. Lately more and more people have been talking to me in terms of scarcity, as though their fundraising was trying to get a piece of a limited pie that was running out.

Money is a weird thing. It’s usually only as limited as your self-limiting beliefs make it. Some people see scarcity; others see abundance. And you usually get what you see.

Donors are weird too. Once they get excited about a project, they sometimes give more than we expect. Others, like our board members, surprise us by giving to projects other than ours. It’s not that they aren’t giving, they’re just deciding not to give to us. That can feel incredibly disheartening. But that usually means we haven’t been connecting our work to their passion.

Your mission this week
Fundraising has never been about a limited pie. It’s much more akin to the old “Stone Soup” fable. As we all put in what we have, an incredibly new creation is made. And the giving creates a virtuous loop inspiring new people to share too.

As you make the 5-10 calls this week, be aware of your fear of scarcity. When you feel it gripping you as you dial, remind yourself there is not just one pie of money but there are lots of pies! Part of your calling the major gift prospects is to be open to the surprise of discovering new pies.

It could be expanding your “fundraising” vision to a “resourcing” vision. What resources do you need to accomplish your mission? Donors may be able to give things that offset significant budgeted expenses far more easily than they are able to give cash. But it could simply be finding a way to ask the donor in line with their values.

So make the calls, or even better get out from behind your desk and make the visits. Your mission deserves funding. And there is more than enough out there to fund it. You just need to unearth those resources!

Have a great week,


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About Marc A. Pitman

Marc A. Pitman is the CEO of The Concord Leadership Group, the author of Ask Without Fear! and director of The Nonprofit Academy. A coach to leaders around the world, Marc's expertise and enthusiasm engages audiences and has caught the attention of media organizations as diverse as Al Jazeera and Fox News. Marc’s experience also includes pastoring a Vineyard church, managing a gubernatorial campaign, and teaching internet marketing and fundraising at colleges and universities. He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing 80’s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family! You can connect with him on Google+, on Twitter @marcapitman, and like "Ask Without Fear!" on Facebook.
To get his free ebook on 21 ways to get board members engaged with fundraising, go to

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