Fundraising lessons from the Princess BrideI love William Goldman’s classic The Princess Bride, and the movie of the same name. And as a dad, I’m proud that my kids can quote portions. (Not as much as me, but I’ve seen the movie a few dozen more times.)

But did you know there are nonprofit lessons embedded in the story? Here are three I’ve identified:

  1. Praise everyone–even those you’re fighting against

    Remember when Westley, as the man in black aka the Dread Pirate Roberts, dueled with Inigo Montoya? They covered lots of ground and Westley praised Inigo’s technique. Even as he knocked him unconscious, he compared Inigo to a stain glass window.

    As nonprofits, we are so often focused on what we’re doing to “fight the good fight” that we don’t talk up the work of others. And, if we’re honest, we sometimes fear that talking about other organizations might cause us to lose donors. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As we talk up the great things others are doing, we position ourselves as trusted authority in our cause space. That leads to more people to seek us out!

  2. Have the guts to stick with a message

    “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya…”

    Ha! I heard you finish that sentence! 🙂

    Inigo spent two decades repeating that phrase, seeking the man that killed his father. He’d even given up hope. But in the end, he found the man with the six fingers.

    For those of us in nonprofits, we repeat the same messaging and phrases over and over. And we get tired of them. But we get tired of them long before our donors and others do. To help get our message out, we have to repeat, repeat, repeat.

    We may find ourselves saying them in our sleep. But we need to keep sticking to it!

  3. Don’t give up

    After Westley was taken from her in the fire swamp, Buttercup knew “her Westley” would come for her. And eventually he did.

    For those of us championing causes, we need to have that dogged faith in the hope we’re striving for.

Some light blogging for a Friday! What would you add to this? Tell us in the comments!

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