The Power of Relational Connection
You don’t need us to tell you that when it comes to fundraising, the status quo isn’t working. It’s not working for you, and it’s not working for your donors. You know from experience that all too often, standard fundraising techniques amount to nothing more than a bunch of nameless, faceless transactions. Before long, the relationship between donor and nonprofit becomes downright adversarial.
The status quo is dysfunctional and unsustainable because it robs us of the power of connection. After all, as Jennifer McCrea and Jeffrey C. Walker remind us in their book The Generosity Network, fundraising doesn’t need to be a dirty word. Rather, they suggest, fund-raising is “a beautiful practice characterized at its best by compassion, joy, commitment, and partnership.”
We believe that donor fundraising software has a crucial role to play in fostering these virtues. After all, software has the ability to affect organizational culture and processes, for better or worse. When donor software doesn’t allow for strong, personalized human connections, organizations are left with transactional thinking — and diminishing generosity results.
One of our favorite passages in The Generosity Network says:
“Practically all the existing books are strictly transactional in their orientation. They treat fund-raising as a branch of salesmanship. The goal: to close the deal… and get a check from the donor…
True generosity is rooted in relatedness…And the greatest gift we bring to our partners is not just the chance to support important work, but rather the opportunity to join and build a community of people who are… applying their gifts to meet specific challenges. So resources will tend to flow naturally toward you when you focus on the most important aspect of the fund-raising process: creating human connections.”
When nonprofits focus primarily on landing the next donation, they miss out on something even better. They miss out on the opportunity to sweep people up into a contagious movement of generosity — which is only possible through the power of human connection.