Harnessing the Power of People

For a sector labeled non-profit, it seems like a lot of our responsibilities center around making one. Donor identification, donor acquisition, donor cultivation, donor solicitation, donor stewardship… Entire careers have been created in the nonprofit sector around getting donors to give money. In fact, it seems that the word donor has become synonymous with the word dollars.

But why?

When did fiscal capital come to far outweigh the social capital of someone passionate about the cause?

I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that organizations and programs can’t be run off of good intentions and concern…at least, that used to be true.

Organizations need money to thrive, and that usually takes the support of specific individuals with the financial capability to make substantial gifts. While good intentions are appreciated, a $1-5 donation simply wouldn’t support an organization. At least they couldn’t if those good intentions were never shared.

Here’s my contention. In a world where connection is achievable across socio-economic boundaries, that small donor with the good intentions is more important than a one-time multi-million dollar giver. Why? Because if (or rather, when) they share their genuine passion, it has the capability to reach thousands, or millions of others who can become equally engaged in the cause.

If what we are really hoping to create is a better world where there is less poverty, illness, environmental decay or cruelty, then what we need is a culture where those things are simply not tolerable. A culture where we all do our small part to ensure it doesn’t exist anymore. And if everyone did their part, a small gift would be enough.

Not only do regular people have the power to collectively generate a multi-million dollar gift, they have the ability to generate a cultural shift. And if we’re hoping to make lasting difference, that’s exactly what we need.

How is your organization creating opportunities to harness the power of people? And yes, especially the passionate ones who may or may not be giving the buko bucks. We want to hear your story. Share it with us by reaching out to PiPAdvisor@profinphil.com.

Apr, 06, 2016