January 3, 2015 Doug Shaw

Believe it or not the hardest part of providing fundraising counsel to nonprofits is NOT raising sufficient income! It’s not coming up with strategies that work or even motivating content for their donors or prospective donors.

The most difficult task of the fundraising consultant is helping nonprofit leaders to realize that leadership is, “a condition of indebtedness” (see Leadership is an Art (DePree, 1990, p. 68)). Indebtedness assumes humility, a great sense of ownership and the wisdom for a leader to know what s/he knows and what s/he doesn’t know.

Most leaders of nonprofits do not know the art and science of fundraising. A wise leader will acknowledge this and identify the best counsel available and then free them up to accomplish what needs to be done according the mission, vision and values of the organization. This may well mean running ahead of the development staff and consultant to remove corporate and cultural roadblocks so they can accomplish their tasks of providing financial resources for to fund the organizations’ mission.

If a leader will take this critical step of the indebtedness of leadership, the joy of watching a highly motivated and successful development staff will be worth the effort, and the mission will advance.


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