A non-profit client recently received a $1.0 million gift from a foundation. The gift came after almost two years of consistent nurturing of the relationship and persistent solicitation. Forms were filled out, data supplied, meetings conducted, emails sent. At times my clients despaired of ever receiving a gift. They thought the Foundation liked them, but the more time passed, the more they wondered. Was all their effort going to be for naught?
The day the gift was announced, the CEO hurried to the Foundation office with a thank you gift. (My mother would call this a "little happy.") The director of the Foundation and the one probably most responsible for the donation, said, "Your organization labors in the trenches and sometimes you might wonder if anyone notices. We did."
When it comes to fundraising, this non-profit does multiple things right. They thank their donors well, they have talented and stable leadership, they work the fundraising process the way it is supposed to be worked, and they communicate effectively with their donors.
But this large gift ultimately came because this organization is doing life changing, important work in the community.
Yes, they are good at asking for money. But more importantly, they do good.
When it comes to fundraising, nothing trumps mission. Nothing.