Fundraiser & Steward

April 18, 2019 at 10:02 am Leave a comment

I love my job. So it isn’t really a job. This week, we accepted gifts and pledges from donors making four and five figure gifts, We gave scholarships to outstanding students (aren’t they all?). We are preparing for a special committee meeting that will award up to $10,000 to faculty and staff for new ideas that will advance our commitment to Students First – projects that focus on empowering students to graduate, transfer and prosper. We are honing our message around how scholarships can and will provide debt-free education – truly putting our students on a pathway to prosperity.

And then there are donor meetings where you just have to say, “ We can find another way.” I had that meeting this week too. Donors always have good intentions. Fundraisers need to be good stewards of their intentions and philanthropy.

In this case, I could not guarantee their scholarship would go to a student who would excel in their field or be used in the way they intended. We also can’t allow a donor to select a scholarship recipient. Once we got there, we spent the next 90 minutes finding a way it could.

I had the right people in the room. A faculty member who knew the community well. Two dedicated donors who work hard at work and fundraising in their free time. There are other organizations and programs who work with students and can better identify those who will excel in this career before they enter college. Those students need mentors and financial support before college and these donors are the ones to give it to them.

The faculty member and donors left my office feeling good. They had a plan and pathway to make their good intentions reality. They appreciated my honesty and commitment to being a good steward of their fundraising efforts. We will stay in touch and know where to find each other.

As fundraisers and stewards, we sometimes we have to say, “Not this time, in this way.” I find it comes back at the right time, from the right person in for the right reason. How about you?

Entry filed under: Fundraising, Nonprofit fundraising. Tags: , , , , .

What is a Fundraising SME? A Year Later – September 26

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