How to Build a Nonprofit Culture of Fundraising and Philanthropy. Nonprofit MBA Podcast 2.13
Summary: In today’s podcast, Stephen Halasnik and Laurie Herrick discuss key factors that impact building a nonprofit culture of philanthropy. Major points discussed include taking a deeper look within your organization, reevaluating your staff and values, and being able to take the next steps to improve your organization. Changing an organization or company’s culture is not going to happen overnight, and really takes effort from all different angles of staff members, executives, and being able to come together in effective collaboration of shared efforts. Once you are able to target your strengths and areas that need improvement, your organization will be able to move forward and be the most effective and have better fundraising efforts.
Building a Strong Culture of Philanthropy
What is culture to a non-profit or business? Culture is your personality from the inside. The higher-ups are usually the ones who define what the company or non-profit’s culture is going to look like. Culture really starts from the top and has a trickle-down effect. The entire organization typically is a reflection of what the executive directors make it out to be. For example, whatever service you provide, it is likely that your executive director and board members will all have a shared skill-set within the business or organization. This collaboration of shared ideas and like-minded thinking can really lead to a wonderful merging of ideas.
It is common and crucial for an organization’s development staff to see the vision that their executives have in place and wish to maintain so they can correctly carry out duties and maintain culture.
Making Effective Organizational Culture Change
Laurie Herrick looks at making effective change through a few key different areas. If you want to make effective culture change, you need to affect the behaviors, structures, and mindset within the organization. Lots of fundraising training programs tend to focus on behavior and structure. However, if you want to hire staff members to really believe in their hearts in the goals of the organization, change must be made of their mindset. For example, if your nonprofit is big on fundraising, but your development professionals are not teaching your staff to change their mindset to fundraise the most effectively, you are going to run into a big issue.
Your program’s staff (whether it’s outreach, solicitation, crowdfunding, raising money, direct mail etc), all members must be on the same page with their beliefs and mindset. Having a scarcity mindset is not going to cut it, and will lead to poor retention, relationship building, and poor philanthropic culture. Board members for example that are afraid or doubtful in their fundraising success, will in the end have an effect on the organization’s culture as a whole. Without being able to fundraise with success, your organization is likely to remain small and not grow much. Without being able to fundraise effectively will, unfortunately, lead to a quick downfall if that is your main way of keeping your organization alive.
How do we avoid falling into a scarcity mindset, or even get out of one? It all starts at the top. It can start from factors such as having effective leadership and nonprofit board meetings, all the way down to having accurate and descriptive job descriptions for the positions.
If you can avoid attracting the wrong types of people from the beginning, this will benefit you greatly in the end. Sometimes within the nonprofit sector the finding the right people can be overlooked, but it really crucial to take your time when finding your program staff. Taking the time to find the right people goes beyond fundraising, it really shapes who and what your organizations and business are.
Consider checking out Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund at Haasjr.org that addresses chronic fundraising challenges, and the factors impacting underdeveloped nonprofits.
Training for Culture Change
Being able to make an impact on the culture change is not going to be short-term, and is done over a longer period of time. This can sometimes mean hiring and bringing in someone with an outside or third-party perspective to better enhance your organization. Even taking the time as an executive director to attend webinars or any program via social media or community events will pay dividends in the end. Not only will this enhance your company’s culture, but it will greatly affect your stakeholders, and in turn produce more money.
The first thing to do is take a deeper look at the current state of your organization and redefine your organization’s culture and what you want it to look like. Part of doing so may be redefining specific roles, stewardship, changing structure, behavior, or mindset.
Laurie has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over twenty years. She has served in numerous professional and volunteer roles including development director, grassroots fundraiser, executive director, board member, and board chair for a variety of not for profit organizations throughout her career. Laurie currently provides consulting in fundraising, community organizing, board development, executive coaching and strategic planning. She feels that fundraising and building a Culture of Philanthropy is sacred transformative work. Not only is it meaningful, but it can alter the trajectory of an organization.
Laurie started Rainmaker Consulting in 2003 because she saw that many organizations were lacking buy in for fund development. They didn’t think that they could raise enough money, that they didn’t “know anyone with money”, that their board was disengaged, and many of their top executives were not embracing fund development. There was a substantial gap between nonprofit organizations needed and what they were achieving to fulfill their missions. What was lacking was a Culture of Philanthropy.
In the last 10 years, Herrick has focused her work on helping organizational leaders build a comprehensive, agency wide, Culture of Philanthropy. Each of these teams of leaders together created implementation plans and built strategies to make positive culture change stick. The lessons and best practices gained through her consulting and teaching has led to her upcoming book, Choose Abundance: An Organizational Guide to Build a Culture of Philanthropy.
I would like to thank so very much Laurie Herrick from Rainmaker Consulting. If you like today’s podcast, please feel free to share it with a friend and also subscribe on your favorite podcasting app. If you liked today’s podcast please give us a review on your podcasting app to help us get the word out, and of course, if you are looking for a Line of Credit for your nonprofit, you can call us at 862-207-4118 or visit our website at nonprofitmbapodcast.com. You can also find Laurie at https://rainmkr.com/.
Thank you all for making the world a better place
About the Guest Laurie Herrick, Rainmaker Consulting
Laurie has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over twenty years serving in numerous professional and volunteer roles. She feels that fundraising and building a Culture of Philanthropy is sacred transformative work. Not only is it meaningful, but it can alter the trajectory of an organization.
Laurie started Rainmaker Consulting in 2003 because she saw that many organizations were lacking buy in for fund development. The lessons and best practices gained through her consulting and teaching has led to her upcoming book, Choose Abundance: An Organizational Guide to Build a Culture of Philanthropy.
Laurie, welcome to today’s Nonprofit MBA Podcast.
About The Host Stephen Halasnik, Financing Solutions
Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular, The Entrepreneur MBA Podcast. The Entrepreneur MBA podcast’s purpose is to help small businesses get over the $10 million per year in revenue mark. Mr. Halasnik is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions. Financing Solutions is a leading provider of Lines of Credit to small businesses and nonprofits
Mr. Halasnik is a graduate of Rutgers University and has an Executive Masters from the MIT Birthing of Giants Entrepreneurship program.Mr. Halasnik has started and built 6 companies over 25+ years with 2 of those businesses making the Inc 500/5000 fastest growing list. Mr. Halasnik is a best selling Amazon author on business and regularly tweets about his ideas about growing a business. You can also find Mr. Halasnik on youtube talking about Entrepreneurship.
Mr. Halasnik loves small business. He lives in New Jersey with his best friend, his wife Gina. Mr. Halasnik’s number one purpose is raising his two boys, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men.
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