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Nine basic truths of fund-raising

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Nine basic truths of fund-raising


The nine basic truths of fund-raising listed below are taken from the introduction to my book It’s a Great Day to Fund-Raise, and they are the foundation of my successful career as a development officer for and consultant to nonprofit organizations.

  1. Organizations are not entitled to support; they must earn it.
  2. Successful fund-raising is not magic; it is simply hard work on the part of people who are thoroughly prepared.
  3. Fund-raising is not raising money; it is raising friends.
  4. You do not raise money by begging for it; you raise it by selling people on your organization.
  5. People do not just reach for their checkbooks and give money to an organization; they have to be asked to give.
  6. You do not wait for the “right” moment to ask; you ask now.
  7. Successful fund-raising officers do not ask for money; they get others to ask for it.
  8. You don’t decide today to raise money and then ask for it tomorrow; it takes time, patience, and planning to raise money.
  9. Prospects and donors are not cash crops waiting to be harvested; treat them as you would customers in a business.

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Tony is the founder of For 20 years Tony was director of development for The Cleveland Orchestra. As such he was responsible for Cleveland’s largest annual institutional fund-raising campaign. Since 1993, Tony has been a fund-raising consultants. Tony’s experiences have won him a wide audience. He is the author of the widely used and praised book It’s a Great Day to Fund Raise, a step-by-step guide to help volunteers and professionals be as successful as possible as they carry out their fund-raising responsibilities.


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