Throughout my fundraising career,
I found myself lacking the training and discipline to ensure my progress and continuing achievements as a successful fundraiser.
having earned a masters in Nonprofit Organizations (NPO),
becoming an Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Master Trainer
having been twice recognized as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE)
These were all sufficient for ensuring that I had the explicit knowledge necessary for passing a test and certainly enhanced my resume.
However, they couldn’t ensure my success at the lunch table while soliciting a major gift, and they were insufficient for demonstrating to my boss that I was making the best decisions--and making progress when I wasn’t returning to the office with a check
When I began supervising fundraisers,
I encountered a similar predicament: I lacked the methods to clearly demonstrate how fundraising really works and to evaluate their progress without becoming a tyrant.
I was frustrated with the resources available to my team – resources that prepared them only for a complicated yet fairly predictable world.
I knew I was guilty of relying on 19th- and 20th-century methods in a 21st-century reality.
In the hyper-connected world of today,
every human being on the planet is your prospective donor.
Regardless of where they happen to be, or for what reason they may choose to do so, anyone with a cell phone and checking account can contribute to your organization.
In a matter of minutes, gifts from all corners of the globe have the potential to transform your understanding of how fundraising really works in the 21st century.
While such an event may seem highly unlikely, it’s certainly possible, and the smartest organizations are well prepared for just such an event. In this moment, nothing is predictable, the decisions are beyond your control, and efficiency is no longer your primary concern.
The question you must ask yourself is how will you respond.
While the connectivity that can permit this kind of event to occur is largely a consequence of the internet, the underlying worldview is hardly limited to what technology is capable of.
We’re talking about an understanding of the world that no longer prioritizes what is efficient, certain, and within our control.
In the 21st century, our greatest opportunities are more likely to be those we cannot anticipate.
Contemplating such an event allows an organization to evaluate many of the underlying assumptions about how to most effectively fund their mission.
Ready to dig a little deeper?
Jason Lewis provides the sector with an often-needed contrarian voice.
Willing to question deeply engrained beliefs and assumptions about how effective fundraising really works.
Whether writing or speaking, Jason challenges the prevailing wisdom about effective fundraising practices, hiring decisions, and donor behavior.
In the last two decades, Jason has raised millions of dollars for a variety of non-profit organizations throughout the United States.
He has been certified and re-certified as a Certified Fundraising Executive and recognized as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Master Trainers. Jason earned his MS in Nonprofit Management at Eastern University in 2010 and in 2014 graduated from the College of Executive Coaching.