Culture of Philanthropy
“Philanthropy” is an extensive concept; while it is often most acutely expressed by your development officers and fundraisers, its core focus is to cultivate an awareness and appreciation for the overall mission work. In a connected office, your fundraisers and leadership team can help deliver a constituent-driven experience by educating fellow staff members on the importance of understanding how philanthropy impacts an organization’s ability to achieve its mission. To develop this mindset, you must collaborate with all parts of the organization, from programs and leadership to marketing, IT, and more.
Building a Culture of Philanthropy
Here are several initiatives you can use to elevate your organization’s culture of philanthropy:
- Ensure that your leadership team understands the differences between philanthropy, development, and fundraising. While philanthropy is the motivating action, development is the strategic program, and fundraising is the action. Support this interwoven ecosystem.
- Acknowledge that a fundraiser’s primary role is never fundraising. Rather, it is to foster the relationships needed to help your organization thrive.
- Involve your development professionals in strategic planning. They are your frontline representatives that can directly speak to your ability to fundraise to fulfill your mission.
- Educate your staff that fundraising only begins with the development office. It’s every staff member’s job to be an ambassador, connector, solicitor, and steward of your mission.
- Last but not least, celebrate your donors! A true culture of philanthropy acknowledges the critical role that donors play as stakeholders in your mission.