Water dripping from spigot

Another Leaky Pipe? The Effective Fundraiser, Part 2

Another Leaky Pipe? The Effective Fundraiser, Part 2

by Bill High

I was sitting with a friend of mine, and he told me about a startling experience of his.

He’d been asked to join a board for years. He finally relented, although he wanted his term limited.

As it turned out, the first board meeting he attended, the ministry talked about how they wanted to run a multimillion-dollar campaign. They needed to raise money for a new project.

While he was in favor of the project, he also asked a most uncomfortable question:So how much will the board contribute?” 

The silence spoke volumes, so he pressed further: “When is the last gift any of you made to the organization?”

They hadn’t.

He stated simply that if the board does not lead in their giving to the ministry they serve, how can they expect anyone else to follow? Eventually the board agreed to fund at least 10% of the campaign.

I find it to be a fundamental truth: we cannot expect to be effective leaders, development leaders, or fundraisers for the organizations we serve if we are not personally giving and growing in our own generosity.

We must not see giving and generosity as merely the work we get others to do. Nor can giving and generosity be seen as simply my service on a board or staff. It must include financial investment—no matter what the amount.

Giving reflects where our heart is most aligned. And through our own giving comes the firm conviction to lean in and encourage others to be generous.

How are your leaky pipes?


[This article is the second of two “Leaky Pipes” posts. You can find the first one here.]



Photo by Luis Tosta on Unsplash

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Published November 22, 2021

Topics: Generosity | Nonprofit Development

Charitable GivingFundraisingGenerosityLeadershipNonprofit Development

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