five fallacies of fundraising with Nicole McVan and Tanya Rumble

The Small Nonprofit

20-06-2022 • 44 mins

We love busting myths in this podcast and in this episode, we are diving into more fundraising fallacies and why most of them are actually harmful for our beneficiaries, donors and relationships in our sector.

Here to share their Five Fallacies of Fundraising are Tanya Rumble and Nicole McVan. These two have been showing up on virtual stages for a while now and I’m so excited to have them on the podcast to share their framework and how it can help organizations and fundraisers.

Tanya and Nicole's Five Fallacies of Fundraising:

  1. Wealth is built by the smartest and most capable people. In fundraising, we often think of white donors pictured with a racialized person or community member who's benefited from the funds that they donated. As fundraisers, we need to acknowledge the structural advantages that allowed donors to build their wealth and debunk the myth that they gained it only based on merit because this narrative creates more harm and deepens inequity in philanthropy.
  2. The donor is always right. The donor-first-at-all-cost mentality essentially gives away all of the power and creates zero or very limited boundaries for the individual fundraiser and for the organization. If we continue to please and follow our donors it will be difficult to feel a sense of control and can have a negative impact on the direction of our program and mission.
  3. Donor centricity should trump everything else. Fundraisers should not subjugate ourselves, keep donors away from work and give away our power. Donors, by and large, don't want to be on this pedestal. Oftentimes it's the charity themselves that creates these recognition grids for donors. This fills the sector with unrealistic expectations from donors and later on drains the resources of the organization for stewardship and donor recognition.
  4. Beneficiaries are deficient and need a donor to save them. Saviorism is when we center ourselves in the story instead of our beneficiaries. As fundraisers, we need to take an asset-based lens when we talk about our communities and beneficiaries that have identities that have been structurally disadvantaged from time immemorial, and we need to be thoughtful about how we position those.
  5. Resources are scarce, and we must fight each other for funding. Charities and fundraisers are worried about losing donors because our sector is built on a scarcity mindset of there's never enough, and we're constantly having to go out there to earn the money to be able to survive. But the reality is there are tons of folks out there who think about your charity in a different way.

Favourite Quotes from Today’s Episode

Post your favourite quote on social media to share with us!

“We're not fundraising for fundraising's sake. We're fundraising to make a difference. And if we miss an opportunity to connect with the hearts and minds of our donors, to help them understand how they could change the behavior, not just give money, we're missing a massive opportunity to move our missions forward.” - Nicole M.

Resources from this Episode

Nicole McVan | LinkedIn

Tanya Hannah Rumble, CFRE, MFA-P™ | LinkedIn

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