Does the thought of “asking people for money” make you cringe? Does calling on donors make you want to run out the door screaming? You are not alone!

I’d bet to say most people in animal rescue did not get into it to ask people for money. However, it is an essential part of making a difference for so many lives. So, what’s a person to do? We’ve got an answer, but we’re going to ask you to shift your mind from doing fundraising to building a culture of PHILANTHROPY. Ready to do that? Keep reading!

First, let’s define fundraising and philanthropy. Good ole’ Webster defines fundraising as “the organized activity of raising funds”. It defines philanthropy as “goodwill to fellow members of the human race especially to promote human welfare” and “an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes”. See a difference there? A fundraising team is out there collecting funds. A philanthropy team is out there engaging and educating the community to inspire them to help your organization accomplish its mission.

Here are a few tips to help your organization move toward a more philanthropic mindset in order to save more lives:

  1. Involve the ENTIRE organization. – You will need to get your whole organization to be on board with moving toward a more philanthropic mindset. The following tips will apply to everyone from the philanthropic team and board members, to your adoption coordinators and volunteers.
  2. Delete the words “fundraising” and “asking for money” from your organization. – These words can immediately scare and put people off to why you are reaching out.
  3. Use language that makes people feel like they can help a cause they CARE about. – Ask people to “invest in your mission”, ask them to “support your work”.
  4. Make sure potential investors understand ALL of the work your organization does. – Most everyone knows that animal rescues or animal shelters help rescue animals. Many do not know about all of the other work you do. Do you have a foster program, do you provide support to families so they can keep their pets, do you have a public outreach program? Advertise this, and talk with people about this work!
  5. Create a culture of philanthropy. – This final tip will take time to implement, as culture cannot be changed overnight. You will need to invest in your organization’s team members in order to help build this culture.  Have your philanthropic team meet with every single team within your organization so they can help educate and inspire them to engage the people they work with every day to become interested and invested in the case.

With these tips in mind, go! Go create a movement in your organization to become philanthropists all working toward a greater cause!

Together we can all help save more lives!