3 Modern Myths Holding Your Fundraising Back


Stop Focusing on the 9%

Nonprofits, churches, and higher education organizations often fall into the trap of going for quick cash gifts instead of tapping into the abundance of asset-based fundraising. See if one or more of these three modern myths are holding you back from your full fundraising potential.  Every season has unique giving opportunities – from the ringing of holiday bells outside a store to the cookies or popcorn sold door to door.  Giving opportunities are everywhere.

But they all focus on the same thing – the money in your wallet or checking account.

Many organizations excel at creating an emotional tug to spur a moment where you reach for your wallet. But here’s the thing…

I have done the math and it’s eye-opening.

The sum of all those moments = 9% of the individual’s giving potential.

How did I get 9%?  Let’s look at the types of things that make up one’s net worth.

Fluid cash sources like saving accounts, money under a mattress, etc., are easily accessed funds that people can use to purchase items.

Assets are tangible objects that would need to be sold to purchase something else like stocks, real estate, and businesses.

Most Americans have about 91% of their net worth in assets. That leaves 9% for liquid assets, such as savings and cash on hand.

While it will always make sense to have a robust, cash-driven church fundraising strategy, just imagine how much more you could accomplish by developing an asset-based approach as well!

Here are three myths that hold people back from the 91% of donor gifts available through asset-based funding strategy.

Myth #1: Asset-based fundraising isn’t worth the effort.

I’m not going to lie to you. Asset-based fundraising is more work for gifts that won’t come for a while (if ever).

However, the long-term gains far outweigh the effort.

Assets are an untapped resource that most ignore when it comes to giving. By offering ways for people to give out of the 91%, you can help your already generous donors be even more generous while also saving on taxes.

And the gifts you receive will also often be exponentially larger than your largest cash gifts.

Myth #2: Asset-based fundraising is manipulative.

Your donors spend a lifetime building their asset portfolios. This represents a manifestation of their long-term efforts, goals, family values, and dreams to make a lasting impact.

For many of us, it seems greedy and calloused to ask someone to give you a significant part of the wealth they spent a life building for their family — but this couldn’t be further from the truth!

By educating them on what’s possible in terms of asset-based stewardship, you expand their horizons, exposing ways for them to make a lasting impact with the wealth they have created, while also reducing tax burdens they weren’t aware of.

In short, you serve your most passionate supporters in a whole new way when you engage in asset-based fundraising.

Myth #3: High capacity donors already have accountants and lawyers that help them with these things.

It is true that these donors often have great legal and financial assistance.  However, the primary focus of these professionals is preserving resources NOT helping their clients give assets away to impact great causes.

In fact, it’s the opposite.  Most lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors consider it their job to advise clients to keep as many assets as they can.

As a result, the conversation about asset-based generosity rarely comes up, if ever.  

Of course, this opens the door for your organization to serve your donors in a whole new way by educating donors on the benefits, methods, and joy of giving their assets to the causes they care deeply about.

This issue of asset-based giving is such an important topic that we will be talking about in much more detail on future posts.

When we work with a person who has a deep passion for a mission or cause and help them create a larger gift than they realized was possible, it is a beautiful experience.

In working with individuals and organizations for many years, I’ve never heard someone say, “I wish I had been less generous.”  What I have heard many times though is, “I had no idea that I could give out of my assets to the missions and causes that I love.”

It’s time that we start having a new conversation about giving — one that releases people’s ability to make an impact. So, let’s stop focusing on the 9% and tap into the 91% of the untapped assets.

Is your ministry ready to help people go beyond the 9%? Schedule your free 30-minute discovery call to see how!