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Cause Centered vs. Brand Centered Fundraising | The Winn Group

Cause centered vs brand centered fundraising

We’ll be spending some time this month blogging about a topic that, really, every nonprofit needs to be proficient in.  Fundraising.  After all, nonprofits generally exist on donations, right?  So, if you want to be able to expand your operations, it is necessary to be pretty good at securing financing.

We’ll take the next couple of weeks and talk about fundraising.  But today, we want to take a few minutes and talk about what types of things people give money towards and how you can capitalize on the motivations that compel donors to give.

Cause centered vs. brand centered fundraising

What do these terms mean – “cause centered” and “brand centered”.  It’s simple really.

Brand centered fundraising is when you seek out donors who give simply because your organization exists – simply for who you are.  It’s raising funds on the merits of your nonprofit rather than for the good work your nonprofit is doing.
Cause centered fundraising is just the opposite.  When you raise funds for a cause – for something you are doing – rather than soliciting donations just because you exist, you are engaging in cause centered fund raising.

Here’s an example.  If you run an inner city youth mentoring program and you want to engage in a fundraising campaign, you would want to run a “school supply drive” or a “buy a bus campaign” as opposed to running a campaign that says, “XYZ Mentoring needs money, please give.”

The takeaway:  People give to causes NOT to organizations

Most people are ready to open their wallets to buy mosquito nets for Zambia or drill wells in Haiti.  Most people are not ready to spend their money on your organization so you can cover your rent and payroll.  That’s much less exciting and motivating.

So, take a note and consider your next fundraising campaign through this lens.  Run your campaign to provide for something tangible – for a cause and you’ll find that your efforts will be much more effective.

The next blog on this topic will be about embracing “Legacy” giving.  What does that mean?  We’ll give you a hint – you’ve heard that “you can’t take it with you,” right?  We’ll talk about this often overlooked funding avenue and help you harness the opportunity.

P.S.  Are you signed up to our newsletter yet?  If not, you should be (the sign up form is on the right).  It is a really good resource – right to your inbox.  We would also invite you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for blog updates, nonprofit marketing tips and information on the great causes our clients are fighting for around the world.

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