A fundraising checklist: Are you as passionate as a fundraiser can be?

Published by Patrice Simonnet on

Great accomplishments are about Passion

This post is about Passion (with a capital “P”)…and about my good friend Luca Gaggianese that is missing in the French Alp since several weeks now. I always considered Luca a great fundraiser and a skilled alpinist. Two passions but only one approach: always fully committed. That is how I will always remember Luca. A passionate person.

Based on a quote from Hebbel, a German poet “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion” , let me propose to you this new checklist:

BE PROUD  – any NGO stickers on your car? No pins on your jacket? No logo on your facebook page?  Hum, why is that?  Brand yourself and be proud!

DON’T BE SHY  –  when asked about your job. Do you give a confused answer cause you feel shy about making the world a better place? Or worst, a looong explanation (something like  15 minutes) to explain your organization’s mission? Quick, get in front of a mirror and train yourself  to  answer: in an appealing way, using not more than three sentences and showing the positive impact of your organization. It can be as simple as using a catchy figure that even your grandmother would understand.

BE A DONOR – if you don’t contribute regularly to a cause -and to your NGO-  it is harder to ask people to do it. Right?  Remember to do it from your own money and not just from your benchmarking budget. No passion in being opportunist!

EXPERIENCE YOUR CAUSE – “Been there, done that”. You know everything about your organization. Really? Ever tried, at least once, for a full day, to answer the phone, to be a street face-to-face fundraiser, to ask for a legacy. You will meet so much amazing people during a field trip or while volunteering during week-ends, that you will definitely want to share it.

RECRUIT MEMBERS – share! Not only by writing the body copy of your next  member-get-member mailing. But also by setting your own target in recruiting other donors. You don’t need to look too far…try to convince people that care for you. Endorse your cause. No one that trusts you would doubt about your passion, would they?

BE A PERFECTIONIST  – challenge any person or email saying “this is not possible” or “we’ve already tried”. Never stop looking for new ways, new approaches, new providers, new formats, new technologies…No pain, no gain!

GET BETTER – fundraising case-studies are wonderful, but don’t exclude benchmarking with for-profit industries. Get back to marketing classes, buy management books, consistently get updates about web and mobile platforms. Do not only buy “smart phone”, “smart tvs”…become smarter. Yes you should!

MAKE A LEGACY –probably you have assisted to a Legacy fundraising training in the past. Do you remember that you did not raise your hand when asked who in the room has written a proper will?! Read your legacy brochure one more time, take a pen and make a decision. You’ll feel better and for sure you will transmit your commitment next time you will say to be ready for the Mayan Apocalypse.

MATCH YOUR PASSIONS – when I met my friend Luca some years ago at the Italian Fundraising Festival, he explained me that he was working to fundraise for scientific and technological research in mountain areas. Not usual compared to fields like international cooperation or environment preservation, I looked at him with curiosity. Now that Luca is missing after climbing a 3.900 meter mountain in the “Ecrins Massif” with two friends, I can truly say that what I saw that day in Luca’s eye is that he was alive. I can still see it now.

Rest In…Passion, Luca.

Luca Gaggianese was a great fundraiser and a skilled alpinist. He lived with Passion.


Patrice Simonnet

Patrice is a French fundraiser lost and happy in Italy since 11 years... There, everyday, he discovers what cross-cultural means! After experiences as DM officer for Unicef and Head of Fundraising for ActionAid Italy, he is currently Head of Fundraising of a foundation taking care of Italian cultural and environmental heritage (FAI-Fondo Ambiente Italiano). There he manages a team of 30 dedicated and passionate staff. In a past life, he lived in Africa and South America, graduated both in "international business studies" and "development studies".


Paul Nazareth · December 13, 2012 at 15:45

The professionalism of fundraising is often an excuse to wear more business attire and lose a little of that grassroots passion indeed Patrice!

Mike Johnston, President of HJC New Media actually has fundraising formula tattoos!

Paul Alofs, CEO of Canada’s Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation actually wrote a book called “Passion Capital” how to harness this powerful asset ( which I personally feel is, like this post, a call to arms for fundraisers” – link: http://bit.ly/PassionCapitalist

May Luca rest in peace and may his passion inspire more peers through your post.

Una Fundraising Checklist nel nome di Luca « NONPROFIT BLOG di Elena Zanella · December 14, 2012 at 20:17

[…] letto queste righe nel blog originale che le ospita. Ho provato una profonda emozione. Parola dopo parola. Gli ho […]

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