I had the privilege of hearing a passionate Executive Director speak last night.

He talked about how his organization has realized that they can’t just keep doing the same old work  any longer – they must work to eliminate the problem before it occurs.

He spoke about how they are doing that and the lives that are being changed because of it.  I found myself very quickly and easily being pulled into the importance of their work.

Passion is a cornerstone of successful fundraising. 

It’s what differentiates the successful nonprofits from those mediocre groups that barely creep along.  Passion brings with it vision and purpose.  And it engages donors and prospects in your organization’s mission.

Without passion, fundraising is boring to both you and your donor.

If you’re not passionate about the work you are doing to help fulfill your organization’s mission, I suggest you do a gut-check.  Is it time to move on?  Or is it time to step up and bring your ‘A’ game to your work?

I suggest you go spend some time on the front lines of your nonprofit so you can reconnect with the reasons why you care.


  1. Sandy, You are so right on.
    In particular, you make me think about all of those board (bored) members who have such difficulty being advocates for the organizations on whose board they serve. Or who refuse to make a gift because “I’m giving my time.” What they usually lack is PASSION for the organization and the cause.

    Thankfully, your own passion can transform many hearts.

  2. Oh, I’m getting fired up just writing about this. 🙂 Great topic Sandy!
    Here’s a way my partner Steve talks about this when we are out speaking — he says, “if you don’t have the guts to ask for money, if you don’t believe in fundraising, then you are in the wrong business and you should get out. It’s that simple. Passion tells the story that compels the ask. And the ask is about changing lives.”

  3. Love this post!

    Passion is similar to enthusiasm, and I’ve told many an auction procurement committee about my early days in sales. I didn’t know much about the concrete industry yet, but I was mighty enthusiastic. My enthusiasm got me into doors and carried me during those early months when I was still trying to figure out the ins-and-outs of my product and the industry. Passion sells.

  4. Sandy,
    I was just talking about this topic to a group I presented to on raising major gifts. If you don’t have the passion for what you’re doing, it shows up in everything you do. Get your passion “on” or get out of the game. It just won’t work. Thanks for your always great advice!

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