What’s The Deal With ‘Competition’? (Guest Post by Cindy Wagman)


When I start to talk to volunteer fundraisers (boards, trustees, committee members), one of the biggest things I hear is that “there’s so much competition for donor dollars and ours is a small charity. We can’t compete.”

One of the biggest barriers volunteer fundraisers face is this idea of scarcity or competition. After all, how many of you, when asking a friend to support your cause, has gotten the response – “we already give to another organization”.

Yeah – it’s easy to feel like everyone out there has already committed to their charities of choice and there’s no money left for you.

Here’s the thing. Not everyone out there will be your donor. Your job, is to find the right match.

How? Take money off the table for a minute.

Your job, your real job as a fundraiser, is to identify the people who are inclined to care about your organization. Then, cement the connection by building a relationship. Once you’re there, you become their charity of choice. Voila, no more competition.

Every donor I’ve had, giving at any amount, always gives to more than one charity. And gives to the charities that they are most passionate about and most connected to. Don’t focus on the money, focus on the connection.

You’re going to be asking fewer people for donations, but you’re going to be asking the right people.

And by right, I mean the ones who are committed to your work, whatever the amount of their contribution.

If you really want to ask 5 or 10 people or companies for a donation and get, mmm, maybe one or two, go for it. But, give my way a try.

Find your tribe. Focus in on building those relationships that are the most meaningful to you and to your prospective donors. And then inspire that tribe so that they are compelled to help, because they just love what you do.

It will take less time, fewer resources and will be more fun for you and your donors.


Cindy Wagman is a fundraising coach and consultant who is on a mission to teach charities to love fundraising. Join her for a free webinar “raise money for your charity without asking (and without spending another dime)” on November 15 at 7pm EST. Visit http://www.whatthefundraising.com/webinar

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