Fundraising Myths: No 4: It’s easier for them





I’ve worked for a lot of charities. The story that I am working through international NGOs in alphabetical order is a total slur (I’ve already done W), but I have experienced quite a few causes. And without exception, from the fundraisers in each charity I have heard at some point the complaint that it is “easier for <insert name of charity> than for us”. Our charity has a much harder time raising money because of a number of obstacles that we have and they don’t.

Now perhaps I have worked for unusually unpopular causes, but I don’t think that can be true. Of course not all causes are equally popular but the idea that some charities have it really much easier than other is nonsense. There are some pretty hard charities to see out there. My first job was working for a charity helping ex-offenders (and the ex- bit tended to be more of an aspiration..) That was a tough sell. There are places in the Middle East where the Red Crescent is the only charity legally able to fundraise and the ruler encourages everyone to give to them. That’s possibly a bit easier. But most charities are somewhere in the middle, they do well with particular constituencies and not with others buy, general speaking fundraising is pretty hard.

And that’s exactly as it should be. Your asking someone to give you money for something for which they will receive no tangible benefit. Of course that’s difficult. If it was easy, why would we need fundraisers?

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