Where giving begins: the soul

publication date: Nov 22, 2011
Long-time fundraiser Fraser Green of Good Works has written a new book called 3D Philanthropy:  Make Your Donors Love You by Connecting with Their Minds, Hearts and Souls. This is the third in a series of interviews between Fraser  and Leanne Hitchcock of Civil Sector Press about why he wrote the book, and specifically about the "soul" component.Fraser Green photo

Leanne: How does the soul, the third component of 3D philanthropy, fit into the mix?

Fraser: The soul is the elephant in the room that nobody talks about much.

It's the least addressed of the three dimensions - yet in many ways, it's the most important of the three because it's so central to who we really are. The characteristics that make us soulful are the characteristics that drive philanthropy.

To me, philanthropy is by definition the soulful expression of the human self. Philanthropy is one of the deepest ways human beings reach out and connect with one another. And all of my research and all of my personal belief points me to the idea that at the end of the day in the human existence, nothing is more important than the relationships we've had with one another in our lifetime.

Our donors have always practiced philanthropy from a very spiritual place. For example, 86% of donors we've surveyed tell us that their giving is an extension of their spiritual beliefs! Donors are clear about their spirituality - and we seem to be afraid to go there.

The courage to approach spirituality

Fundraisers have somehow lost sight of that. What I'm trying to do with the book is to try to bring the fundraiser much closer to where the donor lives and breathes. When you look at the sessions at a CAGP conference, there are lots of sessions on taxation, etc., but how many are about spirituality? The vast majority of donors are more interested in expressing the true meaning of their life than in tax avoidance. Of course those areas are important, but not most important to the donor.

What this book is trying to do is to get fundraisers more in tune with the donors, and ultimately I believe we will raise more money. The economics of it all are simple. Loyal donors are the economic engine of any charity's database. We build loyalty in our donors by establishing deep human relationships with them. And, those relationships are built in the heart and the soul more than in the prefrontal cortex!

There is a shift towards spirituality now more than ever. Maybe it's time to bring this type of thinking into the work that we do. Plus - at the end of the day - it's a lot more enjoyable and meaningful for us!

Leanne: What's your ambition for the book?

Fraser: My greatest hope is that fundraisers will read 3D Philanthropy and have more hope for the future. I also hope it will help them understand themselves and life better.

PRE-PUBLICATION SPECIAL OFFER  Order your copy of 3D Philanthropy now and save!  ($22/copy, regularly priced at $30).  To receive your deeply discounted price for pre-publication orders of 3D Philanthropy, click here 

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