The Secret to Raising More Money

We, in the nonprofit world, are always seeking ways to increase meaningful philanthropy to our cause. What if I told you the magical secret your organization can start doing today to raise more money this fiscal year? And it won't cost you a thing.

Professors Francesca Gino and Adam Grant of Harvard Business School and the Wharton School, respectively, ran an experiment several years ago where they divided annual fundraisers into two groups: the “thanked” and the “unthanked.” (See full article "Be Grateful More Often", Harvard Business Review, November 2013.) For the “thanked”, the director personally and specifically recognized the fundraisers for their efforts and contributions on behalf of the University. For the “unthanked”, the director recognized the fundraisers' activity level, but not their efforts.

After only a week, the fundraisers in the thanked group increased their outreach metrics by 50% -- all because the director thanked her staff. Recognition and gratitude strengthen feelings of self-worth, motivation and reinforce the "why" we do this. Bonus side effect: when the leader thanks her staff, she is practicing gratitude, which has a whole host of direct physical and physiological benefits for her too.

#gratitude belongs in fundraising and leadership. Who will you thank today? Have fun raising money!