Doing Good Together

Tip for Charity Fundraising Success: Have a Purpose

Every nonprofit organization needs to find a way to raise enough money to support its goals. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to predict how your fundraising activities will turn out. (At eBay Giving Works, we know that auctions can be particularly unpredictable.) More often than not, what differentiates successful fundraising for charity is not the event or the items up for auction, but the sense of purpose that it sets.

The importance of purpose

Like with any successful company, your nonprofit’s purpose should be ingrained in its DNA. Regardless of your mission or size, it’s important for you to have a set core of beliefs, values, and perspectives that define how your members go about their duties.

A very informative article by business developer Christopher Sell tells the story of how big a difference having a purpose makes:

I recently had the opportunity to tour a brand new manufacturing facility in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. My tour guide was the director of operations, who had been hired by the company through one of our military hiring conferences. He beamed with pride as he described all the new product lines and initiatives that were in the works. The director had been promoted twice since he was hired on by the company because of the immediate change he was making within the organization – a growth in profit of 200%, in fact. He explained that it didn’t take anything drastic to spark the growth, but simply that the team he inherited had been beaten down and unmotivated because of previous poor leadership. He was able to unite the team through common purpose, and by allowing them to participate in the problem solving process.

The role of purpose

Why does purpose even matter? Isn’t it enough that your members complete their tasks? In reality, purpose is the foundation upon which your organization should be built. It determines your group’s collective understanding of your nonprofit and its goals. It can also impact donor satisfaction and establish your organization’s overall effectiveness and success. Above all, it protects and upholds the core principles your group is based on.

What is your organization’s purpose? Before you move ahead with your activities, be sure to take the time to step back and answer this question. It’s the only way to see if your charity fundraising events, such as the ones you stage through the eBay Giving Works Program, still meet your needs, goal, and mission.

(Source: The Importance of Purpose, The Wednesday Wake Up, Jan. 31, 2014)