The Leaky Bucket Nonprofit Blog

Fundraising and the Tin-Cup Mentality

Posted by Ellen Bristol on Sun, May 04, 2014 @ 03:12 PM

This posting is about the tin-cup mentality, and my strong desire to get rid of it once and for all. The tin-cup mentality is the state of mind that says "We're a poor lowly charity! Give us your money because we need it!" Rather than signalling your value to the world, or inviting others to celebrate your triumphs, the tin-cup mentality emphasizes your neediness. Shouting about how poor you are does not inspire confidence among philanthropists, who are your investors. Who wants to make a bad investment? It also gives rise to a terrible fundraising habit, namely, "Let's raise whatever we can and then figure out how to spend it."

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