In the field of philanthropy, the terms “fundraising” and “development” are often used interchangeably. While these terms are strongly interrelated, there are also significant differences in meaning and connotation. Both fundraising and development are critical to the advancement of a cause. Every fundraising “transaction” represents the first step in building the relationship with the donor for the future.
Fundraising generally connotes an activity that is more transactional in nature. The focus is on the solicitation of gifts – usually modest – with a short-term financial goal for a specific cause or project. Examples include walkathons, charity gala dinners and charity golf events.Development, on the other hand, encourages a more relational approach towards garnering philanthropic gifts. The focus is on building long-term relationships or connections between the organisation and philanthropist. Over time, a strong rapport is formed as both parties understand their respective contributions and the powerful impact the partnership can have on the cause.
Development also involves extended nurturing of donors and their interests through education, attentive and timely updates on the use of funds and appropriate solicitation. The donor usually defines the development schedule and ultimately, a transformational or lifetime gift seals the bond between the organisation and the donor permanently. Gifts of this nature tend to be life-changing, both for the philanthropist and the cause.
Both fundraising and development are critical to the advancement of a cause. Every fundraising “transaction” represents the first step in building the relationship with the donor for the future.
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