In every nonprofit organization, there is a great deal of focus on bringing in new donors each year. Sometimes, irrational optimism takes hold with offices envisioning a herd of new unicorns marching through the door – first-time donors making five-figure gifts that will transform the agency for years to come.
Needless to say, such reality is seldom witnessed. More importantly, lost among these dream visions are the single greatest asset to nonprofit fundraising growth – existing major donors.
The prevailing school of thought responsible for this misdirection is the Atlas-complex that deifies giving at a certain level, especially among early supporters. The thinking supposes that donors just tap out at a certain level and it would be audacious to ask them to do more, perpetuating one of the greatest fallacies in philanthropy.