Creating a Leadership Legacy That Will Impact Future Generations
Is your organization constantly suffering from a lack of donations or inconsistent funding? Are you passionate about a worthy cause that can’t seem to gain momentum while making an impact? Do you need more wealthy donors, but don’t seem to be resonating with them?
There could be a hidden reason that you are totally unaware of.
If you ignore this common problem that so many non-profits and charitable organizations suffer from, your funding problems may not only continue, but they may end up getting worse.
What most smaller non-profits do when facing financial constraints is that they continue to pursue short-term solutions by trying every new shiny object that comes along in the fundraising world. Maybe they try new social media tactics. Maybe they try new blogging tactics, or mailers, or video tools. Maybe they get a new logo or new stationery. But for most of these smaller non-profits, none of that works.
- The truth is, they don’t really understand the mindset of wealthy donors.
- The truth is, they don’t really know what the wealthy donor is seeking to accomplish.
- The truth is, they don’t know how to articulate how their non-profit meets the needs of the wealthy donor, in a way that motivates the wealthy donor to take action and contribute to their organization.
- As a result, they just keep doing the same thing that doesn’t ever seem to gain traction. This results in only getting small one-time donations with low recurring streams of revenue generation.
The problem is really a break down in creating leadership within the organization and communicating that leadership that will stand the test of time to donors who can make an impact. That’s part of moving beyond short term fundraising.
Here’s a perspective that surprises many smaller non-profits;
I want you to imagine for a moment that YOU are a wealthy donor. I want YOU to imagine what it would be like to be well known in the community and what it would be like for YOU to be repeatedly asked for money. I want YOU to imagine what it would be like for everybody to constantly approach YOU with their hands out (and it’s not to shake your hands or to pat you on the back).
Now back up further into the mindset of the wealthy self-made donor. I want YOU to imagine what it was like to start from nothing, battle through the cycles in the economy, and build an organization brick by brick, overcoming obstacle after obstacle. I want YOU to imagine becoming an overnight success over four or five grinding decades of blood, sweat, and tears. Because that’s what it took most successful wealth builders to accomplish their goals. They struggled just like you in the beginning.
I want YOU to imagine working your entire life over decades to build something that has now stood the test of time. I want YOU to imagine what would be important to YOU as a donor. How important it is for YOU to create a legacy that will outlast YOU after YOU are gone. How important it is for YOU to have leadership in place that could take care of YOUR priorities when YOU can no longer do that for yourself.
I want YOU to imagine the delicate balance that it took for these entrepreneurs and game-changers to resolve and overcome short-term problems and obstacles during their journeys while working towards much bigger and larger long-term goals and objectives.
Wealthy individuals (who are self-made, not the grandchildren who inherited it) have a long-term mindset. They think about things in time frames much bigger than this week’s problems. They think about things in terms of years, decades, and now as they are entering a philanthropy phase to their life, they are thinking about giving and donating in a way that will make a difference long after they are gone. Because guess what, these wealthy donors are now in a phase of life where they realize that they won’t be on earth forever, they can’t work the way they used to, and that they desire to contribute in ways that will outlast themselves. They want to surround themselves with people and organizations that will help them reach THEIR inner desires and goals. That’s what they are really seeking – LEADERS who can help them when they can no longer help themselves.
What they want and seek are ways to create a legacy and are searching for LEADERS that can help them do that. They seek ways to make an impact that will last longer than they can themselves physically. They can only do that by aligning themselves with organizations that have LEADERS and LEADERSHIP infrastructure that will last well into the future.
Are your message and communications addressing this mindset of the wealthy?
Knowing this mindset was one of the key success factors for organizations such as;
- The Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu Hawaii that started asking for donations in 1887 and now has an endowment of $11.5 Billion.
- The Pew Charitable Trusts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that started asking for donations in 1948 and now has an endowment of $6.6 Billion.
- The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden that started asking for donations in 1917 and now has an endowment of $3.6 Billion
What wealthy donors are often secretly looking for (whether they can communicate it or not), are organizations and leaders that can help them meet their own internal desire for creating a lasting legacy. This includes leaders who can work towards making lasting change and provide a return on investment well into the future. They don’t want to just make an impact today in the short-term. They want and desire to create an impact tomorrow and beyond.
Creating Leadership For Sustainable Impact
The fact is, many non-profits are competing over the same pie of charitable contribution donations. But many non-profits running fundraising campaigns are not aligning the structures of their own organizations with the mindset of wealthy donors. Most wealthy individuals and families have a mindset of sustainability, margin of safety, planning for the future, and creating lasting legacies that will make an impact not only now but well into the future. These are not people that fly by the seat of their pants, only thinking about today, or living in the moment.
What these wealthy donors are seeking is to align themselves with nonprofit leaders and organizations that can meet their inner desires in respect to creating a legacy impact.
Is your organization leveraging this human behavior into their own business plans? Is your organization creating leadership that models long-term success like the very donors who you are asking for contributions? Is your organization communicating the values that would resonate with a wealthy donor that is thinking about their legacy impact for the next century rather than solving next month’s funding crisis?
Is your organization creating a leadership infrastructure that can stand the test of time, that is self-perpetuating, and that is growing in a way that will last for decades (or beyond a century) of impact?
What it is about is creating leadership that will stand the test of time. You want to do this in your own organization. Not only will it benefit your own organization to think about long-term goals and objectives and manage itself with those long-term objectives in mind with each passing day, but you will be surprised at the change in effectiveness when pitching to wealthy donors by communicating your long-term vision.
We have seen countless examples of wealthy donors giving large sums of money towards permanent endowment funds or projects related to the longer-term goals of worthy organizations. It made no difference whether the organizations were soliciting funds for education, science, the arts, health services, animals, the environment, or other humanitarian projects. What resonates with wealthy donors in the philanthropic phase of their own life cycle is seeking out leaders who will help them fulfill their own desires and dreams of creating a lasting legacy that will outlive themselves.
It’s Decision Time
You have a choice to make: Do what you’ve been doing (or worse, do nothing at all). You know where that will lead. You will continue to go from one month to the next wondering where next months funding will come from. You will keep going on the proverbial fundraising hamster wheel round and round chasing every new idea or program that comes along the fundraising circuit.
Or you can change your mindset and create an organization that promotes lasting leadership infrastructure that aligns itself with the mindset of wealthy donors. Which do you really want for your organization?
Paul Kindzia is a CPA, MBA, Certified Financial Planner, and CEO of Kindzia Investments, Inc. a wealth management firm in Atlanta, Georgia that often gets an inside look into the mindset of wealthy individuals and families. He is an author of three books, a 13-time Ironman triathlete, an avid jiu-jitsu practitioner, and enjoys helping others establish and achieve long-term goals by creating effective short-term habits and principles that align with those long-term goals.
Books by Paul Kindzia:
“Secrets To Breakthrough Wealth: A Guide To Creating Wealth Processes, Getting Financial Results, and Transforming Your Life” – https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Breakthrough-Wealth-Processes-Transforming/dp/0692708766/
“30 Days To Better Health The Easy-Peasy Way: A Guide To Creating Health Processes, Getting Results, and Transforming Your Life In 30 Days” – https://www.amazon.com/Days-Better-Health-Easy-Peasy-Way/dp/0692997679/
“Master Jiu-Jitsu Master Life: How To Create An Extraordinary Life Through Jiu-Jitsu” – https://www.amazon.com/Master-Jiu-Jitsu-Life-Extraordinary-Through/dp/069216197X/
Kindzia Investments, Inc. – www.kindziainvestments.com
My passion project to help people get out of debt and live a healthy life: