To fully answer this question, you must first clarify what makes up a philanthropic culture. During the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 50th International Conference on Fundraising, representatives of the Osborne Group, a management, consulting and training firm, defined a culture of philanthropy and stewardship as follows: Everyone within the organization, including recipients of services and their families, and the board of directors, understands, embraces, believes in and acts on the person’s roles and responsibilities in philanthropy and stewardship in a collaborative and donor-centric manner.
With this definition in mind, the speakers listed six ways to create a philanthropic culture at your nonprofit:
- Organizational vision provides the urgency for change. A great organization and a successful fundraising operation begin with a clear and compelling mission and an aspirational and urgent vision undergirded with shared, stated values.
- Change requires a vision as well. Imagining the organization or institution once it achieves the culture of philanthropy and stewardship paints a picture all constituencies can grasp.
- Start with champions and modeling behavior. These champions serve as guiding lights.
- Wow the team. It is hard to make others feel great about giving and participating if the proposed change agent feels beleaguered or under-appreciated.
- You need a plan. A vision without a plan is just a pipedream.
- Institutionalize the new changes. Document the new policies and procedures. Reward and celebrate success.