Tip #1: Know Your Why

Kindly provided by Kerri Tilby-Price from Exult (helping non-profits grow).


There are 97,000 non-profit organisations in New Zealand, approximately 27,000 of which are registered charitable trusts. Every one of these organisations relies on fundraising to one degree or another and each group has developed their own way of doing things.

While it would be nice to have a cut-and-paste template for successful fundraising, there is simply no one-size-fits-all approach. However, there are a number of big picture principles that can be applied regardless of how big your organisation is or how much money you need to raise. The most important of these principles is ‘Knowing Why Your Organisation Exists’.

This sounds like a ridiculous statement to make, but you would be surprised by how many people don’t know the answer. Sure, most people can tell me what their organisation does and can rattle off a list a programmes and services, but in my experience, few people can tell me what their organisation is ultimately trying to achieve. And there is a difference.

Knowing why your organisation exists means you have a clear vision of the kind of community you are trying to create. Why do you bother running the programmes and services you do? If these programmes and services were being 100% effective, what would your community look like as a result? And why does that matter?

When your organisation has a strong ‘why’, it is much easier to gather support. A ‘why’ gives donations purpose and enables supporters to feel like a part of the solution. Understanding your organisation’s ‘why’ gives depth to your cause and allows supporters to connect with their heart and mind, as well as their wallet.

So before you make your next ask, make sure you know why your work matters.


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