Fundraising events and galas can be flashy, star-studded affairs. The coverage of which can make it seem like every nonprofit around is more successful than yours. But, that’s just not true.
People almost always exaggerate. If you read a press release stating that the local animal shelter raised a staggering $1.6 million at their latest event, pay attention to the information that isn’t included in that press release.
You don’t know where that revenue came from. Was it strictly donations, or are they factoring in ticket sales, sponsorships, underwriting, etc?
You don’t know what their goal was. Yes, $1.6 million is absolutely an impressive, staggering amount of money. But if their goal for the evening was $3 million, it wasn’t a fundraising success. They did not meet their goal and will now have to rethink their budgetary priorities.
In American culture we are trained to look up at the wealthier, more successful, more beautiful people around us. We see this everywhere online. Social media has certainly exacerbated the issue, but celebrity culture has always existed.
What we forget to do is look around us at the people doing the work. We overlook the small nonprofits doing amazing work on a shoestring budget with two full-time employees. We overlook the nonprofits who would love to be able to host a fundraising event or throw a party.
Always be grateful for the donors who support your nonprofit, no matter what. They believe in you and the work you are doing enough to give you some of their hard-earned dollars. It doesn’t matter what the nonprofit down the street is working on or how much they raised last quarter. What matters is the work you are doing today.