Three Elements of Transformational Fundraising

One of our most recent additions to the CausePlanet summary library is The Generosity Network by Jennifer McCrea, Jeffrey C. Walker and Karl Weber. We liked their approach to fundraising because it’s not another book about how to be a more persuasive salesperson, how to leverage tactics and strategies, or how to find and leverage your donors’ interests.

Their message is a new one: “True generosity is rooted in relatedness.” The coauthors add that fundraising is a form of connection; it’s the greatest gift you can offer your partners. You’re giving them the chance to join a community that is sharing and applying unique gifts to meet specific challenges.


Surpass traditional fundraising with three common elements

To engage in connectedness and build a community that enjoys sharing its unique talents, the coauthors explain you need three common elements. These three elements are the basis of a transformational, rather than transactional, style of fundraising.


1. Know yourself

You’ll explore questions such as: What is money’s role in my life? Am I comfortable talking openly about it? Why or why not? Do I view money as a scorecard, or as a resource to be used for things I care about?


2. Know others

(especially those whose partnership you seek). Fundraising is often considered difficult or intimidating because you may believe that asking for money makes you vulnerable. You may fear rejection or dependence. These emotions prevent you from seeing your potential partners as human beings. The goal of this book is to help you get past these potential obstacles and look at your prospective donors with trust and friendship.


3. Know how to ask

For some, asking for money creates feelings of enormous anxiety. However, if you see yourself and others as a potential team in solving complex challenges, then you can get beyond the feelings that hold you back. Viewing yourself and potential donors as a team makes asking feel good. “Asking for money (or any other resource) when you are standing up, not on bended knee, is a joy—an invitation for people to relate to their resources in a new way.”


Ask yourself if you possess these three common elements for transformational fundraising. Learn more about this book in our summary featuring an exclusive interview with consultant and Fundraising the SMART Way author, Ellen Bristol, or visit the authors’ website at

  • Natukunda Rosemary

    Am trying to start up a community based organization to help families that are breaking down due to gender based violance in IBANDA district.this due to lack of information on gender based violence so I want to build their capacities through training survivors, form and train interpersonal groups, work together with local government leaders to sensitize the community about gender based violance, educate parents and children about financial discipline as poverty is among the causes of gender based violance. I need to first register but money is a problem therefore am requesting donation to assist in regestion and starting like 3000000 Ugandan shillings is enough am ready to account for it and show results to the beloved dinar.Together we fight gender based violance and school drop out. Thank you may God bless you.

    • Gloria Wafula

      Hi Rosemary, your idea sounds good! But may be better put in a full proposal to potential grantors 🙂

      • Natukunda Rosemary

        Hi Gloria,
        thank you very much for your advice, i am of the view if i can send this proposal to you…

        thank you waiting your feedback

        • Gloria Wafula

          Well I could help edit..but am not a funder :/

          • Natukunda Rosemary

            yaah its fine,
            but if possible you can assist to be part of this proposal and connect us to the funder if possible….Gloria