Here’s the ‘Fun’ in Fundraising

Washington, DC (March 29, 2014) – In a recent New York Times opinion piece, Arthur C. Brooks, a contributing opinion writer and president of the American Enterprise Institute, describes why “fund-raising is fun.”

Fundraising treeWhile most nonprofit leaders find raising money “a necessary evil,” he finds it fun. Here’s why:

  • Data shows that donors ended up with more income after making their gifts. More than correlation, evidence suggests that giving stimulated prosperity.
  • Studies show that donating and volunteering bring a host of benefits to those who give. In one typical study, researchers from Harvard and the University of British Columbia confirmed that, in terms of quantifying “happiness,” spending money on oneself barely moves the needle, but spending on others causes a significant increase.
  • Charitable giving improves what psychologists call “self-efficacy,” one’s belief that one is capable of handling a situation and bringing about a desired outcome. When people give their time or money to a cause they believe in, they become problem solvers. Problem solvers are happier than bystanders and victims of circumstance.
  • The real magic of fund-raising goes even deeper than temporary happiness or extra income. It creates meaning. Fundraisers empower those with financial resources to convert the dross of their money into the gold of a better society.

Brooks concludes, “Nonprofit leaders serve others, and help build causes. But just as important, by providing opportunities to give, they empower us to breathe more meaning into our lives.”

Read the entire article, “Why Fund-Raising is Fun.”