Nonprofits often take this for granted, but its the very bedrock of what makes people want to give to your organization in the first place.

Your organization must be congruent with its values. If, as a fundraiser, you have any “weirdness” around asking for donations, more often than not, you might feel an incongruency around what your organization is doing with the money it receives.

Integrity is often defined as honesty. But, it’s really much deeper than that.

To me, integrity is who you are when no one is looking.

For example, the preacher who on Sunday is preaching against the very sin he struggles with in his personal life is incongruent with his values. He knows and understands what he is doing in the darkness is not in agreement with his public persona.

Unfortunately, vast amounts of organizations have an issue with this congruency.

Fundraisers are tasked with asking for money, but sometimes feel conflicted, especially if they disagree with how the money is being spent.

This is an issue that needs to be dealt with.

Here’s how to get congruent:

1. Focus on what your organization is doing right. Stop focusing on all the weird stuff your leadership is doing. I know its uncomfortable sometimes when they either ask you to do stuff you don’t agree with (like buy 100 domain names for SEO, even though that doesn’t work anymore), but get comfortable with weird.

2. Focus on impact. How much impact is your organization making? By getting the next check or credit card transaction how much more impact can you make? Focus on that in your story-telling. Don’t worry about them snooping into your 990 about how efficient you are. Let leadership and the C-Suite deal with that. You go out and tell good stories of impact.

3. Focus on building trust. Trust that will get you to the next level is using integrity to push the relationship forward. Don’t make excuses about what you’re doing with the money. Be proud of the investments your organization is making and explain that to donors (only when they ask). Otherwise, its a non-issue.

If you talk to many actors or performers after a great performance they will often talk about the small hiccups they made during the performance.

The audience will have been clueless and didn’t see the mistake. But, the performer will focus on it. In fact, they’ll be mortified, but the audience never saw it.

It’s like that in fundraising. Yes, some people pay attention to the nit-picky stuff but focus on the bigger picture of what the organization is doing right.

Focus on what you can control, not what you can’t.

Go crush it this week and tell the story of impact your organization is making.

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