Institute for Charitable Giving

blue rule

Persistence and Perseverance

blue rule

During these unprecedented times, we encourage you not to give up.

here is no “perfect moment” to raise money. There is no such thing as a time when all possible factors are in your favor. But there are some surprising and significant advantages to raising funds in hard times.

It is quite clear that difficult times emphasize the urgency and drama of compelling needs.

Here’s what you need to remember, the best time to raise money is when you are prepared. Nothing else is of greater significance. No other consideration is important.

George Sand was no fundraiser. But in one of her famous letters, she wrote quite a remarkable definition of success appropriate to our field: “ . . . Simple taste, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, and love of work. And most important, determination and patience. Persistence and perseverance.”

In good times and in difficult times, success is elusive. It is never fully achieved or final. Nor is failure completely flawed or total.

But the highest level of success, in all times, depends on the courage to pursue the chase with diligence.

Several years ago, winners of the Horatio Alger awards for outstanding accomplishments in business were asked by a reporter to name the factors that contributed to their success. Their response was “faith, hard work, belief in people, and service to others.”

Then the reporter dug deeper. He found that the most important factors were— motivation, inner-drive, and persistence. They said persistence is the final payoff.

Those Horatio Alger winners, they could all have been fundraisers! We in fundraising understand that success is a long race, conducted in inches. We face rejection and refusal head-on and respond with even greater dedication and determination.

Again, I say to you, during these unprecedented times, don’t give up. Not for one day! I’m reminded of the Frank Sinatra refrain. “Every time you find yourself flat on your face, pick yourself up and get back in the race.” Persistence is the song you sing.


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