Philanthropy and Farming – Renewal: A Shared Connection

What is needed to have 90-95% of donors renewing?

How can donors be recognized for renewing?

We expect farmers to renew their crops. The farm in the picture has been producing potatoes for 3-4 generations…more than 100 years.

A potato crop is renewable only when the farmer cares for the land and seed is planted in the soil. For an abundant harvest farmers create a plan and gather required resources including healthy seed. They care for the land as buying new land every year isn’t an option.

If the organization’s culture for philanthropy is the land and the Case for Support is the seed, the people’s gifts are the harvest. The following would be needed for securing gifts: leadership, a plan, required resources, and a commitment to giving culture that equals the care farmers give their land and seed. Individual gifts affirm the organization’s work. Renewal confirms meaningful experience.

Renewal enables sustainability both in farming and philanthropy.

Successful renewal of potato crops is the result of caring for the land every year. People renewing their gifts reflects their giving experience. On average, 30% of individuals renew their gifts. If farmers’ harvest shrank by 70% sustainability would be the issue. Programs that impact the quality of community life (education, human services, health, animal care, arts, etc.) aren’t sustainable without philanthropic support.

Creating a culture that recognizes annual renewal accepts that individuals decide where to invest their philanthropic dollars. Farmers know the harvest is directly related to the care they give the land and seed. Leaders know that successful philanthropy relies on the credibility of their service to the community and, meaningful connection with the people who provide support.

Embedded in rich soil and the right amount of water a seed grows into a potato.

What would be embodied in an organizational culture that inspire donors to renew?

What price are we paying not to focus on renewal?

Please share your thoughts and ideas. Let’s learn from each other.