It’s easy to be seduced by the new. That shiny, untested donor with the promise of adding heft to your cause. It’s the thrill of the chase, the adrenaline rush of acquiring. But here’s the truth that’s been hiding in plain sight: fundraising isn’t primarily about the hunting, it’s about the gardening.

Those familiar, existing donors? They aren’t yesterday’s news. They’re the hardy perennials in your garden, steadfast and reliable. They’ve already chosen to bloom for you. They’ve chosen to contribute, not because your cause is a sun that never sets—but because they see in themselves a brilliance, a purpose. They recognize that your cause is the mirror reflecting their best selves back at them.

So, it’s time to put down the hunting gear and pick up the gardening gloves. The real game is not in expanding the garden, but in nurturing the flowers that have already chosen to bloom. Because a garden that’s nurtured grows deeper, stronger, and more vibrant. And a deep, strong, vibrant garden? That’s a change worth making.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand & Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.