npo leadership: hearts and money

I don’t know about you but I am constantly jotting myself notes and marking quotes to use later. I’m better than I used to be, but occasionally I will find some words written in my notebook or in Evernote that are mysterious to me. It’s like someone slipped in and wrote me a note in my own handwriting. Kinda like a moment from Lost.

Anyway, found this note to myself: “money follows heart.”I wrote it on January 24th, so I have a pretty good idea where I was when I wrote it, but I don’t know if it was my thought or someone else’s… if I stole it, sorry about that, let me know and I’ll attribute properly.

For now, I’m running with “money follows heart” as mine. Here’s what I believe I was trying to tell myself (and you): you can tell where a person’s heart is by where they are spending (putting) their money. More importantly, where a person’s heart is, that’s where they will be willing to put their money.

What’s that mean to someone leading a nonprofit, charity, ministry or even a church? If you want money, forget about the money, grab people by the heart and money will follow. Put another way, “it’s all about relationships.” It also sounds suspiciously like what the wisest teacher said about people and their money.

Amazingly, as recently as this afternoon, I had a conversation with a smart NPO leader who was intent on ignoring heart and only pursuing money. In a strange, ironic twist, that’s the biggest mistake one can make if you’re trying to raise money. Forget the heart, you’ll miss the money. Focus on the heart, you’ll find the money.

So, note to self: money follows heart.

What about you. Do you agree that money follows heart? What kinds of mistakes do you see people making when they pursue a donor’s money first?

I love hearing what you think.

Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity

(photo credit: Jeff Belmonte)

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

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