A. At first look, this question is the epitome of stereotypical American culture. So much so, that I almost took it as a joke and deleted it. And then, I decided that if it was intended to be heard with a bit of sarcasm, it was too common a question and deserved an answer. Sometimes it is stated slightly differently, “do you think we can raise money without doing anything?” or “can I raise money without having to ask anyone for it?” but in the end, the answer is pretty much the same.
If your closest friends have millions of dollars in disposable income of which they are more than happy to donate to your organization – talk to them. If you do not have said friends or any similar personal funding…it is impossible.
Fundraising takes effort. And not the hard work of one executive director and a couple of staff members. Success is dependent on the collective effort of the staff, board members, volunteers and community. There must be a critical mass of people that believe there is a need that the organization fills, a clearly defined way to communicate the need and a community willing to fund the need. In other words, there are no short cuts. As far as I know, no one has ever put up a sign in the lobby asking for millions of dollars and built a new wing as a result of the piles of money that were deposited in the drop box.
The moral? If you want to do it, do it right. And do it with the knowledge that your hard work will reap rewards.