Sunday, November 25, 2007

New column every Monday: "The Fundraising Guru"--November 26, 2007

Power-Words Prompt Prosperous Philanthropy
by Stephen L. Goldstein

Every fundraiser knows the shibboleth “People give to people.” But you can’t successfully reach them with any old “words, words, words,” in Hamlet’s lingo. Use powerful bons mots to propel people’s giving and to thank them with panache. Here’s a selection of particularly potent, pre-packaged phrases for solicitation letters and thank-you notes that you can massage to your advantage in your own text.
Sharon K. Yntema: “You are rich enough to give small amounts of money to worthy causes when you can buy all the groceries you need.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little.”
Sanskrit proverb: “He who allows his day to pass by without practicing generosity and enjoying life’s pleasures is like a blacksmith’s bellows—he breathes but does not live.”
Friedrich Nietzsche: “Nothing ever succeeds which exuberant spirits have not helped to produce.”
Ancient proverb: “One hand cannot applaud alone.”
Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
Simone de Beauvoir: “That’s what I consider true generosity. You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.”
Marya Mannes: “Generosity with strings is not generosity; it is a deal.”
Confucius: “To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.”
Sir Francis Bacon: “In charity there is no excess.”
Scottish proverb: “Charity begins at home, but shouldn’t end there.”
Thomas H. Huxley: “I have no faith, very little hope, and as much charity as I can afford.”
Jewish proverb: “If charity cost nothing, the world would be full of philanthropists.”
Stephen L. Goldstein: “Angels rush in where fools fear to tread.”
W.J. Slim: “When you cannot make up your mind which of two evenly balanced courses of action you should take, choose the bolder.”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “The lamentable difficulty I have always experienced [is] in saying ‘no.’”
Herman Melville: “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and along those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”
Albert Pine: “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
Sydney Smith: To do anything in this world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in, and scramble through as well as we can.”
Phoebe Low: “Someone said of nations—but it might well have been said of individuals, too—that they require ‘something sufficiently akin to be understood, something sufficiently different to provoke attention, and something sufficiently great to command admiration.’”
Kevin Kelly: “The only factor becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention.”
W.M. Paxton: “Ideas go booming through the world louder than cannon. Thoughts are mightier than armies. Principles have achieved more victories than horsemen or chariots.”

Send your questions and comments to Stephen L. Goldstein at He is the author of the nationwide bestseller, 30 Days to Successful Fundraising and He also hosts “Fundraising Success” on 90.7FM, WXEL/National Public Radio throughout South Florida, Sundays 7 to 8 p.m., and available from anywhere in the world by anyone with Internet access or its equivalent 24/7 at