An additional 600,000 people became millionaires last year according to the World Wealth Report issued by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini U.S. The number of rich folks isn’t shrinking even with all the talk of doomed credit markets and rising oil prices.  What does this trend mean for your fundraising?

There are at least three new ways of thinking that we can take from this news.

1.  Think abundance

Yes, we are all having more difficulty securing big gifts this year. But the well has not dried up. More than 10 million people have a net worth of $1 million plus. That’s a pretty big pond. Keep fishing. All indicators point toward increasing dollars out there for the wise non-profit staffer to secure.

2.  Think globally

While the U.S. does have one third of all the world’s millionaires, India, China and Brazil saw double digit growth in this elite bunch. With the U.S. dollar sinking ever lower on the power scale, some foreign investment wouldn’t be a bad thing for your organization.  Take some cues from presidential candidates Barak Obama and John McCain, they’ve both made trips overseas with the express intent of raising money. Building a global base of support deepens your pool. Start networking internationally today.

3.  Think like an investor

High net worth individuals are earning their money by investing. They want to do deals and make connections that are beneficial. Investors are typically less risk averse – startups and untried programs may be exciting to them when they turn off foundations or your general file. Get to the point quickly. If you can’t boil your finances to a page and your needs to a page; keep working until you can. It might be helpful to take a look at a stock prospectus to a get a sense for the language and indicators an investor finds important.

Major donors are still people. They just happen to be very good at making money. Don’t fault them for that by treating them like a cash machine. They still want to know you and your mission. High net worth individuals still have fears and dreams that you’ll likely find very interesting if you listen. Take time to get to know some people in this elite group – not for the sake of increasing your bottom line, but for the simple joy of building relationships with fascinating people. Remember, there is more to fundraising than money.

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Posted on 02 September 2008

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