The Power of Status

If you really want your paddle raiser (aka fund-a-need) to succeed, then you need to give your guests the opportunity to achieve “status” during the paddle raiser.

There is a transaction that occurs wherein the charity gets the money and the donor gets the status. And if you deprive your guests of the opportunity to achieve status, it can cost you tens of thousands of dollars of fundraising revenue.

In our Comprehensive Paddle Raiser Guide, we share stories about nonprofit leaders who were reluctant to do a paddle raiser (aka fund-a-need), because they felt that their guests were too humble and too discreet to raise their paddles publicly to donate money.

They would say, “Our donors are very modest people. They don’t show off their wealth. They would prefer to do their giving in private.”


Here are some facts that are likely true of your wealthy-yet-modest donors, who seem very reluctant to make their financial means apparent to the world.

  • These modest people probably live in nice houses. Not huge mansions, but nice homes that most of us would look at and say, “Whoever owns that house must be successful.”
  • Those houses are probably located in nice neighborhoods.
  • These modest people probably drive nice automobiles. Not Bentley’s or Range Rovers, but probably brands such as BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and Cadillac.
  • They probably wear nice suits and dresses to your gala.
  • They probably send their kids and/or grandkids to nice private schools.
  • They probably take nice vacations.
  • They probably stay in hotels and resorts that deliver great customer service and treat them like high-value, high-status guests.

Your donors are not “flashy”.

They don’t walk around with big wads of cash in their pockets.

They’re not all blinged out in jewelry.

They’re not ostentatious.

Yet, they still display their wealth in many subtle ways -- which allows them to achieve status.

One of the opportunities that you provide for your guests is the opportunity to achieve status during your event. If you deprive them of that, you do so at your own peril.

That decision can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

Want to learn more about planning your best paddle raiser (aka fund-a-need) ever? Click here to read our Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Record-Breaking Paddle Raiser