Why We Won’t Take Commission

Firefly Fundraising is a member of the Attorney General of California’s Registry of Charitable Trusts, which explicitly forbids commission work.

To clarify why:

  1. commission work sets up the wrong incentives, as it drives fundraisers to chase high-dollar, short‐term returns rather than to help clients build long-term funding relationships;
  2. it results in fundraisers ignoring or doing little work on low-dollar grants, which are often the first step towards later, high‐dollar grants; and
  3. it sets the wrong metrics for what fundraisers do, as it links success only to funding when, in fact:
    • rejected proposals can be part of a long‐term term, successful process;
    • working on any grant, including one that is eventually rejected, results in writing and strategy that can be used on other grants successfully;
    • consulting on program and organization structure is often the highest value thing we do and is often done outside of any given successful or unsuccessful grant; and
    • rejections can be caused by things that are completely outside our purview, including board structure and demographics, organizational financial history, legal issues, etc.

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