Newton’s Laws of Fundraising

In Fundraising, Strategic Planning, Uncategorized by Geoff Burns

Most people generally know that Sir Issac Newton identified the three laws of motion, but few realize that he also discovered three fundraising realities.

Organizations at Rest

Just like in Newton’s lab, organizations at rest don’t suddenly become active in fundraising unless a conscious and strategic force acts on the organization. What does this mean for a nonprofit? If you want to raise funds for your mission, you have to go do it. It won’t just happen.


The force (F) of your fundraising efforts is equal to the size of the fundraising team (M), multiplied by the active engagement by your leadership (A). Ultimately, the impact of your efforts are dictated by both the number of leaders in the organization and their involvement in the fundraising process.

Action opposite and equal reaction

Your fundraising results will match your efforts. A solid and cohesive effort to advance the mission through fundraising will result in dollars raised, increased awareness, and positive community presence. Likewise, a haphazard attempt at raising a few quick dollars without a plan could damage the organization’s reputation, and fail to raise the necessary funds to operate effectively.

If you want successful fundraising, don’t sit back and wait for it to just happen. Assemble a team of quality volunteers and be prepared to reap what you sow.