5 Surprising fundraising mistakes

You are diligent and focused on fundraising, yet you could be sabotaging your development program.  Review these fundraising mistakes and execute these tweaks to achieve success in your fundraising program.

1. Communicating to donors how your organization is fabulous
Communicating with donors is not about how great your organization is at carrying out the mission. It is about how great your donors are and how they are the ones who make fulfilling the mission possible. The donors are the heroes, not your organization.

2. Requiring all board members to ask for gifts
Yes, board members should be engaged in the fundraising process. However, not all board members are equipped to ask for gifts. There are many other ways board members can contribute to the fundraising process such as identifying prospects, cultivating potential donors and thanking those who have already donated. By providing opportunities for board members to engage in all stages of the fundraising cycle, you can make best use of the gifts and talents of board members and maximize fundraising success. Learn more ways to engage the board in fundraising.

3. Measuring fundraising success merely by dollars raised
The total dollars raised is a measurement of fundraising success, but it should not be the only measurement. It is important to track donors, not merely dollars. Monitoring donor retention rates shifts the discussion to long-term fundraising success and maximizing lifetime value of gifts from donors.

4. Always talking to donors
Yes, it is a marvelous idea to connect with donors. However, it is important when you do connect with donors to listen to donors. Do not overwhelm donors by talking the entire time you are meeting with them. Remember to focus on listening, which will provide insights for future solicitations. Learn more about listening to donors.

5. Believing planned giving is too complicated for your organization
Planned giving is a method of donors supporting nonprofit organizations to make larger gifts than they could make from their income. Traditionally, planned giving involves a variety of trusts, bequests, and life estates, and is derived from the donor’s assets. Yes, there are some planned giving vehicles that are complex, yet there are some, such as bequests, that can be as easy as accepting cash donations.

These fundraising mistakes are all too easy to make. The key is to identify the mistakes and use the available resources to address the issues. Then, you can move forward to achieve fundraising success.

Like what you are reading?
Subscribe to SarahWMackey.com

Connect with Sarah W Mackey: FacebookTwitter, Google+LinkedIn

Posted in Fundraising, Nonprofit Management | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

How to raise more money in five days

5What are you going to do this week to raise money?  Use this framework to develop concrete steps to move your organization’s resource development forward this week.

Monday: Identify prospective major donors
The best place to look for prospects for major gifts is within your current donor database. Examine your database and identify two donors you have previously cultivated and call them to ask for a meeting on Thursday.

Tuesday: Review and refresh your case for support
The case for support is your answer to the question “Why should I donate to your organization?” Invest some time in reviewing and updating your organization’s case for support and ensuring it includes current information about your organization’s strategic plan, projects and program recipients.

Wednesday: Optimize online giving
It is important to ensure your website is easy to navigate for the growing number of individuals looking to give online. Ensure your website has a clear and urgent call for donations, the donation button stand out on the homepage, and the donation page does not have any unnecessary fields for the donor to complete.

Thursday: Ask
Get out from behind your desk and visit face to face with the prospects you identified on Monday. Share with them the case for support and provide them the opportunity to make a donation to support your organization’s mission.

Friday: Thank donors
Practice good stewardship by calling at least three donors to thank them for their previous support of your organization. During each call, thank the donor and share specific information about how his or her gift will fulfill the organization’s mission.

Through making intentional efforts to execute specific fundraising tasks on a daily basis, you can succeed in raising more money.

Like what you are reading?
Subscribe to SarahWMackey.com

Connect with Sarah W Mackey: FacebookTwitter, Google+LinkedIn

Posted in Fundraising, Nonprofit Management | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mission Matters

MissionI work with a lot of nonprofit board members.  No board member has ever told me they joined a nonprofit’s board because they couldn’t wait to attend long meetings. No board member has told me that the reason for joining the board was excitement about revising bylaws or reviewing financial reports. And, no board member has told me the reason they serve on a nonprofit board is because they know hundreds of friends with millions of dollars and he or she just can’t wait to ask each of their millionaire friends to give all their money to the nonprofit.

Whether you are a board member, employee, or volunteer with a nonprofit organization, you likely got involved because of the organization’s mission. Perhaps the organization provides a service you believe is needed, serves a population you care about, or addresses a community issue you are passionate about. Mission matters.

The organization’s mission statement outlines the purpose or reason for the organization’s existence, how the organization intends to fulfill its purpose, and the ultimate benefit of the organization fulfilling its purpose.

Since the mission is truly what matters, look for ways to incorporate mission moments for your board members, employees and volunteers.  Explore these ways to create mission moments:

  • Invite a program recipient to share his/her story at a board meeting
  • Include a story about the mission’s impact in the organization’s newsletter
  • Host a committee meeting at a program delivery site
  • Feature a mission success story at a special event
  • Ask volunteers to share a story about why they are passionate about the mission

Incorporating these mission moments into your organization will continue to remind your board, staff and volunteers why they initially engaged with the organization. It will also feed their passion to carry out the not-so-exciting and not-so-glamorous tasks that are necessary. It will remind them that all of those tasks are steps towards accomplishing and fulfilling the mission they care about so deeply. Remind them that the mission matters.

Like what you are reading?
Subscribe to SarahWMackey.com

Connect with Sarah W Mackey: FacebookTwitter, Google+LinkedIn

Posted in Habitat for Humanity, Nonprofit Management, Volunteer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment