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.
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