Strategies for Success

Is Procrastination Hurting Your Fundraising?

Benjamin Franklin said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you should do today.” Of course, this is sound advice, and it is especially true when it comes to fundraising. You suspect there’s a problem. What are you waiting for?

For example, have you noticed the same prospect names on your lists, month after month, without seeing any movement toward a gift? Do you feel “stuck?” Here are a few strategies to help you be proactive today with fundraising and improve your results:

Remember your leadership role.

You have made a commitment to drive your nonprofit’s mission forward, and this can only be accomplished if the organization is financially supported. Take greater responsibility for fundraising, even if your title does not include “development.” Ask yourself, “What’s keeping us from raising more money?” Then take action. Do it today.

Training and education are important.

If you have members on your board or on one of your fundraising committees that are not actively participating in at least one aspect of raising funds, perhaps they are not properly educated on their tasks. If prospects are not becoming donors, it could be that the person responsible for a donor prospect has not been trained in cultivation. Do your board members understand how important their role is in appreciating donors? Make sure your board and committee members are fully confident talking about the organization and how it changes lives, so they can fulfill their fundraising responsibilities.

Revamp your fundraising plan.

It’s okay to change your tactics if a prospect is not responding; in fact, it’s imperative. We all know Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. The issue is usually the process or the person – or maybe the timing. Is there a better way to connect with the prospect? Would it be better if another person reached out? Is something going on with the prospect you are not aware of? Adjust the assignments and expectations as needed, and make sure you have considered each prospect thoroughly so tasks are being accomplished well and on time.

Don’t procrastinate. It’s time to move those names from the prospect list to a donor wall. Don’t wait for something to change. Take charge, and change it.

Kristy Burns

Vice President

Columbus, Ohio

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