Monday, February 11, 2013

Reasons for Lackluster Fundraising Results

Too many nonprofits are challenged by fundraising.  Once you shake hands with your first few funders, do you settle into complacency? Fight the inertia; instead find one day in the month to do corporate fundraising.  We call it "Monthly Fundraising Day".  If you have to play special music or put on party hats to institute it, do so.   Make Monthly Fundraising Day the necessary ritual that fuels your cause.
 
Starting with Six Basic Reasons:
You don't ask.  Don't be the nonprofit who gets five minutes before a crowd but can't ask for support. Sticking your chest out and having your great accomplishments in clearly in mind, enthusiastically ask for financial support.

You don't tell people how much you need.  State the total amount and the giving amount you need from them.  Frequently, people will ask for support without stating the amount.  Whether a face-to-face appeal or written, remember to suggest different levels of giving.

You don't give people a deadline to support you.  Yes, bring immediacy to your call.  Tell people when you need the funds in.  Many interested people will meet the deadlines.  Of course, accept and thank those who give beyond the date.  Late support ought to be seen as Willie Nelson sings, "You were always on my mind..."

You didn't explain what the support is for and what will be its impact. Give sufficient explanation without writing a novel.  People appreciate knowing what their money is fueling.

People don't know you. Call it promotion, public relations or getting in the limelight, you must blow your horn regularly & play it well.  Thank goodness for social media, professional networks, postcards, and press release templates.  Keep your face in the place.  People are more apt to give to those with name recognition.

You ignore the seasons for giving-"Tis the season to be jolly" and at least 4 months before the start of the  federal or local government's fiscal years. Try postal mail and social media to send your requests.  Postal mail is more effective, in this era, with your familiars.  Depending on your demographic, it still is true that making the effort to send an individual letter has impact.  Now, the under 35-year-olds may be too ensconced in the digital scene to be impressed by the letter.

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