Fundraising can be fun but it can also be a total chore. Fundraising can be exhilarating but it can be incredibly challenging. At any rate, fundraising is absolutely what you make it, so make every effort not to make it hard on yourself.
Here are five winning non-profit fundraising tips to get raising funds like a total champ.
Fundraising is oft viewed as a necessary evil, but if you're a non-profit, you must respect that it's your lifeline to doing good. The sooner you make peace with fundraising the better. Give your Advancement team high-priority status and fight all urges to under invest in, delay or rush through campaigns. Remember, without fundraising to lift it up, your mission will get buried.
The work you do of helping others is big so don't sell yourself short by thinking small. Most non-profits worry about scaring donors off by being bold, then set goals that are modest and ask for too little. Believe in your own value and importance and others will too. Shoot for the moon, because you just might get it.
Thinking big doesn't mean you should go about strong-arming donors, however. Sure, there may be a few people out there who 'owe you a favor', but taking giving for granted is not only short-sighted, it's dangerous. As a non-profit, you don't want to be chasing one-time donors. Carefully and sincerely put in the due effort to cultivate thriving, long term relationships.
You know the adage, 'Anything worth having is worth working for'? Well it's never been more true than with non-profit fundraising. Making fundraising 'easier' by cherry-picking tactics can hurt you greatly in the end. You might be tempted to avoid in-person asks because it's less awkward to write an e-mail, or to rely on communicating through your newsletters because you dislike placing phone calls, but you are severely limiting your potential by avoiding crucial 'hard' work.
There's another popular old adage, 'If it ain't broke don't fix it' but for non-profits, this one just simply doesn't apply. Keeping things fresh is the only way to remain vital. The same annual gala featuring the same silent auction with the same 'free round of golf' packages won't cut it with donors for very long. Utilize new channels, keep creative and constantly seek out change. If you do, donors will not only stay intrigued, they'll applaud your innovative spirit.