The worst part of your job is much more manageable than you think.
Let’s be real for a minute. It’s no secret that fundraising is one of the most stressful and uncomfortable parts about running a nonprofit organization. That’s probably why fundraising and frustrating sound so much alike.
Nobody really wants to ask strangers for money. And it’s even worse when you’re asking people you know, like family members, business associates and loose acquaintances. But we wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t a completely necessary part of how we operate.
There isn’t one simple answer to that solves all the fundamental complications of fundraising. There’s no magic secret to getting donors to write checks. But through practical experiences and working with several nonprofits across various industries, we’ve learned a few methods for easier fundraising for nonprofits.
It Starts With Your Board
Most board members have no idea what they should be doing at any given time. That’s not an insult, it’s just the reality that comes from having a group of volunteers with abstract day-to-day rolls. And make no mistake, fundraising isn’t an annual event. It’s an every day task. So it’s your responsibility to keep them accurately informed and focused on completing consecutive goals. Your board and your staff need to truly believe in what you’re doing and disseminate information in a way that communicates compelling mission. Because the success of your organization depends on buy-in from the public, but you can’t establish that without buy-in from within.
Tell the stories of the people who have directly benefited from past fundraising efforts. Collect testimonials, create videos, and put faces on your cause. Show potential donors how their money impacts other people. It’s a strong way to attract advocacy, and a lot of times, organizations will use these testimonials as central campaign pieces. In fact, any organization can create an entire public relations or marketing campaign by simply showcasing the people it helps.
Always Be Relevant
Speaking of public relations, have a plan in place for continually releasing information about the organization on weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual levels. This is good for several reasons but most importantly, it makes you look like you’re always doing something newsworthy and that you’re being transparent about the work. But most importantly, it ensures that you’re always top-of-mind for your audience of potential donors.
We understand what a pain fundraising can be, so we’re going to spend the next few weeks exploring it from different angles and hopefully you can put this knowledge to use for your organization. Check back next Tuesday at 7AM (CST) for our next post on fundraising!