Nonprofit holiday wish list

Now is the time of year when many dream about gifts we hope to receive that will bring joy and happiness. Some want a pony or a new car. Those engaged with nonprofit fundraising have a weird list of dreams they would like to see come true.Review the following and let us know if they are on your wish list, or if you wish they were!! 

I dream of volunteers who stay on script during solicitations; board members come to meetings even if we don’t serve food; revenue exceeding expenses; events with more attendees than staff; and board members and staff who don’t all look the same. I’m praying we can have in-person events instead of Zoom; that former board members stop promoting themselves as board members when they resigned two years ago; and that current members purchase tickets instead of asking for “comps.” I’ve got stars in my eyes believing this year we will get the minutes out from our board meeting within 48 hours, and not 48 hours before our next meeting.

I wish this was the beginning of the year instead of the end; that fundraising activities were more evenly distributed across the year; that we will find the lead gift needed for our capital campaign; and that we have alternate fundraising projects to help make sure we meet our goal. I revel in delight when I imagine all of us know exactly what we are raising money for, and why it is important. I hope this year the check for our largest gift isn’t rejected by our bank, stamped with“insufficient funds.” And I’m double hoping no donor asks for their gift back because we never said, “thank you.”

I get glossy eyed knowing we only honor a few people at our awards gala, and not everyone under the sun; that our board raises 20% of the annual budget; that our donor attrition rate drops to 15%; and our annual fundraising exceeds goal. My biggest dream is that all lapsed donors magically reappear, giving joyfully – and at twice the amount of their last gift, whenever that was!

My dreams will come true when every third person I meet next year knows about our nonprofit and doesn’t have to ask, “… and what does your organization do?” Extra gifts I’ll embrace include a year with no one adding “Oprah Winfrey” or “Bill Gates” to our prospect list, unless they know them; more than one month where the numbers on our fundraising reports all “add up” and “make sense;” and at least two board meetings where all board members attend and stay awake.

I don’t want to be too greedy so I’m also looking for dreams to come true for my board members. These include at least one meeting where the development director and finance director don’t present contradictory reports; and to be really in the spirit, I’m dreaming they will receive the board packet more than 20 minutes before the board meeting. What are you dreaming? We’re dreaming of you! Season’s Greetings.


Copyright 2021 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you plan for 2021 Video and phone conferencing services are always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com.

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1 comment on “Nonprofit holiday wish list”

  1. C Adrienne Rhodes

    I’m dreaming they will receive the board packet more than 20 minutes before the board meeting, too!!! 🙂

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