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Sometimes you feel like everything is falling into place when it comes to fundraising. People understand your organization’s mission and cause and are providing the financial support your nonprofit needs. Sometimes you might feel despondent or even angry about a lack of progress. You’re doing everything right, but not seeing results. Such is life – sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. We offer suggestions for what you can do when you feel nothing is going your way. We believe there’s always something you can do to advance your fundraising.

Here are 12 suggestions to consider: find one to try today and save the others for another day. First, know your fundraising priorities and how much you need to raise. Knowing one without the other isn’t very helpful, and planning to do what you can with what you get is not a proactive solution. Second, know the impact your organization will make when fundraising goals are met. Knowing what your destination looks like can motivate how you communicate, and which actions you take. Third, know where you are today. Do this by reviewing fundraising progress reports. Fourth, share those progress reports with your team, both staff and volunteers. The fifth action you can take is to meet with prospective major donors to share information about your nonprofit, encourage their support, and, at the right time, ask for financial support. Notice that this is number five and not number one: get grounded in your work, vision, and team before you start talking with people. Actions one-through-four are your warmup program.

Here are seven more actions – these can become part of who you are as a leader and can change the culture of your nonprofit. Number six – create a climate of openness, accountability, and transparency. These are to fundraising what water is to a fish – you cannot function without them. Suggestion number eight pays long-term dividends: communicate regularly with your board chair and board members. This can jump-start you out of a slump. Have something good to share and a question to ask. Getting ideas and suggestions – along with engagement – from your board can recharge what is possible. Here’s number eight – increase your energy by reaching out to current donors to express your gratitude and share an update. You don’t need a special occasion – just reach out. Number nine, reach out to your staff as well. Say “thank you” and say it often. Number ten takes things a step further:  host an awareness and appreciation event to inform and thank supporters. When you’re feeling optimistic try our eleventh suggestion: host a “How well am I doing” session where staff and volunteers can share their feedback and suggestions. Finally, you can always take to social media and share a story or two about the impact your nonprofit makes. What’s most important is to do something. Take action when you feel confident and take action when you don’t. There’s always something you can do.

Copyright 2024 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you plan for 2024! Video and phone conferencing services are always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727.


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