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Should you focus on your deficits or your assets? Which will motivate you? If you’re like many people, your list of deficits may be considerably longer than your assets. You could feel down if you start thinking about all the things you wished you had accomplished. If you are a fundraising professional and you focus on things that are going wrong with fundraising at your nonprofit, you might throw up your hands in despair. But we are the folks who think the glass is half full – and we encourage you to do the same.

While the work of building, sustaining, and growing a fundraising program never ends, we recommend starting with a focus on what your organization does well. Use your assets as a foundation to build upon. Take a moment and begin making a list of what you believe sets your fundraising apart from that of your competitors. Your list will be unique to your nonprofit organization or institution. It could be the volunteers who are active encouraging gifts and grants; or the high level of name recognition your nonprofit has. Maybe it’s your engaging videos and wide distribution; your long history of excellent service; or the unique programs you offer. It could be the engaging appeal letters and videos you produce and how quickly they reach a targeted audience. It could be the way you say “thank you” to donors and funders, immediately making contact with an email or phone call.

Your assets could include the way your organization is current in its thinking, actions, solutions, advocacy, organizing, and/or services. Your organization may be the one who can actually pivot to meet local needs as they emerge. You may be loved and respected – when people speak of your work and the people on your team, they only have praise, and that praise is widely shared. Your nonprofit may be transparent and accountable – you are known for letting people know what you are going to do and then you do it. Maybe you are scandal free. Most nonprofits don’t know the value of being scandal free until they find themselves in the midst of one.

Maybe your strength is the uniqueness of the events you produce, or the benefits you offer to donors. Another overlooked asset is how easy it is to give to your nonprofit. Once you have wrangled with technology and come up with a solution you want to build on this asset! Other strengths could include the way you live up to your promise; the momentum and enthusiasm you sustain; and the sense of urgency that you infuse into your fundraising and communications. Don’t forget the power of your vision and track record, and the way you plan for the future and then execute those plans. Once you start your list, you will see there are more things going right than you originally considered. We hope your list will be long, and that you will use it as a motivator. One step at a time you can reach your goals.

Copyright 2023 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you plan for 2023! Video and phone conferencing services are always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727.

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