If you're like most fundraisers I know, chances are you're probably trying to figure out how to raise more money for your non-profit. And why wouldn't you be doing this? You have an important mission to carry out and you need money to make it happen.
But the million dollar question (pun intended) is how do we do transform our fundraising results to raise more money?
Over the years of my own fundraising career and working with non-profit clients on fundraising strategies, there have been countless times when I've had to find an answer to the question of how to raise more money.
In today's blog post I want to talk about one of the most important qualities organizations and fundraising professionals need to have in order to transform their fundraising results.
One of the single most important things I've learned is that while the strategies and tactics we use in fundraising make a difference, it's our dedication and consistency that really impacts our results. So often, I've seen organizations create great strategies or plans for fundraising only to abandon them. Why does this happen? Too many reasons to count. We get busy with more urgent tasks, new ideas come up, we don't have enough time to execute, and so on. What's detrimental about this is that in not following through, we're less able to evaluate the effectiveness of our strategies and plans because they weren't full executed. Moreover, we lose out on all the potential gains of following through.
While the strategies and tactics we use in fundraising make a difference, it's our dedication and consistency that really impacts our results.
This was especially evident during a project I was working on with The Dixon Society. They are a mid-size non-profit with one development staff person and an ED also dedicating some time to fundraising work. While they struggled to figure out what they needed to do to improve their fundraising results, their bigger challenge was consistently implementing new fundraising strategies.
As you might know, in fundraising (and really all areas of non-profit work) we're often fighting fires and giving way to what I call the 'tyranny of the urgent.' In working with The Dixon Society, we talked about this challenge and decided that they were going to need prioritize important work over the urgent if they were serious about reaching their goals.
This made a huge difference in their outcomes and after 9 months, they saw a 14% increase in their fundraising results, which is amazing! You can read the full story about their success here.
How to Be Consistent in Your Fundraising Work
If your organization is struggling with consistency I want to offer you a few tips.
Tip #1 Start by Understanding the Conditions Leading to Your Inconsistency
Anytime we are trying to solve a problem that requires behavior change, it is imperative that we understand the conditions and factors leading to the current behavior. In other words, why are you doing what you're doing now? There are usually multiple reasons why certain behaviors exist.
Give yourself a bit of time to reflect on the challenges you've faced with consistency. Most of all, get honest with yourself so that you can truly understand the problems you need to solve. Only then can you give yourself a new path forward that could lead to different (and better) results.
Tip #2 Find Ways to Keep Yourself Accountable
One of the challenges I've seen multiple clients, including The Dixon Society, have with being consistent is lack of accountability to say the course. Accountability (especially external accountability to someone other than yourself) is hugely helpful to reinforce changes you want to make. The Dixon Society was able to get accountability by working with me as a consultant. But even after our work wrapped up, they committed to standing weekly meetings to keep the momentum and accountability going.
I hope these tips help you and your organization as your strategize your fundraising growth.
If you are interested in further exploring strategies for fundraising growth, be sure to sign up for the free webinar I'm hosting onJune 4th on this very topic.