3 Tweaks to Get Your Fundraising Back on Track
Tweak No. 2: Offer options that are good for both the donor and your nonprofit
Another area fundraisers often stumble over is collaboration. Face it, we tend to perform tasks that we get “credit” for. If our annual review asks us about how much money we raised rather than how we were able to move the organization toward its annual goals, we’ll focus on getting cash in the short term over exploring working with other groups or organizations. This can be one of the roots of donor fatigue. Whenever we share a problem with donors, we seem to think the only solution is money.
If you know specifically what you’re trying to accomplish, you can be more open to seeing the solicitation as a dialogue. You’ve done the relational work to know that the donor is interested in making the same change. Now you get to explore which of your organization’s chosen fixes will meet with the donor’s desire to give.
What if you’re only measured by dollars raised? If your position is as a fundraiser, your goal is by definition raising funds. You can still bring a collaborative attitude to the table.
If a major-gifts donor doesn’t say yes when you solicit for the $150,000 mentioned above, you have an opportunity to negotiate. Two normal ways of showing flexibility are timing and total amount.
• Timing: Most donors don’t think in terms of months or years. They hear a dollar amount and assume they’re being asked to pay it right now. If they stumble over the number, you can break it down for them. You might share that $150,000 is “just” $75,000 a year for two years. Or “just” $18,750 a quarter for two years. You could also start with smaller pledge payments and move to larger ones.