A Blast From the Past: Boo! Don’t Scare Away Your Donors (November 2011)
FundRaising Success published its first issue in November 2003, which makes this our 10-year anniversary year. To celebrate, we'll be taking a look back at past issues throughout the year.
Since Halloween is approaching as I write this — and since I can't get the "Little Shop of Horrors" song out of my head — I thought I'd share some of the scariest mistakes I've seen from small nonprofits. My hope is that you take heed and learn from these so you can avoid them.
Lack of planning and strategy
If you don't know where you want to go, then any road gets you there. Without a plan, you spend every day reacting to the crisis du jour and never really move your fundraising efforts forward. Having a plan is critical to the success of your organization. It doesn't have to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning document, but it does need to provide goals and direction for your organization. Remember, people don't plan to fail. They fail to plan.
How to avoid this creepy mistake: Make a plan today! Start putting ideas on paper, even if they are more of an outline. Then fill that outline in a little at a time. It won't seem so overwhelming that way.
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