Geared Up for Growth
2. Steal very well. We are not the first fundraisers to sit around and talk about best practices in fundraising. There are a lot of people out there who do this a lot. Just keep looking. You don’t have to sit around with a piece of notebook paper trying to figure out where the next big dollars are coming from. Find your local [Association of Fundraising Professionals] chapter; log on to free chats. Look for people in the industry you respect, and send them notes and ask them questions. Steal very, very well.
3. To Dane’s early point: If you haven’t yet built a monthly giving program … for me personally, when people talk about, “I want to build a program of monthly giving within my program,” I think, “No, it’s just a business rule. Just set your business rules. You’re going to have monthly donors; you decide if they’re going to be your first ask, your only ask or your primary ask.” When you’re small and flexible, that’s a great way to drive net income, and you can do it cheaply online.
4. Also, one of my mother’s favorite sayings, that I think absolutely applies to small nonprofits, is, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” The next time someone comes to you enthusiastically to talk about the juice stands that they can have in all 50 states and you’re going to make a fortune, take a minute. Look around at what other nonprofits are doing that have successful, strong fundraising programs … are they doing juice stands around the country? If they are, go for it. But take a minute to evaluate the opportunities that are handed to you, and see where that fits within an industry that’s already got a lot best practices.