Little Dogs ... Big Tricks
V. Find a support network
OK, this one is really easy — but really important. Surround yourself with others who are in your position. Some of the best advice and ideas I've received have been from those people who have been through what I am going through. Reach out to colleagues at other organizations, and invite them to a monthly or quarterly breakfast or lunch. I think you'll be surprised by the turnout and by how helpful this can be. The added bonus of free therapy isn't bad either.
So you can take this advice or leave it. After all, it comes from a cocktail napkin. But I know from experience that it's much easier and much more fulfilling to make change and improvements when you don't have so far to fall. And small can get big.
Four Big Tips for Small Nonprofits
by Richard DeVeau
Big Tip #1: Three words — data, data, data
Nothing, and I repeat, nothing is more important to your organization than your database. Just about every fundraising decision you make is driven, or at least influenced, by your data file. If you think your organization simply can't afford to invest in fundraising database software, let me state as clearly as possible that you can't afford not to. Otherwise you're shooting blind. You're making decisions based solely on anecdotal information. You're guessing. Worst of all, you're leaving potential income on the table. All of this will eventually catch up to you.
If you are attempting to raise funds through the mail and/or online, even the smallest nonprofit needs a database. There are quite a few very affordable solutions available, including some shareware options, that provide basic data recording, tracking, reporting and managing capabilities — all of which are essential to effective fundraising, regardless of the size of your organization.