3 Ways to Encourage Your Organization to Invest in Fundraising
It doesn't take long for a fundraiser to learn that it costs money to raise money. Even a post on Facebook takes a few minutes to write — and time really is money. But fundraisers often find themselves having to defend their expense budgets and fight to keep the income budget from being inflated without any plan (or budget) for raising that extra income.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, "Hope is not a strategy." Yet, board members and some executives at nonprofit organizations sometimes seem convinced that money will come in, even without investment in fundraising — a strategy of hope if there ever was one.
We all have learned that wishing doesn't make fundraising success a reality. Nor does a single ask usually result in a gift. It takes time to identify people with an interest in your mission, build a relationship, establish trust, make a case for your solution to a problem — and eventually receive the donation.
There is no easy solution to this battle. And yes, it is a battle, because fundraisers know that the mission will not be accomplished if there isn't enough money to fund program. I've never met a committed fundraiser who wanted to just spend money on fundraising; rather, fundraisers constantly are looking for where they can invest money to raise even more money.
If you're facing the challenge of convincing a board or leadership team that investing in fundraising is essential for the organization's future, there are a few ways you can help make your case. It won't be easy, but the payoff could be a growing, healthy nonprofit, accomplishing more and more every year.
Make sure the numbers mean something
It's easy to produce a report from the donor management system or Excel. It's much harder to guide the recipients to a point where they understand what that report is saying about the future.