Butter Over Too Much Toast: Managing the One-Person Nonprofit Fundraising Shop
A dependable revenue stream that grows — ah, paradise!
Have a fundraising challenge that you want to crack? Weary of doing the same old, same old yet hoping for different outcomes? Do you want the results that come from superior strategy?
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Last week, I had the privilege of speaking with Lisa, the development director for a charity focused upon disabled adults. Lisa impressed me with her energy and commitment to the cause.
Lisa's quandary is that of so very many in the fundraising world. She's a one-person shop. Outside of a clerical, she's "it" in revenue generation for the small organization. As she said, she's the "director of it all."
There is so much to be done — be it direct mail, major gifts, events, planned giving, grants. Lisa even handles the marketing and community relations.
Being one person to cover all makes her a bit like butter spread over too much toast. It covers the bread but so thinly that the taste is barely there.
And yet the mantra is, "more, more, more." More of what? "Dollars!" you say.
I challenged Lisa to think not in terms of more but better. The implicit question of "how to do more?" simply isn't the right query.
Let's face it: One person can only do so much. Even with all the technology and "multitasking" — which is a subject all itself — there are definable limits. Period.
Once we've recognized our time and energy limits, we're ready to be more productive — really effective.
First, all fundraising efforts are not created equal. That's right. We could talk about this for a long, long time. Furthermore, the priority at any particular moment will change.
Larry believes in the power of relationships and the power of philanthropy to create a better place and transform lives.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles. His mission is to give nonprofits and philanthropists alike the opportunity to achieve their shared visions. With more than 25 years of experience in charitable fundraising and philanthropy, Larry knows that financial sustainability and scalability is possible for any nonprofit organization or charitable cause and is dependent on neither size nor resources but instead with the commitment to create a shared vision.
Larry is the author of the award-wining book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising." He is the Association of Fundraising Professionals' 2010 Outstanding Development Executive and has ranked in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the United States by the Wall Street Business Network.
Larry is the creator of the revolutionary online fundraising training platform, The Oracle League.
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