When Fundraising Gets Caught in the Thick of Thin Things
A dependable revenue stream that grows—ah, paradise!
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When I got off the phone with Denise recently, I immediately thought of something I heard Stephen Covey say. He said people often limit their effectiveness in life by being caught up in "the thick of thin things."
Denise is the executive director of a small organization that serves seniors in the Southeast. When we spoke, she got right to the point by asking me how to solve her fundraising problem.
Denise told me that her challenge is competition from a number of organizations in her area with similar missions. Fundraising totals for Denise's small organization have plateaued. Denise believes this is creating difficulty in generating financial support, subdividing the static pie.
Asking her a few questions pinpointed the real obstacle. What's really holding her organization back is something completely different.
Denise is blessed with a stalwart group of volunteers who work diligently on an annual charity auction. This event generates the vast majority of the revenue, which fuels the organization's work.
Like a lot of events, it's hit maturity. As fundraisers, we know that somewhere between three and five years is the cycle. Event costs are in the typical 50 cents to 75 cents per dollar raised range. It's an awful lot of effort for precious little.
There are many similar events in her area—for everything from cancer research to little league. Denise believes that's depressing her totals.
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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