1 Final Fundraising Resolution for Procrastinators: Save Money
My last few articles have looked at resolutions for 2014 that can help your fundraising program (and you as a fundraiser) accomplish more. Each resolution came from a list I found online of typical resolutions that people make each year. These included get fit, get organized and volunteer.
In case you need one more resolution, haven't made any yet or have simply given up already on the aforementioned resolutions, here's one last one for the New Year: Save money.
You may be thinking that this is the last thing most nonprofits need to be encouraged to do. Squeezing every penny until it bleeds may seem like the company exercise program. But there are places where money can be saved without giving fundraisers fits. For example:
Don't chase after every new thing
Yes, it's fun to be on the cutting edge. No one (not even this old dog) wants to be accused of being behind the times. However, some new things are fun — but not profitable. The challenge is, of course, figuring out which ones will stick around and net more dollars and which will be in the "remember this flop of 2014?" list next Dec. 31.
I have no secret formula for predicting the winners (sorry). But I do caution you to move more slowly this year when choosing new activities in which to invest your limited funds. There are simply too many new tools to be able to make each one a "winner" for your nonprofit. Even if it means limiting where you have a presence, strive for quality (frequent blog postings, regular updates, sharing really great photos that capture the results of your nonprofit, etc.) rather than just having a halfhearted presence everywhere.
Don't keep doing things that aren't working
While this seems like a "no, duh" statement, unfortunately, politics (yes, I will say that dirty word) can keep fundraising leaders from making the tough choices and ending an event, discontinuing a publication or cancelling a donor club. After all, this board member or employee or donor or volunteer really, really likes whatever it is.
But sometimes things need to be replaced. Take a look at the investment of time (which is money) or actual expense. Ask, "What would the reaction be if we discontinued this?" You'd be surprised; sometimes the only negative response comes from an internal person or two while donors just keep on giving even without whatever it is you've discontinued.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.