You Are the Fundraising Professional!
I'm amazed at how often organizations with experienced fundraising professionals veer off track.
As fundraising professionals, we do no good for those we serve and for our profession by wavering on best practices.
What does this mean? It means having a professionally developed fundraising plan that leverages the most effective and efficient methods in order to achieve fundraising goals.
Having a plan is really your best protection against those well-meaning friends who would like to change your course and sometimes even lead you down those proverbial rabbit holes. Have a plan grounded in data and research. Involve some of your key constituents in gaining their insights for the plan, not in crafting the strategy. Use their insights and the data, but then filter that with proven best practices. You are the expert who is responding to the needs of your organization.
Stay the course for success! This requires that when well-meaning staff and volunteers—even those in leadership roles—begin to take you and your organization down roads that would diminish your professional standards and your organization's success, you need to take a stand.
Be firm. Be friendly. Be diplomatic. But stay the course.
Our volunteer and staff leaders rely on our expertise. They are often uncertain and afraid. They are not fundraising professionals. They do not continually dedicate themselves to professional education programs and self-learning about the field. This is not their full-time endeavor—even if it is a proclaimed avocation.
Continually reinforce your plans and strategies at a high level. Let people know their roles. Assure them. Reassure them. You are the fundraising professional—lead your organization to fundraising success!
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.