Sometimes fundraising gets a bad rap. Actually, it gets a bad rap most of the time. I consistently hear nonprofit board and staff members say things like:

"Fundraising is hard."

"Nobody likes to fundraise." 

"We don't have a development person/department."

"There's too much competition/we're all chasing after the same money."

While I don't dispute that fundraising can be a challenge, (just look at how many people and companies are dedicated to helping nonprofits find funding) I do think that we tend to use the difficulty of fundraising as a scapegoat for poor revenue results. Saying "nobody likes to fundraise" is a bit beside the point when you consider all of the things that organizations need to have in place BEFORE they can expect to get support from others. 

It's like wanting to eat a great meal but not having any of the ingredients - and then saying "well, nobody wants to cook." The fact that nobody wants to cook is moot when there's nothing to work with.

Poor fundraising results are the PRODUCT, not the problem. In order to have success in asking for support, organizations have to get a LOT of other things right, like:

  1. Having a relevant mission and inspirational vision.
  2. Explaining a clear and impactful value proposition.
  3. Articulating ideas that engage and excite .
  4. Providing service delivery excellence.
  5. Building a community of fans and advocates. 
  6. Capturing accurate and informative data. 
  7. Asking the right people at the right time. Rinse. Repeat. 
  8. Thanking in unique in meaningful ways.

Read more about these eight ways to improve your bottom line in my latest blog post here and learn ways to sidestep common fundraising excuses and get down to what really matters for raising more money. 

P.S. It just occurred to me that I (unintentionally) use the number 8 quite a bit. If you also like things that come in 8s, check out these other octo-themed articles: Board to Death: 8 Personalities that are Killing Your Organizational Mojo and How to be a Great Board Partner (In 8 Easy Steps). 

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