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It's the End of the Month As We Know It (and I feel stressed)

The end of the month reminds me of the underlying tension in fundraising.

Long-term processes vs. short-term goals.

We know building a relationship with donors – connecting them with the cause and creating opportunities for them to get involved – takes time.

But what about that monthly report to the board? And the monthly fundraising goals?

Until I really thought about this conflict, I dreaded month-end reporting and could never shake the feeling that my work as a fundraiser was ineffective. Things got better once I started to balance these opposing thoughts – and started to talk about it with my fellow team members and board members.

If you are leading a nonprofit, your fundraising team might be dreading month-end reporting. They might be looking at their short-term results and drawing a conclusion about their long-term success.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Annual giving channels – such as giving days or direct marketing – can be powerful tools for hitting the monthly numbers. Giving clubs, monthly giving programs, and other focused programs can deliver the short-term traction your balance sheet is looking for.

  • Meanwhile, make sure you are making time for relationship building and cultivation. This means that your major giving officers have the time and the incentive to book those meetings!

  • Board members – especially development committee members – should focus their efforts on outreach and connections. Using their passion for the mission – and their social/professional networks – to help with donor cultivation is key to growing a major giving program.

Call me if you are looking for ways to balance the short- and long-term aspects of fundraising – or want to help your team get more comfortable with the uncomfortable parts of fundraising!

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