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!