When Should I Focus on Fundraising?

It happens over and over again in our work with organizations far and wide. Leaders of non-profit organizations come to us with the great idea that if they could do one great fundraising event every year, they could raise all of the money they need for their operations. Then they could forget about fundraising for the rest of the year. Brilliant!

No. Not brilliant. I mean in a way who wouldn’t want to take one major, often difficult process and make it into a task that you can complete once a year and go on with life? The problem is that fundraising, done properly, doesn’t work that way.

The focus of DonorFarm is growing and nurturing DONOR RELATIONSHIPS, not just raising money. And donor relationships don’t work that way.

When is the Best Time to Focus on Fundraising? A Nonprofit Resource by DonorFarm

What we have often told the clients who hire us for our consulting services is that the funders of your organization are not some faucet you go to when you need something, and then walk away until you need something again. It’s more of a pipeline that has to constantly be flowing. It’s a process.

If you want people to continue to give, and to give as an investment and not just some small bit of benevolence (look up our stuff on investment giving) then you need to really invest in relationships.

Then when people come to events they are ready to bring friends with them, give generously, and be excited about your accomplishments because you’ve allowed them to really be a part of it with you. So how do you accomplish that?

When Is the Right Time to Fundraise? Always!

Here are some steps:

  • Report back to your donors. Make sure they are aware of what is going on now, what has been accomplished recently, and what is happening next.
  • Give them ways of connecting your activities with their past giving. It’s as simple as acknowledging that, “you know, we couldn’t have done any of this without you and others like you who get what we are doing and are driving us forward!” Say the words, “Thank You!”
  • Don’t always ask for money. Raising money isn’t always just asking for money. It’s investing in relationships. Nurturing interest and good will by making sure that your funders know that their investment in your work has brought a great return in the lives of the people you are reaching.

So when should you focus on fundraising? Always. All of the time.

Raising money is not an interruption in your work, it’s the lifeblood of your work. Your donors aren’t just bystanders who are looking for who to give some money too, they are caring individuals who want to give to the right things that will bring results that they care about!

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to learn and experience as you go through life with your organization’s donors.

DonorFarm is full of tidbits that you can use to make your work better, keep on enjoying the process and keep on coming back to learn more about growing and nurturing donor relationships!