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If You Got the Money, Honey I got the Time

Nothing vexes nonprofit boards more than fundraising. It’s a never-ending battle, to generate the revenue to get the mission done. Why is this the case? How come there is so much frustration over raising bucks?
True, we’re in some challenging times. Supposedly, we’re emerging from what may be the worst recession since the Great Depression. And we’re learning, daily, that unemployment continues to rise and new job creation lags behind a recovery. How can we deal with this misery and get some energy to raise the money we need to do the work that needs to get done?
Here are just a few tips that come from my days as a fundaising executive with the American Lung Association, including three-time Gold Award winner (in New Hampshire) for fundraising achievement:

  • Tell our story. In our holiday appeal, in our newsletter, on our website let’s tell our story about what we’re doing for our clients. Be sure to make the appeal focused on those we serve, not “poor us.” When we whine about hard times it sounds like we want the $$ for the organization, not for those we benefit with our service. Keep it simple, and ask.
  • Check out our website.  Have information (more stories!) that make the site attractive for return visits both for our clients and our supporters (donors!). Use Flash Player and have video, changing it weekly so there’s fresh new material to bring people back. Post a weekly blog with fresh material on what’s up with the benefit you bring to the community. Is it easy to donate? Are you using PayPal or credit cards?
  • Re-tool event to raise more $$. Events raising under $10,000 should be evaluated for their capacity to raise significant $$. Your development committee needs to formulate a plan that’ll get you step-by-step to the goal you need to reach. All folks connected to you need to engage their networks to help somehow raise appropriate amounts that’ll get you where you need to go. A sound plan well executed will go a long way to getting you there!

There are lots of folks out there looking for organizations like yours doing good work in your community who they want to support. Times may be tight, but particularly at the holiday season most people will find a way to help their community at the same time they do their best to make Christmas merry for family and those nearest and dearest.

It’s do-able!

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