August 30, 2017

How to Inoculate Your Board Against Quick-Fix Fundraising

a man about to get a shotWhich quick fix fundraising trend has caught the attention of your board? Peer-to-peer fundraising? Ice bucket challenge? Dinner out? Give days? Mobile giving? March Madness?
The nonprofit world swirls with fads, trends, and quick-fix promises. While any one of the ideas might be just your ticket, pursuing all of them means trouble. If we’re not careful, you’ll find yourself falling headfirst down rabbit holes chasing quick-fix, magical, might-work-for-us fundraising schemes.
How do we help our boards avoid fads, stick with the tried and true, yet remain open to possibilities? The real question is: How do we help boards make good strategic revenue decisions?
First, understand that quality decision-making results from logic, not emotion. Logic helps us to evaluate gains, risks, and costs. Quick-fix ideas evoke emotion. (“Look at what we might gain!”) Left unchecked emotion ignores logic and creates wild goose treasure hunts.

To make good income decisions, your board must:

  • Understand how nonprofits make income. The book, 7 Nonprofit Income Streams is an eye-opening, all-board must-read.
  • Decide if your sustainability depends more on earned or donated income.
  • Establish criteria based on the above decision to evaluate options.
  • Regularly use the criteria to analyze possibilities.
Robust, pre-established, logical criteria become your ticket to thoughtful income decisions. With criteria, your board uses logic to select the best ideas to pursue. Moreover, each evaluation brings greater clarity about your income strategy and values. I love helping boards set simple, logical, and smart criteria to guide their strategic decisions, call me at (941)-924-4860 to talk about your needs.
For more answers, check out this Nonprofit CEO Library.

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Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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