April 26, 2017

How to Solve Your Biggest Fundraising Challenge

woman holding her hand outQ: What evaluation question shrinks your donated nonprofit revenue growth?

A: How much money did we raise?


Surprised? Let me explain.


You’ve heard the adage: “What gets measured gets done.” So, asking how much did we raise is good, right? Yes. Evaluation improves fundraising. However, if you only measure immediate results, you risk sweeping future donations in the trash.


Instead, seek donations today and resources (including contributions) tomorrow. Measure: 1. Money raised today AND 2. Future income improvements.


What results improve future income? Outcomes, such as:
  • Referrals to new prospects. The donor, who declined a major gift opportunity, invites you to lunch with two friends. Your database expands.
  • Infrastructure improvements. The Early Learning Coalition transforms its friend-raiser, Destination Kindergarten, into a fund-raiser. They gain donations and improve their prospects.
  • Resources. Instead of money, you obtain an in-kind donation. Your expense decreased by 10 percent for years.

How to Make Today the Worst Fundraising Day Your Nonprofit Ever Experiences

Why does measuring income now and later help? You grow revenue and your future. Today, therefore, becomes the most challenging fundraising day your organization ever faces. Tomorrow will include challenges for sure, but you’ll be tapping more community support and better infrastructure.


To improve your fundraising, ask: How much did we raise? And, how much did we set in motion to earn tomorrow? Tomorrow morning, you’ll be glad you did. Email Karen to learn if you qualify to join her mentoring program.
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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