Daydreaming isn’t fundraising.
Maybe it’s human nature. But it hurts your fundraising program.
It often happens in new, small or struggling organizations. Or maybe it’s just more noticeable there.
Your fundraising isn’t going well.
Your small group of supporters is becoming unenthused and giving less. Panic and frustration ensue.
But creating or sticking to a fundraising plan is boring. And it doesn’t return instant results.
Dreaming and blaming wealthy people for not “getting it” is so much more satisfying!
Wishing or planning: the difference between Prince Charming and accomplishment.
One is easy. Just dream big and do nothing.
The other is a commitment, sometimes hard… and guess what? Raises money.
Chances are good you won’t benefit from the next ice bucket challenge. But remember even ALS hadn’t planned the challenge. Yet they were ready for it when it happened because they were doing the everyday stuff, well, every day.
Dreaming is fun. When I win the lottery, I’m moving to the beach. How about you?
But in the meantime, there’s work to do.
And people who depend on us doing the work.
Yes, that’s an upfront commitment of your time and focus. But you won’t succeed if you don’t bother.
Set goals for yourself and fight to reach them. You’ll be amazed at what you accomplish once you decide you will.
Maybe that’s 3 connections. Or 20 connections. Or an email list of 50.
Take inventory. What can you work with?
But I don’t know any rich people!
That’s fine. Middle-income people and even poor people are donors. Talk to them.
Get out in your community and bring business cards. Give cards to your board members, too. Use every opportunity to talk about the good your organization does.
Ask people if you can keep them up to date and add them to your list. (Permission, folks. Don’t just add them!)
And what about people who’ve benefited from your work? You might be surprised at how happy they’d be to help. If you ask.
No money? An inexperienced board?
Try this. Ask board members to buy a book of stamps each. Then print out letters to your small list, add personal notes and mail them. Minimal mailing costs, board involvement, personalized outreach.
Prince Charming lives in a fairy tale.
Stop dreaming and start where you are.
Then keep working with what you have. Try a few new things. Keep going, keep learning.
Do real fundraising.
Princes are overrated, anyway.
And glass slippers cause blisters. Or so I’m told.