Raise more money.
The problem is, there are so many ways to go about pursing this goal, it often becomes completely overwhelming to decide which route to take.
This is especially true at the start of the year as we try to nail down our tasks for the next 12 months. What exactly should we do to raise more money? Which of the infinite number of tasks available will be the most effective?
I submit to you that there is, in fact, one single task that will raise more money for your organization this year.
Let me explain.
If you are a small nonprofit fundraiser, no doubt you have a tremendous amount on your plate.
There are events to plan, committees to manage, appeals to write, thank you notes to send, social media posts to produce… on and on it goes.
But then, in addition to what you are already doing, you are supposed to do even more!
If you are to raise a greater amount of money than in the prior year, logically, you must do something different than the year before.
But when there are seemingly infinite ways to grow your fundraising program, we (or our board members) often feel that we need to do everything.
And when you try to do everything, you can’t do anything very well.
So which do you choose? What’s the single task that will effectively raise more money?
That’s just it. Pick one single thing.
This doesn’t mean ignoring everything else you’re already doing.
Continue doing what you’ve already successfully established. Continue producing your annual appeal. Continue your special events and running your monthly giving program.
But also pick something new to try this year, and focus on one new project.
Commit to its completion, measure it, prove its effectiveness and repeat it next year. That single task then becomes a system.
Then next year you’ll add something else. You’ll focus on and implement another small project – which then also becomes a part of your system.
Which project should you choose?
When it comes to annual fundraising, raising more money essentially comes down to five basic projects:
- Convert potential donors into 1st-time donors.
- Turn 1st-time donors into repeat donors.
- Inspire repeat or occasional donors to become loyal donors.
- Inspire lapsed donors to give again.
- Convert mid-level donors into major donors.
Any one of these projects implemented individually will get you to your goal.
These projects can become “mini-systems” that you’ll repeat every year, making incremental changes based on results you measure.
Over time, as more and more of these small systems prove successful and become a part of your everyday task list, they grow into one solid, successful annual fundraising system.