The One Mistake that Hurts Fundraising the Most

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What is keeping you from raising the most money possible?kid-calling-you-out-soccer-200x300

Could it be that your own approach is holding you back?

I have an idea for you – YOU might just be your own worst enemy. : )

This idea will help you make your job easier, more fun, and more successful.

Your #1 Mistake? Doing too much by yourself.

We all work so hard,  because our cause is so very important.

There are people and issues that depend on us.

Every single day, we are helping to make our world a better, safer, kinder, healthier and more beautiful place to live.

Here’s what I”d like to see you do:

Can you share the wealth and create a bigger fundraising team?

I know, I know –

You have already dragged all the people you can get hold of into helping with fundraising.

But think with me a minute.

There are TONS of fundraising jobs that don’t involve soliciting.

Tons of jobs that other wonderful people might be willing to do for the cause.

Remember my #1 Fundraising Motto? “When in doubt throw a party!”

Don't put the entire fundraising monkey on your own back!

Don’t put the entire fundraising monkey on your own back!

That really means “make it fun!”

That means if you lighten up and make it fun for people, they will often be glad to pitch in.

After all, who doesn’t want to have a good time with friends and colleagues – especially when you are serving a cause that is really important to you.

Why not create some “fun” fundraising jobs?

Who can you pull in to help?

First of all,  there are your colleagues. Perhaps they can help?

There are board members – at least some of them might be interested?

And what about the wonderful people who volunteer at your agency? Maybe some of them would enjoy some new jobs too.

Here are my ideas on how to share the fundraising wealth and get some help!

1. Ask them to write cheerful happy messages on holiday cards that you send to donors.

Tip:  Make your holiday cards meaningful.  Make them charming.

Make them warm, fuzzy and touching to your donors.

Show your donors some love in the holiday season.

Show your donors some love in the holiday season.

Or don’t send them at all, ok?

2. They can help with a “thank you” phonathon to your donors.

Tip: I call these “thankathons.” And they are one of your most powerful weapons.

Why? Because getting thank you phone calls makes your donors HAPPY! :)

And if your donors are feeling happy and connected to you, they’ll give more.

Example: I read recently about a local business whose employees would volunteer at a local charity.

Guess what their job was! Calling donors to say thank you!

3. They can help write thank you notes to donors.

Tip: Handwritten thank you notes are a lovely addition to your communications to your donors.

I bet there are some people around who would love to write some warm, loving notes to donors.

Example: I heard once of a group of older ladies who met each week at a local charity.

They had a pizza lunch -AND they all wrote thank you notes. They had fun and camaraderie too!

4. They can help with a mid-December phonathon to lapsed donors.

Tip: Remember that your #1 fundraising strategy for the year-end is to renew every single person who gave in 2013 but who has not given in 2014.

Board members tell me that asking for a renewed gift is the easiest ask of all for them.

Try this!

5. They can help host a holiday social to honor your donors.

Tip: Include your donors in your holiday social plans.

It may not be too late to organize a special thank you event for donors.

I bet you are arranging a holiday social for your board members right now – why not include some important donors?

 6. They can forward your year-end email solicitation appeals to their friends with a personal e-note.

Tip: You’re crafting these emails anyway, correct?

I bet staff, board members and volunteers – even some of your donors would be happy to personally endorse the email and forward it to their friends.

I love this idea. Give it a try!


Please don’t leave the monkey entirely on your own back. Life’s too short!

Involve others in some fun fundraising activities – and you’ll suddenly have a bigger team, broader reach, and more money in the door.

Just be sure to make it FUN for everyone!