This week, I’ll be attending Habitat for Humanity’s Habitat on the Hill event in Washington, DC. I started attending years ago, when I worked for a local affiliate in Tennessee, and it remains one of my favorite events of the year.
Non-profit organizations invariably suffer from limited resources and a small staff trying to do the work of many. The resulting workload, as well as the personal connection many executives feel toward the group's mission, can cause staff members to focus their attention within distinct boundaries. True objectivity can be clouded by fierce loyalty and passion for the mission. One of the challenges of non-profit management is that leaders are acutely aware of their organization's needs. That is a critical vantage point, but it must be viewed through the lens of what is most attractive to potential supporters. To achieve effective fundraising results, need must be balanced by a determination of what is feasible.
Topics: Campaign Feasibility and Planning Studies, Capital Campaigns, Fundraising Principles, General Articles, non-profit development, non-profit management, non-profit resources, Professional Skill Building, strategic planning
In a previous article on branding, I concluded with the comment that for branding to be effective, it has to include – even feature – the concept of “What’s In It For Me?” (WIFM) for the people you are trying to reach. This is even more important now with competing interests creating “noise” that interferes with your message.
Dedicated volunteers are worth their weight in gold to the regular fundraising operations of your charitable organization. These high-level volunteers provide credibility and undertake the essential relationship-building that helps attract friends, supporters and financial resources to your organization.
Topics: Campaign Feasibility and Planning Studies, Board Development, campaign leadership, Capital Campaigns, fundraising consultants, Fundraising Principles, Professional Skill Building, strategic planning, successful capital campaigns
In my work with organizations around the country, I find that one of the biggest obstacles to fundraising success is groups' inability to mobilize diverse people in the organization to participate in fundraising activities. Staff and board members come to trainings to learn the skills and strategies, but only a handful of people end up actually doing any fundraising work. As consultants like me make their living trying to entice board members and others to participate in fundraising, we often leave out the bigger picture — the need to integrate fundraising and program work.