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Fundraising tip – Desperation fundraising

I’m sure there is an official term for this. Desperation fundraising is just my term. It means that a fundraiser is often up against a wall, constantly getting calls or drop-ins from the ED or finance person (or worse yet, board members!) about how much needs to be raised RIGHT NOW!

Don’t do it. Don’t buy into it. Don’t participate in desperation fundraising.

Instead, create a plan.

Do you have a budget? I don’t mean the agency’s budget. I mean your personal or team budget for development or fundraising.

An example is: Your agency budget says that in July you will raise $25,000. That’s in the official budget. That means that in order to keep going smoothly, and to not adversely affect the rest of the year’s budget, you must raise $25,000. Your personal/team budget says exactly how you plan to do that:

Major gifts: $5,000
Gala sales: $10,000
Summer campaign: $2,500
Corporate partnership: $2,500
Foundation gift: $5,000

And then you work it. You and your team create specific ideas and actions around how you are going to raise each specific amount.

I like to have this plan all set when I present my development budget to my boss the year prior. I never want to just fill in numbers for a budget; I want to know how those numbers are going to materialize and who is going to support meeting the goal of each line item.

The better plans you have, the better off you are with your overall fundraising goals. It’s not easy when you’re getting pressed to raise more and more and more. Knowing how you plan to raise that money is key in not becoming a desperation fundraiser.

Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.

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