We have all been there when we are in the middle of a campaign or plan and everything slows down to a crawl. Sometimes this happens because we have not planned enough, or because we need to build critical mass, but other times it happens because of external things you cannot control. Fundraising can sometimes take a bit of slugging.

When I find that internal forces are blocking a campaign from moving forward I find that short strategic regular meetings have helped me push forward. Think through exactly what blocks you have and what it will take to get past them. If you have really stalled out it’s going to take a number of “concentrated charges” or strategic meetings to “break the line” you will probably have to encourage movement a number of times.

Take some time to think through your meeting in your head, what will people say, how will the meeting flow? Then set up your agenda in such a way that you can make sure to cover the important items needing completion. I often use my agendas as my action plan so it will have actual steps from our development or campaign plan on it.

When your campaign slows down more than anything else you need to be patient and persistent. Any advice or proven strategies you have to move forward when internal pressures slow you down?


Keep on Keeping On

by Jason Dick · 0 comments

Every nonprofit has hard times. Here are some of my thoughts if you need to push through tough times.

It is important to set short regular meetings & benchmarks. These do not need to be directly tied to finances. In fact make sure that some of them are not tied to finances. Have some measurable benchmarks such as: how many times you are talking to and meeting with donors, how many handwritten notes you are sending out, etc. Right now we need to be talking to donors and making new connections as often as we can. Setting benchmarks give us goals that we can meet when our financial goals seem unattainable or overly daunting. Doing a check in during a 10 to 15 minute regular meeting gives the team a rally point where they can share success, build momentum, and encourage moral.

Keep focused on your next step. Sometimes things slow to a crawl and that is just the way things are but we can’t let them stop. Talk openly about what the next big thing your team is working to get done.

In the areas that are keeping you from moving forward continue to try different strategies to move to the next step. If something doesn’t work try something else and don’t be afraid to try the same thing again.

I’d love to hear from you and what you have found successful to keep yourself or your office going. What do you do in your office or with your team to move things forward when fundraising slows down?


Will You Be My Volunteer?

December 2, 2014

How many of you value volunteers and volunteer recruitment as highly as donor stewardship? Some organizations I’ve worked for have their volunteer programs held within the development office other have them elsewhere. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the nonprofit; they serve on your board, often serve your clients, keep your front desk staffed, fold your […]

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Mission or Opportunity

November 25, 2014

Do you work for your non-profit because you believe in the mission of the organization or because it is a good opportunity for you? I do for a combination of both but let me make a brief case for each. Mission keeps the direction clear and gives you another reason to get out of bed. […]

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Email Merge Secret

November 18, 2014

I wrote earlier about how writing informally can be a great strategy to personalize a donor letter. We all use email and receive way to many mass emails. We have become experts at figuring out what is an email we need to read and what we can delete right away. If we put in the […]

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Mr. Formal or Informal

November 11, 2014

When communicating with donors how we talk with them, especially in mass mailings, is really important. Some people really appreciate formality while others want you to tell a compelling story with simple language. A good general rule is the more that you know someone the more informal your writing can be. When writing a solicitation […]

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Business Before Pleasure

November 4, 2014

Everyone has a different way of connecting with people. Often times you will use a different strategy when you connect with a donor versus a co-worker or a friend. In fundraising because relationships are so important there is quite a bit of time committed to getting to know donors, volunteers, and staff members. But how […]

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Cold Calling or Networking

October 28, 2014

We are all looking for new donors and new partnerships. And how else do you find these relationships without networking or cold calling? Below are a few advantages to each. Networking can work extremely well if you have active volunteers or you have a lot of personal connections. It is always smart to let board […]

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October 21, 2014

I have spent a lot of time with people’s calendars trying to schedule time to meet with them one-on-one. Here are a few tips/tricks that I use: Talk with people about what their typical schedule looks like so you get an idea as to when they are usually free. Ask for two times instead of […]

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The Water Cooler

October 14, 2014

How much time do you actually spend at the water cooler? I’m going to make the case for spending just a little bit more time there. Internal relationships are often the key to fundraising success. If you have the support of your fellow fundraisers and program staff your job will often become a lot easier. […]

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