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?
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?