I’ve worked in three very different fundraising shops in my career and have found that they all have done things very differently and raised very different amounts of money. I know we have all looked enviously at other organizations and how well they can raise money and lamented why people are not knocking down doors to fund our programs. But the truth of the matter is growing a fundraising program takes a lot of work.
It is important that you rejoice in the fundraising strengths of the organization that you work for. I worked for a children’s hospice that was closely tied to a professional hockey team and they raised most of their money from hockey enthusiasts and businesses that wanted to align with that organization. I recently worked for a social services organization that had fantastic grassroots support. Currently I work for an organization who’s development program has great connections but is still relatively young. Every one of these nonprofits has it’s own strengths.
I want to take a moment to encourage you to improve on what you are already doing well. If you have great community support learn how to maximize it. If you are connected to a sports team then see what kinds of partnership things you can do to raise more money. I’m a huge advocate of trying new programs and having a well-rounded development office. But, don’t forsake your strengths as you continue to improve. Take a close look at what you are doing successfully right now and find ways to grow your successful programs. Once momentum has begun with a program you can often raise a lot more money improving it than starting over and trying to build momentum again in another area.
What are you doing well? How can you grow what’s currently working? Join the conversation at @infosmallchange #ascblog