Is Fundraising Distracting You…
From Raising Funds?

Ann Fitzgerald President AC Fitzgerald author

Ann C. Fitzgerald, President

Do you feel as if you are fundraising all the time, but not making any progress? This may be attributed to uninspiring programs, a lack of leadership, poor fundraising techniques or the weak economy.

Or, it could mean that you are not focused on the activities that will deliver results.

In other words, fundraising work is distracting you from actually raising funds. Here are some warning signs:

Warning sign #1: You don’t have time to meet with donors. Is this because you spend your time updating the database, researching names, sending out letters of inquiry to foundations, etc.? Of course, most fundraisers have to engage in all these activities, but they shouldn’t take precedence over securing a meeting with a top donor and asking for a gift.

Warning sign #2: You see glittery dollar signs far in the distance. Is Bill Gates rich? Yes. Is he likely to give your nonprofit money? Not if he has never heard of your organization and has no particular interest in your work. Sometimes we forget to mine the treasure in our own donor lists while running after cold prospects solely because they are wealthy. Don’t ignore prospects, but do qualify them.

Warning sign #3: You consider everything to be fundraising. An event at which donors are present could be an important relationship-building activity. Or it could be an enormous time-waster. Ask yourself: What are the three most important activities I could do today that will have an impact on our fundraising? Then do them.

Using your time wisely in fundraising is a balancing act. There are many behind-the-scenes activities that we need to accomplish before and after soliciting a gift.

But in the words of Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, “Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.”

Ann C. Fitzgerald is Founder and President of AC Fitzgerald, using her decades of experience in fundraising, management, leadership, and sales to help nonprofits build their capacity and achieve success. She is a sought-after speaker, writer, and advisor.

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