Benjamin Franklin said that “any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain- and most fools do”. When working in advancement or development, it is easy to start complaining since so much pressure is placed on you and how much money you raise. So here are some Foolproof ways to keep your sanity and stay wise in this crazy fundraising world.
Foolproof #1: It’s Not You
In fundraising work, we can take our perceived failures as “there is something wrong with me.” That is not the case, for most of us. Our work is joining a supporter’s heart and personal convictions to the work the organization is doing. Sometimes major donors are just not interested. Move on and continue to patiently cultivate relationships that do match the organization’s mission and vision.
Foolproof #2: Gather Stories Of Success
We get frustrated because of the day to day drama and traumas of working in an office with people. Get your mind off the mess and gather stories of successes. Program successes, constituent successes, donor successes, positive outcomes. This builds your faith in the organization’s purpose, which, gives you reason and subjects to discuss with your major donors.
Foolproof #3: Report Activities And Gifts Received
If you only track and report on money received, you are missing ¾ of the work you do. Track meaningful activities with donors. Track collaborative work with businesses and other nonprofit organizations. Track donor increases in annual giving because you have been cultivating a particular donor. Track donors who have been added to your donor list because of your cultivation efforts. You are doing a lot of work. Get credit for it.
Foolproof #4: Guard Your Mouth
This can sabotage you. Your mouth can kill progress you have made with your donor. No one wants to be around a negative person. Donors can sense your negativity. Proverbs 10:31 (Message Bible) explains that a good person’s mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom; a fool’s mouth is a stagnant swamp. Are your conversations minty fresh or stinky breath?
You can enjoy the work you do. Be wise. Be patient. Believe in the vision of your organization. My friend, success to you!
Need a sounding board to point you in the right direction of fundraising for your ministry? Request your free consultation—I’d love to connect with you.