Our founding fathers (and mothers) worked hard to lead the American Revolution and establish the United States. We celebrate their accomplishment in the U.S. on July 4th each year.
Their work was challenging and focused on something better. Something different.
Sounds exactly like our work in fundraising.
While the focus of the colonial revolt by the American Patriots and our founding fathers was successful for many reasons one reason sticks out for me: They focused their work, language, and time on what would be gained by having independence from the authority of the British Crown.
When you put the focus on what you’ll gain versus what is difficult, wrong, or feels impossible, things happen. Good things.
As you decide whether or not you’ll meet your fundraising goals this year, or whether or not to make that major gift ask, or why to shift your communication to be more engaging, or focus on creating a culture of philanthropy remember change takes focus and work. But it doesn’t have to be so hard.
Here’s an excellent list from Lifehack to apply to your fundraising challenges, Why Changing for the Better Isn’t as Difficult as It Seems.
Not a strategy when it comes to change. And definitely NOT a fundraising strategy.
2. Awareness for Need to Change
The first step is to acknowledge that you have something you need to change. Example: Increase donor retention.
3. Believe that Change is Indeed Possible
Be proactive with the belief that change CAN occur. It just might not look exactly like you thought it would. Start conversations with, “what if we could ____,” rather than “we can’t.”
4. List the Benefits for Change
For yourself AND your organization. Allow others to help craft this list. Thing big and outside the box. This helps you see possibilities you may have missed.
5. Make a Real Commitment to Change
Commitment means time and energy. But be SMART: Make your goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
6. Create a Plan of Attack
A goal without a plan is a plan to fail. But also be willing to adapt the plan as needed. Together we can update or create a rock solid annual fundraising plan.
8. Get Uncomfortable
Change SHOULD be uncomfortable. As Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul says, “All the good stuff is outside our comfort zone.”
9. Stick to the Plan
Be committed to achieving it one day at a time. Embrace small wins. They move you closer to the goal.
For support and to inspire your change: Invest in the book that more than 5000 people have purchased and used with their board & staff.: Nine Steps to a Successful Fundraising Campaign. Using case study stories, you’ll learn the nine areas to focus on to ignite your fundraising.