What is the biggest challenge facing your organization right now? I feel confident most of you would say, “The need for more money.” And yes, I agree that is a major problem for most nonprofits.
Yet, the money is out there, even in tough economic times. Regardless of the economy, Americans continue to make generous contributions to organizations they believe are doing good things and are managing their money well.
If so much money is out there, why are so many nonprofits suffering from lack of revenue? We at Jessica White Associates hear a lot of reasons cited: the economy; donor fatigue; too many good causes seeking support, and more.
But the real answer has nothing to do with any of these reasons. The real answer is, board and staff members don’t ask – or they don’t ask effectively, or they don’t ask often enough. We all know the No. 1 reason people don’t donate is because they aren’t asked!
Why don’t board members ask? After all, they’re the single most important element in fundraising success. We’ve all heard the excuses:
- “I was told when I joined the board I wouldn’t have to raise money.”
- “I don’t know people with the ability to give large gifts.”
- “I don’t like to ask for money from my friends.”
Aren’t these just that … excuses? The real reason most board members won’t ask for money stems from a lack of training and coaching on the process. And executive directors don’t – and can’t – teach them, because they don’t know how either.
The old days of asking for a “gift” are gone. Today organizational leaders must be entrepreneurial and think of fundraising as an investment in a successful community enterprise. Potential donors need to know that they are missing out on a great opportunity by not investing in your organization with their philanthropic dollars. But many board members and, sadly, some executive directors are unable to share with enthusiasm the benefits of investing in their nonprofit.
And yourself …
- Can you clearly and concisely explain the mission and vision of your organization?
- Can you convince prospects and donors that you know exactly what your agency will do with its contributed revenue to address its chosen need focus?
- Are you able to relay the costs of delivering your nonprofit’s service or product?
- And, finally … Are you effective in all forms of communication with prospects and donors, demonstrating that your organization is the best choice to meet their philanthropic goals?
If not, don’t worry that you’re “moving too slowly”. Jessica White Associates is ready to help you! We can work with board members, staff, and other key stakeholders to develop your case for support, and then teach the concepts and process for successful cultivation and solicitations.
Money is out there – if you’re prepared to ask!
Let Jessica White Associates help you become successful fundraisers. Contact Jessica White directly at Jessica@JessicaWhiteAssociates.com or 317-472-0925. Don’t be a victim of “moving too slowly” – contact us today!