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If Your Fundraising is Failing, Here’s 8 Reasons Why

Let me start off with a quick fail from my own life.

I went over to my friend MinNefer and Nancy’s house, and we made sushi. He took out the sushi cannon and encouraged me to have a go!

I screwed it up so badly!  (see picture below)

mazarine treyz fail

We went back to the old fashioned way of just using a bamboo mat, and that worked way better.

With me, I like to make experiments. And I like to ask why things didn’t work. In this case, I think it didn’t work because the rice wasn’t wet enough. Or maybe the cannon was poorly made.

If your Fundraising is failing, What is the thing that’s tripping you up?

It’s going to be one of these eight things:

0. The culture of no-overhead – which means that foundations (and many government agencies) reinforce the cycle of non-profit poverty by not allowing indirect costs or limiting them to 10%, which means accepting their money is impoverishing the organization by requiring the project to be subsidized.”

1. Not enough deep relationships with donors/funders

2. Not enough money devoted to the fundraising program, which means less ability to track and nurture relationships and automate outreach leading to lost donors – (how to get them back?)

3. Not enough continuity in fundraising staff or board (how to build a better board? listen to Kishshana Palmer’s advice)

4. Unrealistic expectations of ED/fundraising staff – aka having 3 people’s jobs

5. No oversight of fundraising performance- or amateur oversight- (what if your board doesn’t fundraise?)

6. Bad workplace culture including:

7. Too many tiny players. One reader writes, “Why don’t we talk about Consolidation of organizations with overlapping or identical missions? This needs to happen so we’re not paying for so many part-time E.D.s, book keepers, office managers, etc, and potential donors are getting contacted so many times. I know this is a tough one, since so many staff & boards are invested in their organization’s brand/identity”

So, consolidation! And PAYING FOR OVERHEAD! WHAT A CONCEPT!  BUT A GOOD CONCEPT. read more here from Jay Love, CEO of Bloomerang, about why nonprofits should consolidate

8. Board having no concept of what it takes to fundraise, how to help, or how to be responsible. Or maybe you trained them, and suddenly you’re invisible? Here’s the question to ask yourself. When people aren’t taking responsibility, what is preventing them, and what is the payoff for them to not take responsibility?

If you want help with any of these things, just use the contact form and let’s chat!

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