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Fundraising Fails to Avoid

Everyone wants to back a winner and donors are no different. Here’s how to position your nonprofit in the best light possible.

Before they are willing to commit to contributing large sums of money to an organization, donors want to be assured that the organization is stable and secure. They want to know that there is staffing and infrastructure in place to put their valuable contributions to good use. A history of successful fundraising is often the key to obtaining those large donations.

In “Getting to Your First Million: Three Fundraising Fails to Avoid,” author Shannon Farley presents some important tips to make sure organizations are positioning themselves in the best way for fundraising success.

  • Don’t say no for the donor. Development staffs are always looking to maximize limited time. However, fundraisers should make sure they aren’t saying no for the donor. Perhaps that donor just needs more information or maybe s/he hadn’t thought of prioritizing this organization in their philanthropy. Consider broadening the definition of “potential major donor.”
  • Don’t make it a one-way street. Fundraising is all about relationships. How is the organization giving back to the donor? Does the donor feel like s/he has a place in the organization?
  • Asking is important, but don’t forget the close. Many development staff spend most of their time on the ask, but not enough on the close. Building communication and persistence can lead to long-term success.

Read more about Farley’s tips for reaching the first million in Forbes.

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