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by Sherry Quam Taylor
I don’t want to sound harsh, but most New Year’s resolutions don’t stick. The daily demands of life and our natural resistance to change - well, they get the better of us and we don’t get the results we were hoping for.Are you approaching your nonprofit growth plan like a New Year’s resolution?
Without a plan, your nonprofit’s revenue growth isn’t that different from New Year’s resolutions. To raise more money and secure larger donations, you need a growth mindset and a plan to get the results that got you so excited in the first place.
Resolution #1 Become Proactive
It’s easy to get stuck being reactive in nonprofit. But there comes a time when a leader has to make a conscious decision to press pause and put a proactive plan in place that will grow the organization and its funding.
Is it time to pause for planning? Have you truly established your organization’s financial need—one that would actually propel growth? Do your top donors know your true need and their crucial role in your organization year after year? Do they understand your funding structure? Are you presenting your financials to donors on a regular basis?
Push into these activities and lean into investment-level conversations with your donors this year. Then you’ll see investment-level results.
Resolution #2 Become Aware of the “Competition”
Nonprofits don’t usually think of themselves as “competitive,” but right now, there are dozens of other nonprofits in America with similar missions to yours. You are competing for donor dollars. So, what makes someone give to you over another organization?
You must set yourself apart by providing a satisfying donor experience and conveying your uniqueness. Donors want to give to an organization that serves their interests. Serve your donors! Focus on what their investment in the mission can do through your organization.
Resolution #3 Become Disciplined
Most growth initiatives fail when they’re not given the time they need to succeed. Implementing development systems doesn’t happen by magic--you have to take the time to do it, over and over. Simply put, development is discipline.
Take another look at your budget. Your income goals should direct how to spend your time. For example, a typical organization should hope that 50-75% of their revenue is coming in from their Top 30 individual gifts. With this, your revenue-generating staff should spend a comparable amount (50-75% in this example) of their time on this activity.
This is where I see nonprofits get stuck - spending too much time on activities that yield small dollars. Watch that you're not spending a disproportionate amount of time on things that don’t generate significant revenue.
Make A Resolution...With A Plan
What about you? Dreading the thought of climbing that fundraising hill again? Wondering where you’ll find new donors in 2020? You’re not as bad at fundraising as you may think. Perhaps you’ve never had to do it in your previous career . . . or you've never been taught how to do it.
Start here with my HOW TO: Find Major-Donors in 2020 Guide. You’ve got this!
About Sherry Quam Taylor
Sherry teaches nonprofit leaders how to pivot from spending only time on low-dollar activities to investment-level opportunities. The leaders she works with are experts in their field, but when it comes to individual fundraising, they’ve simply never been trained how to do it, so it feels frustrating. She helps them learn how to solicit in a way that involves less dread and gets results. She does this through her private coaching and 90-day fundraising accelerator. Website: www.QuamTaylor.com
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