Randy McCabe September 3, 2015 Nonprofits

1. Your Board isn’t actively involved in your fundraising program. In fact, some of your Board members may not even give to your organization. How to avoid this: a) speak unapologetically about their role in fundraising and personal giving when interviewing potential Board members; b) make fundraising reports an integral part of Board meetings; c) make sure the Board Chair leads the way in giving while encouraging the other members to give generously as well.

2. You don’t have a “stretching” income goal tied to key campaigns that your donors find attractive.Your annual budget should be driven by, or should take adequate account of, meaningful and attractive projects, opportunities and needs that allow you to present a number of “campaigns” for support during the year.

3. Remember, you should also be “raising” donors, not just dollars. You need to offer lavish gratitude to your donors, with frequent news that reminds them who you are, and how your mission is making peoples lives better, etc. Communication with your donors should not only be to raise more money; in fact, the majority of your correspondence should be to report on program successes through stories about the people helped and the amount of money it took – hopefully money your donors gave or will give to continue to make your mission possible.

More on avoiding fundraising mistakes later…

About the Orange Leap Donor Lifecycle Blog: Tom McCabe helped to coin the term “relationship fundraising” in the 1970’s as he began applying relationship development principles across multiple channels of fundraising for nonprofit organizations. As a founding partner of fundraising agency KMA, over the last 40 years Tom helped to orchestrate the expansion of hundreds of critical causes worldwide. Now retired from KMA, Tom still chooses to spend his time serving worthy organizations, and can be reached at tom@mccabe-partners.com.