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The Small But Mighty Fundraising Department

Capacity for any nonprofit is a challenge.  For the small nonprofit, it can be daunting. However, there are tools that the bigger organizations use that even a one person department can also leverage.

In an article posted by The Fundraising Authority, five tips can help you and your nonprofit reach successful fundraising goals, even with few resources.  Here are just a few suggestions:

  • It Takes A Village – By creating an affinity group, you will expand your giving circles of influence. It multiplies your fundraising capacity by engaging a group on a specific fundraising goal.  For example, rally your event volunteers to help push out social media posts and campaign information to help raise awareness and money.
  • Get to Know Someone – Fundraising is not a purely transactional event – it is relational.  Investing time in cultivating a relationship with your donors will lead to their investing in your nonprofit’s work in the community. A good start is to invite them in for a tour or to volunteer at a special event.
  • Look to the Future – Planned giving programs can be started simply by asking donors to include your organization in their wills. The importance of having such an opportunity is substantial as gifts received in this way are often some of the largest donations your organization could receive. 

What can often be overlooked is building awareness about your nonprofit and its work in the community.  It is imperative to be active in the ‘digital sandbox’ in order to keep your work front and center. A basic approach is to be engaged on one channel and dedicate your time to it as opposed to spreading yourself out on as many digital spaces as possible.  Build awareness by building relationships.

There are many things you can pursue but if you are a one person fundraising team, you must be selective with regards to what those activities will be. Blue Avocado suggests a few basic and easy-to-do tasks to help be a strong foundation:

  • Reach out to your donors – After identifying your top donors and creating a list, call two of them each day to check in, say ‘hello!, and thank them for their support. Setting aside a lunch, once a month, to visit with a major donor helps steward a strong relationship.
  • Build relationships with your board – As board members are settling in for the start of the meeting, ask them to sign thank you notes for donors and foundations. Perhaps doing a board member spotlight every other month on social media and your e-newsletter is a great way to publicly thank them for their support as volunteers.
  • Send handwritten notes to donors – Alternate your daily phone calls with a weekly or monthly mailed note to your supporters.  Build into your budget one additional direct mailing that is simply a midpoint note of appreciation, not one asking for money.

As the professional hired to manage a big job of developing strategies to fundraise for your nonprofit, it is key to map out specific activities to leverage over time. Investing in using your time wisely we multiply successful outcomes. It is important to recognize that you cannot be all things to all people but you can be a leader dedicated to focused efforts that will lead to impactful opportunities for your organization. To see a list of 100 tips and tricks to help you grow your fundraising department, see my free download here.


Posted in Fundraising.