No one is perfect, not even fundraisers. However, we are resourceful and strive to perfect our fundraising approaches. As our organizations evolve, our development tactics must adjust on a regular basis. That means there’s always something to evaluate and update! Don’t worry about being perfect. Concentrate on one category as a time and patch it all together.

Prepare thoroughly. Create a detailed development plan that included goals (development and financial), diversified funding opportunities, expenses, who is accountable, connection to strategic goals, and timeline.

Appreciate your donors. You can never thank your donors too much, as long as it is genuine. Create a stewardship plan and review it at least once a year. Include an evaluation method for each section so you can actually track what makes your donors feel the most appreciated. Add at least 10% of new ideas every year to replace ideas that are worn out or don’t connect with donors.

Teach your supporters. Concentrate on educating them on how THEY are making a difference. Don’t ever let them wonder how your impacting the world every single day with their help. Tell them stories of how they have changed lives and explain how you track outcome measures. This info will arm them to be advocates for your mission as well.

Communicate with your supporters. Make sure your donors hear from you on a regular basis with consistent messaging. Think about how your donors interact with your organization and try out different messages on different platforms. Use the free analytics tools offered by most platforms to narrow down what works best for your target audience. And, of course, it is always a good idea to share pictures and stories, keep your website updated, and maintain a presence on social media.

Handle your mission with care. Don’t try to do too many things and risk drifting from your mission. Be the expert on the community challenge you’re addressing and how your organization is best situated to help. Missions and organizations also need room to evolve. Set time aside with your board every three years to discuss your mission and the current needs in the community. Then, do a quick check-in once a year when you meet for strategic planning or a board retreat.

We’re all trying to do the best we can with limited resources. If you would like help patching together your perfect fundraising approach, please contact Dr. Ivy R. Buchan to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss options at ivy@helixllc.org or call 717-857-7432.