Your fantasy fundraiser

Tired of hearing about fundraising challenges? Maybe it’s time to hire your fantasy fundraiser!

Fantasy fundraiser Saad&ShawThe work of your nonprofit is critically important. You’re helping young people choose the right path in life. You are challenging new forms of discrimination and civil rights violations. The teenagers enrolled in your math and science program are the engineers of tomorrow. Our seniors are protected from fraud and abuse thanks to your organization. And disaster relief is provided around the globe because of volunteers here in the United States.

Your nonprofit’s mission and vision are the drivers for important work. Volunteer efforts play a critical role. Yet, many times your work requires cold hard cash. Why doesn’t the money just show up? And, why, if you hire a fundraiser – or a fundraising team – can’t they meet the ever increasing fundraising goal?

Tired of reality? Let’s play fantasy fundraising! It’s easy and fun. You can hire anyone you want to do anything you want for your nonprofit. The sky’s the limit. Do you need a fundraising professional who can produce the most unique and exciting event ever heard of? One who can also market value-rich sponsorship packages and sell out the event? Write that down.

What about a professional who can build a social media presence and sustain an engaged following for your university or college? Someone who interacts with your young alumni, keeps them up to date, creates fun and competitive giving opportunities and – at the end of the year – shows you a documented increase in alumni giving. Write that down.

Maybe your fantasy is a fundraising professional who is a well connected multi-tasker. She knows everybody. Young professionals and highly placed executives admire her and want to be in her presence. She is a wiz at technology and in just two weeks identifies the right software to run your fundraising back office, tests its reporting functions, migrates existing data, finds those old spreadsheets and enters all the data into the new system. She also finds that stack of business cards, knows everyone personally, places a call to each, records their interests and sends each a copy of your most recent newsletter. At lunch she secures two $50,000 gifts. You love her!

We all have fundraising dreams. We want the money to show up so we can focus on the important work of the organizations and institutions we believe in. It’s understandable. Fundraising is hard work. It requires planning and the right team of professionals and volunteers. And, it can be undermined by fundraising fantasies.

Fantasy thinking can keep us focused on wishes instead of plans. The difference is this: wishes come true magically; plans require involvement, creativity and consistency.

Take the time to dream big and then take the time to plan. Your dreams can come true.

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

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