Do you want to raise major gifts for your nonprofit, but feel held back by lack of know-how, courage, or time?
The good news is that those first two obstacles are fairly easy to overcome. You can learn how to raise major gifts fairly easily by reading books (and/or blogs) and taking classes.
As for lack of courage (aka fear of fundraising), the best way to overcome it is practice—practice sessions with your board, staff, and volunteers, and by looking at each major gift ask as an opportunity to practice.
So don't let lack of know-how or fear of fundraising hold you back—I've worked with plenty of people who overcame either (or both!) of these challenges quite easily.
The lack of time excuse, on the other hand, is a tricky one; particularly if you're dealing with it in addition to, say, fear of fundraising. After all, that mountain of paperwork and the next mailing, while routine and boring, can look pretty inviting when you compare them with overcoming fear!
But the fact remains that the most cost-effective way to raise money is by implementing a major gifts program. The good news, though, is that major gift fundraising also takes less time than, say, putting together big events.
The only way, however, to achieve a successful major gifts program is to work on it consistently, every week, 52 weeks a year (minus your vacation time, of course!).
In other words, you have to stay the course in order to boost your nonprofit's bottom line with major gifts.
But don't despair! You don't have to hire extra staff or add 20 hours to your already-overworked week to make major gifts happen. In fact, you—yes, you—can raise major gifts in only five hours a week.
That's right. Just five hours a week. But as I said above, a successful major gifts program means setting aside five hours every week.
So how are you going to do it? Here are my five top tips for consistently setting aside the time you'll need to raise major gifts:
For more detailed information on starting and implementing a major gifts program, visit my blog and the Major Gifts Challenge.
Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE, Tri Point Fundraising© 2014, Tri Point Fundraising
Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE, is a leading fundraising consultant, speaker, and coach who has taught hundreds of people how to raise major gifts. Her latest book, Major Gifts for Small Shops, covers how to defeat the fear of fundraising, how to find time for and stay the course with major gifts, and other proven advice for creating and sustaining a successful major gift program.
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