Protect your fundraising from those “harmless” last-minute additions

Fundraising projects can go wrong in so many ways. One of the most sneaky and insidious is pointed out at this post from The Far Edge of Promise: It Wouldn’t Hurt To…

You know when you’re doing a fundraising project says it wouldn’t hurt to add this to the job? And you say, “No, I can’t see that it would hurt.” That’s where the problem starts …

… the real concern with this seemingly innocuous statement is that you run a far greater risk of clouding an exceptionally good and helpful message or focus by adding something that confuses.

“It wouldn’t hurt” often comes late in the project. When you’re getting weary of it and wanting to move on. Your defenses are low. You have the energy to say yes, but not the energy to dispute the change. And the suggestions isn’t wacky or super-destructive — why not?

But that little add-on is more often than not a mistake.

Fundraising depends on simplicity and single-mindedness. Those little additions that shouldn’t hurt usually do hurt.

The right way to do a fundraising project (almost any project, really) is this: Before you start work, put in writing exactly what you’re going to create. Circulate that among everyone who has a stake in the work. Make sure they know this is the blueprint, and once everyone agrees, there will be no “one more things” added to it. Then stick to the plan.

Because those last-minute additions could hurt a lot.


Comments

4 responses to “Protect your fundraising from those “harmless” last-minute additions”

  1. This concept is so true on many different levels when it comes to planning a success fundraising event. Whether it is direct marketing or a gala/auction event. Many, many times there a last minute “ideas” that surface, & I can guarantee you when those last minute decisions are implemented a majority of the time it DID NOT effect the donation revenue or enhance the guest/donor experience. I have no doubt that there are exceptions but, to me, effective planning is key & trusting the process!!

  2. This concept is so true on many different levels when it comes to planning a success fundraising event. Whether it is direct marketing or a gala/auction event. Many, many times there a last minute “ideas” that surface, & I can guarantee you when those last minute decisions are implemented a majority of the time it DID NOT effect the donation revenue or enhance the guest/donor experience. I have no doubt that there are exceptions but, to me, effective planning is key & trusting the process!!

  3. This was informative and made a good point. It would behoove people to make a plan and stick to it so they don’t lose focus.

  4. This was informative and made a good point. It would behoove people to make a plan and stick to it so they don’t lose focus.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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