As non-profit professionals, I know we are always trying to avoid making serious “fundraising mistakes.” There are definitely some issues that everyone raising money for any cause should be aware of before asking anyone for funds.
Guidestar has an excellent article posted on their site called The 20 Biggest Fundraising Mistakes, Part I which covers the first 10 on the list. I don’t know what order these are really supposed to be in, but the very first one on the list may just be the #1 biggest mistake in my opinion: Thinking Your Organization Will Attract Support Simply Because It’s a Good Cause.
Just because you have a good cause—one of thousands, really—doesn’t mean money will wend its way to you…Keep in mind, always, that people give in order to get. They don’t simply want to give away their money; they want to feel they’re investing it and getting something in return.
Luckily the belief that people will donate “because it’s a good cause” stems from a very positive place – that you passionately believe in the cause. It’s easy to develop such tunnel vision when working for a non profit. But as with so many things in life we have to look at things from other people’s perspective.
In addition to this Guidestar list, Sandy Rees also has a relevant report called “10 Deadly Fundraising Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.” It’s a great report that addresses a lot of foundational reasons that non profits have trouble with fundraising. Plus the best part is that she shows you how to remedy such situations or avoid them altogether!
You can request your free copy of this report here: 10 Deadly Fundraising Mistakes and How to Avoid Them