In last week’s newsletter I featured Marc Pitman’s great ideas about The Pareto Principle: The 80/20 Rule for Fundraising. (If you’re not on our newsletter list you can sign up here.)
Basically the rule says that 20% of your efforts produce 80% of results. This concept reminds us that effective fundraising is not just about the total amount of funds raised. It’s also not just about the age old debate about the costs to produce a fundraiser. Time, whether it’s paid staff or volunteer, is also really important.
In this worksheet I include a column for you to rate the time and effort it takes to put on a fundraiser. Using a simple rating scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being very little time and 5 meaning very labor intensive you’ll rate each fundraiser. Which of those fundraisers deserve a 5? Did that last special event where you worked round the clock for days (or weeks) ahead of time really produce the results you wanted? If not, consider how you can either plan the fundraiser more efficiently or, if need be, completely revamp the concept or stop doing it all together.
On the other hand, maybe there are fundraisers on your list that take very little time at all. Depending on the circumstances though, just because they don’t take much time does not always mean that you should keep doing them! These fundraisers could be diverting your supporters’ attention away from your major fundraisers and from your goal of keeping them engaged with your mission.
With the 80/20 rule in mind, decide how you will reduce unproductive fundraising efforts and increase your focus on the ones that are most effective.