Focus on the Core

Sandy Gallagher

The life of nonprofit fundraising is a busy and complex one. Like anything else, urgent challenges come up and take priority over what drives fundraising success. Be encouraged: there is a way to manage the chaos! Focus on your core. That is, step back and make sure what you are spending your time on results in true fundraising impact. 

Revisit your case

A great way to focus on the core is to revisit your case – the foundation fundraising is built on. When was the last time you reviewed it or updated it? Take another look at your case and make sure that your language is easy to understand and concise. Develop fundable projects within your annual operating budget. This way donors can see where their money is going. 

Make the urgency of your mission clear. Don’t assume your donors know! It’s even helpful to simply ask your donors why they fund your mission. Learn what resonates with them and makes them consistent partners of your nonprofit. 

Focus your leadership

Creating a culture of philanthropy is a key part of nonprofit fundraising. Everyone in your organization should be able to tell your story, and this starts with leadership.

Have your board focus on the core. Make sure each member is aware of their role and responsibility. That they are ready to contribute to a culture of philanthropy. 

When you are choosing board members, treat them like a donor prospect. Be personal, intentional and strategic. Communicate expectations up front and consider having annual check-ins to hold your leadership accountable. 

Dive deeper with prospects

Focus on your core also means focusing on your top priority donors. It may not sound nice, but the truth is that some donors are more important to your fundraising plan than others. Can you name your top ten donors? Your top twenty?  

Once you know these, it’s time to get moving. Outside the office is where you shine, so have a meeting with your donors to foster your relationship with them!  

When you’re in the middle of the storm it’s certainly easier said than done to focus on the core. However, doing this is going to help you see the path forward to weather the storm. When things feel out of control, take a step back and focus on the core. You can do this! 

To learn more about how to navigate the busy and complex world of nonprofit fundraising, visit our learning hub to find new information! 

Advance your mission. Today.