Don’t erect roadblocks in the first place

April 15, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

Despite their awareness of the need to fundraise, many nonprofit leaders face roadblocks to their efforts, roadblocks they put up in the first place.

In his book “The Nonprofit Fundraising Solution,” Laurence A. Pagnoni wrote that there are four main roadblocks to winning at fundraising. It is important for people in nonprofit operations, especially those at the top, to recognize the roadblocks and overcome them or know enough not to erect them in the first place. The roadblocks are:

  • The taboo that surrounds asking for money in the first place. People have different thoughts and approaches about this, but it is still a problem for many. Organizations that fundraise successfully do so because they ask. A fundraiser makes a bridge between those who have money and those who need money for a good cause.
  • The fear of making a mistake. “What if I offend the donor?” “What if the timing is wrong?” It might happen, but it won’t if fundraisers have done their job of fostering engagement. In fact, one big mistake is NOT asking for money.
  • Complexity. The drive to do good withers against sophisticated business complications. The best recourse: Ask questions. Sometimes it’s a matter of learning.
  • Acceptance of the notion that “no one wants to fund overhead, and development is overhead.” If that is an issue, connect the concept of overhead to a donor’s everyday life.