8 Fundraising Mistakes To Avoid

Planning the perfect fundraising event or campaign isn’t easy. Whether it’s your first time or whether it’s your hundredth, there are always things to improve on. Txt2Give outlines steps to ensure you keep your current donors engaged and encourage new ones to be committed to your case.

Review our list of mistakes that might occur within your fundraising campaign and how to avoid them. Txt2Give can help you through every step of your campaign!

#1: Not having patience

So many organizations approach fundraising as ‘one and done.’ They will reach out to prospects and if they don ‘t get a donation (or the amount they requested), they write that person off.

Donations, no matter the size, are all about relationships between the donor and the organization. A donor’s relationship with the staff/volunteer is everything, and relationships take time to build.

Don’t expect immediate results, and don’t get frustrated when you don’t get them.

Having the right mindset and expectations going into a campaign will help prevent frustration, for both you and your donors. Donor relationship building is more of a marathon, not a sprint.

#2: Insufficient planning

Not thinking through and identifying all the “needs” of a campaign up front is an easy way to fall short on covering all of the expenses of that campaign.

Take the time to prepare your list of “needs” and potential sources to meet those needs before you begin. Sponsors can be a key to helping make a campaign successful. Many nonprofits fail to raise enough funds for campaigns because they wait until the last minute to look for sponsors. Ask early.

#3: Poor communication

Don’t expect donors to give you money just because you ask for it. Let your donors know specifically how their donations would help. Specific stories or videos from someone who has been helped by your organization go a long way with donors.

Communicate in various methods, too. Some donors prefer emails, while others may prefer social media. Don’t forget to respond to comments or emails either. Donors want to know that their voice is being heard.

#4: Putting all the golden eggs into one basket

It’s a huge mistake to build your budget around just one or two large donors. Make sure you are continuously building a diverse donor portfolio from day one.

Over reliance on one or two large supporters can lead to an unexpected funding shortage should one of those donors quit donating.

#5: Trying to appeal to every donor

Don’t try to force a campaign to fit every donor. You’ll just end up wasting time and resources pursuing donors that may not be in line with your goal. Instead, use your resources to effectively pursue the donors whose focus aligns more closely with yours.

Take the time to understand your donors, their expectations and restrictions. How do those align with your priorities and capacities for your campaign? A little research can go a long way.

#6: Focusing on pitches instead of relationships

While it is alluring to build dazzling ‘pitches,’ the most important goal is to learn about, understand your donor and develop trust with them.

Do not start pitching right away. Donors don’t want to be seen as an ATM. Slow down; focus on building a relationship first.

#7: Thinking everybody loves your cause too

Nonprofits often have an inability to think of their message outside their own walls. They believe in their cause and think ‘Well, we love this cause, so everyone else does too.’ These blinders can sometimes contribute to a campaign falling short, or failing all together.

Take a look at your campaign. Get some external feedback from a trusted friend/donor. Does the message you are sending out positively resonate with the audience you are targeting?

#8: Not thanking your donors

Always. Thank. A. Donor.

Some donors may prefer a handwritten note, others a personal phone call, and some may prefer a public shout out on your social media pages. No matter how they want to be thanked, make sure you thank them. Always. After all, you couldn’t do what you do without them

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