Since many have finished their fiscal year and others that haven’t finished are working on budgets for the next fiscal year, I’ve been pondering things that would make this coming year our best fundraising year yet.

I’ve come up with about 100 secrets, tips, and tricks that I’ll be blogging over the coming months.

Of course, the #1 Fundraising Secret to making this year your best year is: Ask.

I continued to be amazed at how easy it is to get bogged down in non-asking activities. We may hide behind terms like “preparing” for an ask or “following up” after an ask. But preparing and following up won’t bring in the money.

In my seminars and upcoming book, I teach that there are really only three forms of fundraising communication:

  1. Cultivation
  2. Asking
  3. Stewardship

Cultivation and stewardship are vital. But they’re nothing without asking. To just cultivate and steward would be like eating an Oreo cookie without the filling. Yuck.

And our donors and donor prospects know this.

Our donors know that nonprofits rely on the generosity of others to fund their operations. If we aren’t asking them for a donation at some point in our communicating with them, we’re just wasting their time.

And ours.

So the #1 Fundraising Secret is and will always be ASK!!!

Homework: What can you do to make sure you’re asking for money every week this coming year?

I’ve had to schedule this in my calendar as a recurring appointment. Every week, I block out one hour called “Set up Solicitation Calls.” I figured we schedule the meetings that are important to us and, as a fundraiser for the hospital, solicitations are crucial to forwarding the mission of the hospital. So it’s now in my calendar!

21 Ways for Board Members to Engage with their Nonprofit's Fundraising book image

You'll discover the 21 ways each board member can help their nonprofit's fundraising - even if they don't like to ask for money!

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