Nonprofits often mistake hiring professionals like fundraising coaches or consultants as buying the winning lottery ticket. No matter what they’ve been told, they think the professional will magically find them funding. Fortunately, that is actually great for nonprofits. Lottery winners typical have awful outcomes. They often live miserable lives.
True fundraising is like farming
Fundraising is not easy. There is no magic ticket. It’s hard, often thankless, work. Huge campaign successes are not surprises. They’re earned. Sure, there are out-of-the-blue gifts that come in. But overall success is a hard, emotional, well-planned slog.
That is exactly why fundraising coaches are needed
That’s why professionals are such great resources! A fundraising coach is an outside voice. A professional can help you get through emotional roller coaster of fundraising.
I’ve been through 17 capital campaigns–15 successful, 1 good but not yet completed, and 1 miserable failure. Experiences like this make it easier to focus on what really matters without getting distracted by the inevitable shiny objects. Fundraising is much more like learning to ride a bike than walking a tightrope. Sure, you’ll skin your knees, but you’re able to get back up and do it again.
Re-caliberate your expectations
If you’re currently looking for professional fundraising help, re-calibrate your expectations. If a professional is promising easy money, run away. Especially if promising online riches. True professionals know it takes effort. And true professionals will help your grow both your fundraising ability and your capacity to fundraise when they’re gone.