I while ago, I spoke with a nonprofit leader who wanted to explore working with me. She posed a problem that many fundraising coaching clients have: she has a six-figure fundraising goal and is struggling with getting donations.
As we prepared to meet, I asked her what the biggest challenge was – if it were the six-figure fundraising goal, or something else.
Her response was remarkably candid. She said that the fundraising goal is the big point for us to be working together. But in utter clarity, she said she really hasn’t been doing the fundraising part of her responsibilities.
Getting Clear on Your Focus
It’s rare for any of us to have such clarity.
Many of us have multiple responsibilities. This leader certainly did. Many of those other responsibilities were more urgent, so fundraising was easy to put off.
It’s not just those in nonprofit leadership positions. Even those supposedly tasked solely with fundraising have competing responsibilities. Often fifty-percent of their time is consumed with “being a team player” activities like staff meetings and community events.
Where is Your Focus?
It’s easy to feel busy with all these competing demands. And to fall into the trap of wondering why the donations aren’t coming.
Sometimes the struggle isn’t really with getting donations. The struggle is our own self-discipline to actually do the asking.
This week, make sure to block out time to actually do the asking. And honor yourself by keeping that commitment.
Don’t worry if, at first, the work seems like drudgery compared to your other activities. That’s natural. It will get a bit easier as you see donations coming in.
Remember, fundraisers raise funds. So asking is what you’re supposed to be doing.