To increase your fundraising ROI in 2020 for any fundraising effort is all about improving efficiencies. Getting more return, with less output. And the number one area where you can see the most growth is in improving how you use your own time. Yes, how you spend your time is more important than which return envelope you use for direct mail, how cleverly you worded that appeal letter, or even which specific medium you used to reach your target donors.
Here are a few ways you can increase your fundraising ROI in 2020:
- Don’t run at 100% capacity—to do so stifles the ability to execute well, diminishes trust, and gives no margin and no time to sharpen the saw, as Stephen Covey puts it. Running at 100% capacity doesn’t actually build capacity…in fact, it plateaus you. Building capacity helps you do what you currently do more effectively and efficiently. It can even help you accomplish things currently out of your reach. It helps you obtain what Franklin Covey calls “brilliant execution.” And the only way to build capacity is to invest the time. With no extra time comes no extra capacity and comes lackluster execution.
- Say no to activities that don’t produce the highest ROI and that don’t help you best accomplish your mission, vision, goals, and objectives. Some of the best CEO’s are the focused ones. They have 5 overarching goals that they’re trying to accomplish. And all of the objectives that help them reach those goals are directly tied to them. This means if something isn’t going to help you accomplish your 5 overarching goals or focus areas, you shouldn’t do it. Events, for instance, can drain the life out of you and your team. And events can easily overtake the ethos of your department and leave zero room for strategically managing relationships with your top stakeholders (which is the most important thing you can do for raising money).
- Surround yourself with encouragers & dreamers. Efficient and effective fundraising demands attention to details, creative problem solving and a positive believe in yourself. You need to be on top of your game and moving forward with a “can do” attitude. Analyzing past fundraising efforts, campaigns, and events and then coming up with creative and engaging next steps can be draining if you’re trying to be a lone ranger. It’s worse if all you get is negative feedback from those around you. Find coworkers and colleagues who look for possibilities, not problems – solutions, not issues. Let the encouragement of those who believe in you help lift you to what could be, rather than what can’t be.
- Be a diligent student of your craft. Few professions see such a continual change in what “works” as much as fundraising. It’s widely understood that what motivates, engages and draws donors in is ever evolving. What worked 7 to 10 years ago, just doesn’t work to the same degree of effectiveness today. In order to stay on top of an ever-moving target it is imperative that you remain a constant student of the craft of fundraising. Take advantage of the continual stream of information, blogs, whitepapers and webinars that are released by the various ministry trade associations, the AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals), and even consulting firms like Dickerson, Bakker & Associates. (You can find our blog here >>)
- Take every issue, problem and failure to the Lord. If you’re a fundraising professional, dedicated to perfecting your craft – or striving to consistently grow the level of support your organization receives, you likely consume a lot of fundraising information. While all that information is certainly valuable, we can err by putting too much of our trust, hope and confidence in the knowledge we’ve mined, rather than in a God who loves us, and wants the best for our organizations. Don’t stop learning, growing and carefully analyzing the data – but when it comes to dealing with problems and issues facing your fundraising departments, please begin and end on your knees.
My prayer for you is that 2020 becomes a banner year for your organization, and that you see a marked improvement in your fundraising ROI!
Want to talk more about how to to increase your fundraising ROI in 2020? Contact us here to get the conversation started >>