Sometimes, despite your best effort and your most extensive planning, your fundraising fails, falling short of your goal.

You know what I’m talking about.

You send out an appeal through the mail and the returns are very slow to come in. Or you hold a fundraising dinner for 200 people and only a few show up.

It’s heart-breaking (believe me, I know! Been there, done that.).

The best thing you can do is learn from the experience.

First, have a close look at what didn’t work.

Ask yourself:

  • Is there something else I could could have done? Could you have gotten more publicity? Promoted the activity online? Would a committee have helped? Or outsourcing some of the work?
  • Is there something I could have done better? Did you give it 100% effort? Did you follow through with all your tasks? Did you fully support others who were helping you?
  • Or was that particular event or campaign not a good idea in the first place? Has the activity run its course? Is it time to ditch that event?

The more honest you are in answering these questions, the faster you’ll move to an event or campaign that will work for your organization.

It’s all about learning so you can move forward and become a better Fundraiser. The more skilled and confident you become, the more you’ll know exactly what needs to happen in order for your fundraising plans to bear rich, sweet fruit.

So keep learning.

And if you’re sweating right now, here’s my love and encouragement for you: It’s all going to be okay.

Do what you know works and let everything else go.

Your worrying about it, especially if you worry so that you make yourself sick, isn’t going to help.

Do what you can do and let the rest go. If you’re wound up tighter than a drum, you’re probably not going to be a very effective Fundraiser anyway.

If you’ve overcome a fundraising flop, we’d love to hear from you! Please share your story in the comments section.