If your organization is having trouble raising money right now and you’re blaming it on the economy, your Board, or anything else, I want you to stop.
You’re not helping anything with blame.
It’s time to take responsibility for the situation and shift your thinking about what’s possible.
There are lots of nonprofits who are doing just fine. Many of my clients are raising more money this year than last year. Attendance at annual dinners and galas is up. Donors are still giving and many have increased their gifts.
What makes the difference between those organizations and yours?
What you think about and believe becomes your reality.
Yep, those little thoughts running around in our heads have more impact on us than we realize.
If you spend your day focused on how bad things are and how you can’t raise money, your thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you focus on what’s possible, you will find opportunities to raise money.
Shift into a positive mindset about fundraising
It takes two things to be successful in fundraising: positive mindset and skill set.
Skill set is the “how to” and you can find tons of practical, tactical step-by-step instructions here on this blog.
Mindset is a little harder because we have to change how we look at things and how we think about ourselves and the world.
Here are 4 BIG THOUGHTS I want you to adopt:
- There is enough money out there for all of us. Every nonprofit can raise all the money they need to fulfill their mission. Don’t look at other nonprofits as competition either. Focus on the fact that if every person who gives to a charity gave just 1% more, we’d all be cash flush!
- The best fundraising is based on donor relationships. Our donors are NOT ATM machines and we have to stop treating them that way. Focus on your donors as friends and partners in your work, then treat them as such.
- Passion is contagious! Share your passion for your work. The more excited you are about the life-changing work your organization is doing, the more others will be excited and want to help.
- Have an Attitude of Gratitude. Be grateful for everything. Thank your donors. Thank your volunteers. Thank the people who pick up your trash. You never know who might be capable of connecting you with an invaluable resource or dropping a large gift in your lap!
You can change your circumstances, but you have to first change your mindset.
Is the glass half full or…
A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience; with a raised glass of water, and everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’….. she fooled them all… “How heavy is this glass of water?”, she inquired with a smile.
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance.In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”
“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night… pick them up tomorrow.Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment. Relax, pick them up later after you’ve rested. Life is short. Enjoy it and the now ‘supposed’ stress that you’ve conquered!”
Food for thought, eh?
The Bottom Line
Start monitoring your thoughts and move into a positive mindset about fundraising.
Dump the negative thoughts and focus on the positive, and watch your fundraising revenue go up.