It’s hard out there right now.
There’s so much up in the air, and there’s so much uncertainty about government funding for our US nonprofits.
As you know, federal funding trickles down to state, county and city levels, so what’s happening nationally can affect your local nonprofit in adverse ways. For example a nonprofit that helps birds in the Caribbean was going to have a conference in Cuba in 2017, and they still did it, but it was much reduced because of a lack of government funding.
Even if you’re in another country like Canada, you’re going to be affected by the changes, as there’s further destabilization of your neighbor to the south, and more people cross the border for better quality of life.
It’s critical now that we learn how to manage change. Here’s what I learned from Clyde B. Jones III, Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at AFP NJ!
He was a fabulous speaker, talking about how we can do fundraising in a changing environment. He broke it down very simply and easily.
Here are the 4 parts of your fundraising you need to get right in times of great change.
Case: What’s your argument? What’s your need? What will the impact be?
Leadership: Who do we maintain relationships with?
Prospects: Keep them close
Plan: There is never a final plan, refuse, adapt and completely rewrite your fundraising plan
He asked us to remember that “90% of strategy is implementation and 90% of implementation is in communication.”
Ask yourself, “Am I the right person to address the change?”
If you address the problem, you take away some of its power.
Honesty is a stress alleviator
Look for quick wins
Think of a fundraising/salesperson for each program/Doctor/Collection
Who are your top 25 donors?
Every fundraising priority requires a case for support
Pivot requires crafting a story behind the change
The most successful development offices are very nimble places. They can calm staff and mobilize support.
What happens when change is out of your hands?
- Raise more money as fast as we can today in preparation for tomorrow.
- Make sure your relationships are rock solid.
- Prioritize your Must Dos-What can Wait?
Do you have anything you’d add to this list of what makes a fundraising office successful in a changing environment?
If you want help managing change, whether you’re a new CEO or Executive director, a board member, or a development director right now, use the contact form and let’s chat.
You can also join us at the Nonprofit Leadership Summit, this September.
Learn more about the Nonprofit Leadership Summit
Mazarine, this is such good food for thought! I think another aspect of change that I would include under prospects is what is the organization doing to keep up with shifting demographics? What are they doing to be inclusive of these potential donors? To me this is a really interesting change on the horizon that not enough organizations are addressing.