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Posted on in Fundraising

How beautiful are my materials…!

I’ve seen a couple of boards lately that are paralyzed by the materials paradox – they can’t get started going out and asking for money because their materials aren’t ready, and they’re running out of money and volunteer enthusiasm because they’re not going out and asking for money.

It happens – you get to a stage in fundraising planning where you’re bursting to get the rubber hitting the road.

And then someone says: “We’ve got to have the right materials to leave with our prospects – we don’t have the right message, we don’t have the right information, we don’t have the right framing.

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Posted on in Fundraising

A camel is a horse designed by a committee. Heard that one before?

Heeding that adage to the extreme leads, in fundraising, to letters drafted and polished by staff alone – indeed, entire campaigns planned and executed by the development department, with its superior fundraising expertise.

Board members’ jobs, in this model, are to send the darned thing out – not to critique its components. Easier for everyone concerned, yes?

But so much less effective, for many reasons.

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It’s budget time, for thousands of nonprofits.

With fiscal year-end looming on June 30, board finance committees are scrutinizing performance, trends, projections…questioning staff about assumptions…tempering programmatic vision with monetary reality…having sober conversations about contributions to reserve, increased spending, acceptable draws from endowment.

As well they should.

But is the board fundraising committee similarly involved?

If the final result (the approved budget) has any chance of avoiding a “plug the hole with fundraising” stopgap solution – it needs to be. 


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