Leaders of all small nonprofits often bemoan the “disadvantage” of their size in regard to fundraising. After all, the big guys have the edge, don’t they?
True, well-financed fundraising organizations with professional development staffs and momentum do seem to have more going for them than the small mom-and-pop with nary two dimes to rub together.
The large nonprofit has access to top-drawer consultants and the funds to purchase sophisticated software at the cutting edge. They often have the attention of a number of deep-pocketed investors.
The large organization’s size—the very advantage that many would tout—also brings with it the reality of gravity.
Large fundraising organizations, like large objects, require greater efforts to put them in motion and to keep on course. It’s the law of gravity.
The force of gravity almost always pushes toward mediocrity not excellence. Gravity affects all organizations but the larger you are, the stronger the force.
Combine gravity with another irrepressible force—entropy—and the real potential for chaos sets in as fundraising organizations grow. Entropy is that law in the natural world that says all things, over time, tend toward disorder and chaos.
Guess what, entropy applies to organizations, as well.
To combat this, organizations that stay focused and productive in fundraising follow Principle 8 of The Eight Principles™, “Invest, Integrate & Evaluate™”, to a tee. Continually invest in your program, always integrate your programs and slavishly evaluate them.
Before we go all doom and gloom, we need to remember that being successful in fundraising isn’t about money. It’s about attitudes.
Attitude is chosen. It’s never delivered. It’s not a factor of size. Here the playing field is level.
Never forget it.
So, if you’re leading a small, struggling nonprofit, you actually have a winning team at your disposal—the right attitude combined with the deftness and agility that only comes from being small—and flexible.