Raising Less?—invest more

We see it all the time.  When a charitable organization experiences a downturn in giving—or even a plateau—the reaction is often to “cut costs” by reducing fundraising activities and staff.  Duh?

I’ve never understood the logic behind this but, then again, I do.  You see, many nonprofits are really not focused upon generating revenue for a compelling mission that both donors and receivers embrace.  More often than not their attention is on delivering self-styled programs for which they seek “funding” from a “funder”  (How I hate that word, “funder.”)  See the distinction?

By seeing the fundraising “problem” as “out there” rather than inside the organization, it’s easy to see fundraising costs as just another “expense.”  Think investment.  By definition, an investment returns more than it costs.  So by eliminating fundraising staff or programs, the nonprofits does, indeed, reduce costs; but it also reduces revenue.  This generates even more need to cut and so on and so forth—the downward spiral.

There’s no “silver bullet” in fundraising, so stop looking.  Investing in a long-term strategic fundraising program will build the sustainable revenue that your organization seeks.  As you invest more, the true cost will decrease because the revenue will increase.

Enough said.

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