Fundraising tips, stay safe

Fundraising Fouls: 7 tips to avoid in fundraising

Fundraising Fouls: 7 Tips to Avoid in Fundraising


Avoid Asking too Frequently


Asking too frequently for money is a major violation of a donor’s respect.  Frequency should be based upon needs, not wants.  Fundraising needs to part a well thought out  business plan that is complementary to the mission & vision.  Plan fundraising programs in advance and communicate the plan to stakeholders.  There is no exact science on how often to fundraise so rely on common sense and put yourself in the shoes of the donor.  

If the group does a major fundraiser annually, then tell donors this is the one time we will be asking so therefore please consider generously giving.   Do not follow up with another financial ask in the agreed to timeframe; this will lose all credibility.  

If there will be multiple fundraisers planned, donors want to budget giving based upon this information. By NOT communicating that there are multiple fundraisers could catch donors off guard.  A donor who in their mind “just gave”, then is asked again for a donation is less likely to open the wallet again.  Additionally, constant asking for money is major turn-off and a serious risk to alienating the supporter long term.  


Stay in the Fundraising Safe Zone:

Ask for money only when needed


Share Where the Money Goes


It is imperative to share what purpose is the fundraiser serving during the sales process.  After the fundraiser has concluded share the success and exactly what needs can now be funded.  Keep in mind financials may be in the bylaws or at minimum be the expectation for the organization. National Council of NonProfits teaches financial transparencywill help preserve the very-important trust each donor places in a nonprofit with each contribution.”  Trust takes energy and diligence.  Once lost is often irretrievable.  


Stay in the Fundraising Safe Zone  

Be honest about every fundraising dollar


Recognize volunteers time as well as monetary donations


Let’s be honest, not everyone can contribute money all the time.  Just as valuable is time and duty.  When a volunteer is kind enough to step forward it is important to recognize these efforts.  Volunteers of all shapes and sizes are needed at all different times.  When a person raises their hand to help the immediate reply should be “Thank You”.  Assess what the individual likes to do and match the skills with the group’s needs.  Nurturing the volunteer base is just as critical as financial supporters.  Thanking and recognizing is best way to strengthen the commitment.  

Thank you can come in many forms:

  • Email with a copy to a leader or influencer can really make a volunteer feel special
  • Social streams a great way to shout-out a sincere thank you
  • Don’t overlook a simple phone call, friendly voices stimulate the brain differently than the written word
  • Final wrap of a fundraiser should always include a comprehensive thank you to all involved


Stay in the Fundraising Safe Zone  

A thanked volunteer is a returning volunteer


Reply timely to questions, inquiries & feedback


Don’t be intimidated by questions, inquires and feedback. People that take the time to ask questions and provide feedback deserve a timely and respectful reply.  Even if you don’t agree with the feedback thank them for their time.  Recognize the feedback and acknowledge that all feedback is an opportunity to grow.  An inquiry should be considered an opened door.  Perhaps the inquiry comes from a person with greater knowledge on the subject, if so what a great opportunity to ask for help.  If the question comes in frequently perhaps it’s a chance to update procedures or communication.  


Stay in the Fundraising Safe Zone  

Feedback is a door opening, step through

and you may be surprised what is on the other side.


Don’t rely on gossip, clear communication is crucial


Gossip is unconstrained conversation that typically involves details that are not confirmed as being true. Relying on gossip can lead to a host of flawed choices.  Due diligence, real facts from primary sources cannot be substituted.  Clear outbound communication can reduce gossip.   Do rely on legitimate sources by researching the facts yourself to make intelligent decisions.  Own the communication channel by being knowledgeable in a subject matter.   


Stay in the Fundraising Safe Zone  

Own the communication channel


Don’t be so serious, have fun!


Having fun with a fundraiser makes it much more enjoyable for those running the function as well as those observing from the outside.  People having fun and smiling are simply more approachable and considered friendly.  Do you think a fundraiser surrounded by smiles might be more successful than a bunch of grumps?  For sure!  Don’t be so serious and get creative with the team to have some fundraiser fun.  

Bring levity to a fundraiser:

  • Friendly competition
  • Be inclusive, engage all levels of the organization or stakeholders
  • Publicize interim fundraising status with fun photos
  • Challenge sharing in social streams

Stay in the Fundraising Safe Zone  

Smile and have fun

Fun Fox Fact

Young foxes are called Kits.  Kits learn to to hunt from their mother, watching and learning what NOT to do in the wilderness can keep a Fox safe.  Stay in the fundraising safe zone.  It is easy get stuff wrong in fundraising, learn from our errors.



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