Posted , by Victoria Dietz, Vice President. Topic: Development Plan, Fundraising, Philanthropy Research & Events, Professional Development.

According to an article on the survey conducted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 2018 Year-End Fundraising Survey, 54% of nonprofits reported raising more money in 2018 compared to 2017 and 28% reported raising the same amount. Only 18% reported raising less.

 

Respondents considered the impact of external factors such as the economy and tax changes on a nonprofit’s fundraising. However, most respondents cited internal factors such as staffing changes and new initiatives as more strongly influencing fundraising success.

 

Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, president and CEO of AFP, says, “what this shows is that your own fundraising, and what happens at your organization, is the most important factor in finding fundraising success. The economy, tax changes, the government shutdowns, other external factors—they do have an effect. That said, it’s what we decide to do, or don’t do, that has the greatest impact on reaching our fundraising goals.”

So, what can you do to impact your fundraising goals?

Geiger says that fundraisers must “be confident, stay updated on trends and issues, keep up their professional education, networking and training, and use their skills and experience to plan out a successful year.” Below are some tools that you can take advantage of to help you and your team.

  • Professional education, networking and training – Out of the plethora of resources, books, webinars and conferences, how do you pick? Our advice: start with an achievable goal and build on it. Pick one conference to attend each year. Commit to one networking event a month and add one free webinar to the rotation. Read one article every week on fundraising, nonprofits or your industry topic. For a list of some resources that we have used over the years, click here for our suggested resource list.
  • Make a development plan – Start here with this blog post about your development plan. By creating a plan you can incorporate new ideas and budget for innovative strategies.
  • Create a  culture of philanthropy – To truly transform your organization, you will need a team who values giving and raising dollars. Engage your board and staff in the process. Each member of your organization is an ambassador, sharing about your organization’s great work and the need for support. Check out this blog post for 5 steps to build your board.

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