7 Deadly Sins of Fundraising

Common Fundraising Mistakes to Avoid

Running a fundraising program is hard work. It requires commitment, resources, and a lot of effort. Through the course of running and organising fundraising events, mistakes are bound to happen. 

Avoiding costly mistakes will not only save one or two of your fundraising events but also your program as a whole. Here are some of the most common mistakes that you can and should avoid.

1. Not enough hustle

Your work isn’t over after the fundraising event has happened.  You need to continue to focus.   This fundraising cycle and target will secure funding the ongoing funding for your committee and projects for the next few. years. 

It’s never too early to secure funding for those years.  This is a short term hustle for long term gain.

2. Lack of planning

Things haven’t been thought through. Deadlines produce a crisis response. Nobody knows exactly what to do. Everything is a haphazard fire drill. Does any of this sound familiar?

Usually only a few people have the prior knowledge needed from the year before, so there’s a bottleneck on information. That often produces the “suffering martyr syndrome” where the person in charge, who should have had everything planned well in advance, instead spends their time moaning about how overworked they are. Admit it, you know that person!

3. Lack of publicity 

Promotion works. That’s why you see so much of it. Put it to work for your organisation by getting the word out in every possible fashion. Use flyers, posters, signs, media contacts, etc.

When was the last time your group sent out a press release?

Publicity increases community awareness of your organization and pays untold dividends. It will motivate additional participation, increase your volunteer pool, provide feedback, and give a method for communicating results.

4. Not enough help 

Overworking your core volunteer group is a recipe for disaster. Good people who are willing to help your organisation at no cost are hard to find. Why chew them up and spit them out?

Increase your volunteer base by defining who needs to do what.  Split up the roles based on their interest, capability and time available.  It’s important to be really clear who is responsible for what and ALWAYS give your volunteers to put their hands up for help.

5. Lacking Goals 

Being a community group without any fundraising goals is like being a hiker without a map– you might move forward, but you have no idea where you’ll end up or how long it’ll take you to get there.

Successful fundraising relies on tight monitoring at all stages, which involves having fixed goals and strategies that can be assessed, achieved, or modified.

6. Forgetting your manners

Manners will get you everywhere in the world.

No-one is being forced to give you anything, so when they do, you’d better thank them. Send your thank you notes, shout outs on social media or a thank you in person.

No matter how much was given, make the donor feel good about their donation. Make them believe that they have made a real difference and that they are appreciated.

Say thank you because it’s the right thing to do, and because people who donate who feel valued are much more likely to donate again.

7. Being scared of ‘the ask’

People can get shy when it comes to asking for money, but if you believe that your group’s work is both important and valuable it should be easy for you to tell others about it – and then ask them for a donation.

If an organisation has motivated you to get involved, then there’s a high chance it will do the same to others – but they can’t get involved in sharing the passion if you don’t give them an opportunity to do so. 

And it should go without saying – if you don’t ask for support you won’t receive any. 

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