Friday Buzz: Avoid These Fundraising Mistakes

New organizations makes common fundraising mistakes that cost them money. Forbes shares tips for preventing them. Also: How to make networking events more valuable.

We all make mistakes. But fundraising-related ones can cost your organization money.

To avoid these errors in the future, check out Forbes’ article on fundraising mistakes that many new nonprofits make all the time.

One costly error is being quick to write off someone who doesn’t donate right away. “Even small donations are about relationships between the donor and the organization and the donor with staff,” says Tom Van Winkle of the Hinsdale Humane Society. “Relationships take time to build up, so don’t expect to hit a home run every time out.”

On the flip side, some nonprofits are overly dependent on one big donor. “Organizations that are just getting started need to begin building a diverse funding portfolio from day one, before overreliance on an early supporter leads to a funding cliff that places their programs in jeopardy,” advises Laura Deaton of the Trust for Conservation Innovation.

And keep in mind that the old cliche “less is more” may simply not apply when it comes to communicating with potential donors. “Younger organizations tend to not share as much as they really should about what they are doing and how the fundraising would help,” explains Gloria Horsley of Open to Hope. “They really need to do much more communicating and sharing.”

Do Networking Events Work?

Let’s face it, we’ve all been guilty of going to networking events and just talking to people we already know.

If you’ve ever suspected that networking events could be more valuable, you may be right. A recent Smooth the Path post shares insights from a Harvard Business Review study showing networking events on their own aren’t all that useful.

How can association fix that problem? Give networking events a sense of purpose other than simply meeting people. “Activities like volunteering for a board or committee foster better networking outcomes,” writes Amanda Kaiser. “Or if you want to replace the reception at the conference, get members to play games, do community work, or solve an industry problem.”

Other Links of Note

What are the marketing numbers you should know? The Capterra Nonprofit Technology Blog shares the latest marketing stats and benchmarks for social media, email, and direct mail.

Who doesn’t love learning for free? Get the scoop on the latest free learning resources and webinars from Reid All About It.

Facebook announced that 150 million people use its Stories feature. Now the social giant wants to add advertising, reports TechCrunch.

(ratpack223/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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