7 Common Fundraising Mistakes to Avoid for Nonprofits

by | Sep 22, 2020

Are you trying to build a strong foundation for your nonprofit? Well, it all begins with knowing the in and outs of the entire structure. In premise, the difference between a good and a bad nonprofit is the ability to avoid common fundraising mistakes. 

In this article, we will cover these 7 mistakes, so that you can build a project that’s truly exquisite. Read on to learn more. 

Building a successful project through fundraising is important to your organization’s success.

1. Untailored Messaging

When you’re talking to your supporters, a one-fits-all application does not work. You need to know what works for each target audience and hone your messaging for each segment of your donors. 

Segmenting your supporters into separate groups is critical to making sure that the right message is delivered to the right person at the right time. You can accomplish this by breaking down the entire collective into smaller sub-sections, such as big-donors, first-time donors, recurring-donors, event attendees, third-parties, etc.

You might even consider developing donor characteristics to help with driving action on their part. Once you have segmented your audience, it’s much easier to tailor content for each, thus build real relationships.

Stronger bonds = greater number of financial commitments. 

2. Not Talking About the “Why?”

Most of the nonprofit organizations spend too much time talking about how they will perform their work, rather than why they will do it. 

After all, you’ve adequately enough to create a solution to an important problem with dedication. But to get people to appreciate such efforts, you need them to provide context. Make them care. 

This means that you have spoken about the “why” before you even mention the “how. First, speak about the challenges you have addressed, then speak about how you solved them. This will spark genuine connections with you on the empathetic level which will help them to action. 

Don’t assume that your supporters know everything about you. Just because they’ve decided to donate, doesn’t mean they have an understanding of your work and its importance. 

Make use of the opportunity and give them the full story. 

3. Common Fundraising Mistakes: Wrong Relationships

If your relationships with the supporters are purely transactional, they will move on. If they are relational, they will continue to thrive and blossom. 

With the use of modern technologies, it can be very easy to bombard your sponsors with asks across all channels. Taking this unthoughtful approach to why and when you ask your sponsors for contributions will result in disconnection and donor fatigue.

4. High Expectations, Poor Outcomes

Do not set high expectations and then deliver poor outcomes. Consistency is critical to reputation. Be realistic, honest, and transparent about all of your efforts and outcomes. 

In terms of the marketplace, reach and services, be consistent when articulating their effect. Meet the expectations set by important stakeholders, and deliver exceptional services. 

Exceed all expected outcomes.

5. Lack of Financial Competency

A most important faculty of the nonprofit experience is financial competency. Many founders have not anticipated what it will truly cost to start the nonprofit, much less where to get the funds. 

Any nonprofit needs a funding plan, which will decide if it will charge fees for services, and an effective records system to micromanage all resources. A nonprofit with poor funding is very unlikely to sustain itself before even implementing a verbose fundraising structure.

And even that’s not enough. Financial competency is vividly important in a nonprofit, so don’t dismiss it. 

6. Ineffective Board

If there is one thing that could break or make your project, it might be the quality of your board. Your initial boar members must be your true circle of influence. They should be those who have the influence, resources, and contacts that can help this project grow. 

They should believe in the mission of the organization, and be willing to sell that mission to anybody else. They are the gate-keepers who should help to open doors for you.

And where do you find such people? Well, that depends on the mission behind the nonprofit. But it’s all about networking, so visit meetings, conventions, conferences, and anything else that might be pertinent to the problems that you are trying to solve.

7. Failing to Communicate

Using a single channel for communication is shortsighted. All of your supporters are different. They have different genders, ages, capacities, etc. This is why a variety of communication channels is important to appeal to different people.

You need to have multichannel network strategies that will allow you to effectively collaborate and converse with donors regularly.

Many of your supporters and donors will respond best on certain communication channels. Some might be completely blind to invitations, CTAs, or other asks shared on single channels. 

In order to avoid this, segment your donors on the basis of their preference for communication. Or simply reach out to them on a platform, if you’ve sent an invitation over email, reach out to them by phone afterward.

Accounting Services for Your Nonprofit

Now that you know about the 7 common fundraising mistakes that will ruin your nonprofit, you are well on your way to build a solid foundation for your endeavors. As long as you avoid the pitfalls of others, and make wise decisions supported by an educated and influential board, there is no reason your mission is any less than the big fish. 

If you’re interested in solving one of 7 mistakes, being that of “lack of financial competency”, get in touch with us and we will happily walk you through our accounting services.


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1 Comment

  1. Ofhsoupkitchen

    This hard work will have to be complemented by smart planning if nonprofits wish to continue their fight.


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