4 fundraising lessons we learned in July

Here are four lessons we learned last month:  

The Olympics provide a simple solution to philanthropy’s employee turnover problem 

High employee turnover is a serious problem that has serious consequences. It costs money. It diminishes productivity, effectiveness, and morale. It negatively impacts stakeholder confidence and external relationships. In the nonprofit sector, this can have significant implications for fundraising. However, institutions can mitigate the impact of that turnover by looking to the International Olympic Committee, which every four years has thousands of staffers who have never done their job before and will never do it again.  

Learn more about the IOC’s solution to employee turnover by clicking here 


Pause and access the situation when current events present fundraising opportunities  

Institutions looking to build long-term relationships with donors should pause and assess the situation when current events present fundraising opportunities, said Liz Fitzgerald, Director of Development at the ACLU, in a recent wide-ranging GG+A webinar. That reflection enables the organization to evaluate whether its work is relevant to the moment and, if someone invests in the organization, whether it can report back a tangible difference that those funds made. She noted that pausing can be difficult because fundraisers often feel pressure to move quickly whenever opportunities arise. But it is important because donors can tell whether a nonprofit is telling an authentic story. 

Learn more about the best ways to effectively speak to the moment by watching the webinar here. 


Surveys can (and should) play an important role within feasibility studies 

There’s no question that feasibility study interviews are meaningful. However, they offer a limited perspective on the broader donor community within an institution. By leveraging a survey of other donors within a feasibility study in parallel with top-level donor interviews, institutions can get a more well-rounded perspective of their broader donor community, which results in more robust feasibility studies, more strategic campaign planning, and, ultimately, better fundraising results.  

Learn more about the benefits of surveys within feasibility studies by clicking here 


Nimble institutions weathered the pandemic better than their peers 

Organizations responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways. Some closed their doors, some sought to continue their previous ways of operating to whatever extent possible, while others adjusted. Their success—defined by fundraising performance and program execution—did not necessarily correlate to their niche. For example, there were theater companies that thrived with a quick pivot to a virtual environment and hospitals that provided critical, lifesaving care that struggled to raise money. The common thread among the organizations that have thrived (and will likely continue to thrive) was their ability to learn under pressure.  

Learn about the four common denominators that enabled some organizations to thrive amid an unfamiliar, challenging environment and what it means for those institutions going forward by clicking here 

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