Measuring success for a fundraiser is never easy, especially if you have various programs going on over the course of a year. The mistake many people make while assessing the success of fundraisers is that they spend more time counting than measuring. While it is important to count how much money you have raised at a fundraiser, it is different from measuring how you did relative to what your expectations for. Measuring success, ensuring your partners are happy, and setting fundraising goals for the future are all important tools to ensure success.
Set The Right Goals:
If you have a fundraising goal of raising $1,000,000 in five months, it is important for you to set goals along the way. This will not only keep your team engaged for the duration of the fundraising process, but it will allow you to identify problems early and deal with them.
For example, if you find that you have only raised $200,000 in the first three months of fundraising, you know that you have to change up your game plan. It is better to make these changes with a few months to go instead of realizing you have problems the night before your fundraising time period is set to close.
Measure, Don’t Count:
Creating quarterly, bi-annual, and annual fundraising goals is the only way you will be successful in this business. Your goals must be achievable, yet higher than what you managed the past year. The goal of every fundraising committee is to evolve, improve, and expand. When you are counting the money and see that you have raised one million in a year, do not count that as a success if you earned two million the previous year.
Maintain Your Team’s Unity:
There is more to a fundraising committee than raising money. With this in mind, it is important to ensure that the relationships within your team are sound. It is likely that you will have different groups in your fundraiser, with each having a group leader. Speak to the group leaders regularly to get an idea of how that group is progressing. If there are any problems, work with them to find a solution. Offer individual incentives to each employee, and to group leaders, to ensure that your committee is progressing in the right direction.
While many fundraising committees do not like to add in personal incentives, they are very useful. While we all wish that employees would give it their best effort just for the pleasure of raising money for a good cause, adding personal incentives makes them work at an even higher level.
Finding the Right Balance:
There are times when fundraising organizations will struggle to meet their financial goals. For some organizations, this may mean that they have to wrap up and quit. However, an organization that has maintained proper relationships among its employees, and with the surrounding community, there will be plenty of help on hand.
Your usual financial partners may not have turned up with the money you expected, but you may get surprisingly large donations from the community. These gestures of good faith are only possible if you have spent time and energy in cultivating a relationship with people in the same/town city as your organization.
Look Beyond the Numbers:
Numbers tell a very compelling story, but it is not the only story on offer. When you are about to assess the success/failure of your fundraising organization’s year, look back at the goals you had at the start of the year.
For example, you may have had a goal to raise three million dollars in that time period. If you only managed to raise 2.3 million, that may appear as a failure. However, it is possible that while raising 2.3 million you also created long lasting financial relationships with donors/community members/investors.
If that is the case, you may have opened your organization up to a high volume of repeat donations. This will make your life easier in the coming years. So take a look beyond the numbers to see how successful your fundraising organization really is.