What’s one under-rated skill of a top-notch fundraiser? Agility!
Agility requires a combination of balance, coordination, speed, strength, and endurance. You might be thinking, “Great, so what does that have to do with fundraising?” Well, fundraising is constantly influenced by shifting trends, donor behaviors, economic conditions, and unexpected crises. Being agile means having the ability to adapt to change, seize new or unexpected funding opportunities, and ultimately, stay relevant and resonant in today’s nonprofit landscape.
Here are five tips to strengthen your fundraising muscle and gain more agility:
- Balance – Agile organizations need a healthy balance of long-term and short-term goals. Flexible planning allows organizations to plan for the future while also giving space to adjust, if needed. For example, your three-year fundraising goal might be $5 million, but the tactics you use to get there might change as the situation and information around you changes.
- Coordination – Strong coordination across various teams within the organization is essential for fundraising agility. By pooling resources and working together, organizations can meet larger fundraising goals. Additionally, when cross-functional teams are aware of changes, challenges, or new opportunities, it allows for stronger alignment, problem-solving, and collaboration.
- Speed – Fundraising often involves timing. Making quick decisions allows you to seize opportunities as they arise, whether it’s a potential investor showing interest or a limited-time grant application window. Quick decisions also encourage a culture of experimentation which is helpful for trying out new fundraising techniques. It is important, however, to strike a balance between making quick decisions and ensuring those decisions are well-informed and aligned with your organization’s overall strategy.
- Strength – Just like our muscles, our fundraising minds require frequent exercise to stay strong. Encouraging ongoing learning and professional development for your fundraising team helps members stay updated on the latest trends and technologies. The more we learn, the better able we are to develop and scale innovative ideas and explore creative solutions to pressing challenges.
- Endurance – Fundraising is not a one-time event but a continuous endeavor that requires stamina and persistence. Establishing regular feedback loops involving multiple stakeholders (team members, donors, etc.) can give you a 360-degree view of your fundraising efforts and improve your performance over time. In this way, your fundraising team can better anticipate future roadblocks or pain points and prepare thoughtful, strategic responses to mitigate the impact.
By adopting these five strategies and fostering an agile mindset, fundraising teams can stay responsive, adaptive, and proactive in an ever-changing environment.
Need help building your fundraising muscle? Call My Philanthropy Team! Our team of philanthropy specialists has decades of experience and can help your organization build agility to stay competitive for years to come. Schedule a call today!