Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Of fuchsias, weeds and fundraising

Do you like gardening? - I know this is a bit of an odd question to ask a fundraiser but if you like gardening you will understand what I am about to say. 

This morning as I was drinking my coffee in my garden I noted a large weed that had spread itself all over one of my fuchsia plants. The interesting thing was that the leaves of the weed plant looked just like those of the fuchsia plant but if you looked closer you could see how the weed was chocking the life of the plant by wrapping itself around the stalks and feeding itself from the plant.

This got me thinking about the weeds and fundraising. About activities or resources which just like these weeds might look like healthy fundraising activities but which in fact end up depleting our budgets and exasperating us. 

Are there any weeds in your fundraising plan and activities? - How can you identify them? And, more importantly, what can you do to pull them out? 

In my opinion, the place to start is to try and measure the outcomes of your fundraising activities realistically and in a neutral way. Are these activities bringing in the money? Are they bringing in new donors? Are they enabling you to keep current donors? Or are you running them because you have always done so or because they are 'pet' projects of the CEO and other senior leaders? 

Go on be brave and pull those weeds out of your fundraising programme ... you will feel better and you will get better results even in these hard times. 

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