Why don’t fundraisers stick to areas which land the major grants and big donations? Why bother with fundraising from individuals or events that will take time to grow and brings in relatively small amounts of income?
I know instinctively focusing on the big money would be the wrong course of action.
To illustrate why i’ll fall back on my fundraising garden analogy. What I love about our garden is the way different plants compliment each other. It’s a fact they don’t grow in another plants shade. The combined picture looks great. But anyone plant on its own just wouldn’t have the same effect. The magnificent rowan tree we have would just look isolated, or the burst of geraniums, lost.
That’s what happens if we concentrated on just a few areas of fundraising like grants from trusts, or major gifts – the areas would be isolated. Fundraising isn’t just about individual areas – it’s how they all interact. For me this is the challenge, and the fun, of designing a fundraising programme and how magic begins to take place where one area of fundraising helps feed another. Another reason why it’s dangerous to separate out the ROI.
It’s all connected
As Head Gardener (Director/Head of Fundraising) you have to see that big picture and how everything works together. Your individual giving programme helps feed your major giving. Community fundraising and volunteering helps your legacy programme. Even statutory funders like to see support that comes from the public (it gives your organisation credibility and legitimacy). It almost certainly doesn’t help that most fundraising programmes are organised in separate areas – often referred to as ‘silos’.
In fact it’s all connected. The reality is that you just don’t know what connections that ‘volunteer’ or ‘regular giver’ has and what support they can attract for you. Once you ‘get’ that concept, it’s amazing what opportunities you see that you couldn’t before – in gardening terms we call it self seeding. And then your fundraising garden really does start to grow in ways you could never of imagined.