I have been speaking to a number of fundraisers I respect about the current challenges they will face. The one that comes back is, in such uncertain times, how can you answer the inevitable question “how much money you will raise?”.
Yet I think it’s the wrong question. It’s one fundraisers have got used to responding to with highly predicable ways of fundraising with measurable response rates and gift levels.
Of course the question we need is ask back is “how much do you need?”. And in fact before that we should be asking “what do you need to achieve?”. The why.
In fact there are lots of questions we should be asking back. “Such as what sort of money do you need?” and “When do you need it by?”. All these shape the type of fundraising you can use. But the wrong question to start with is “How much money can you raise?”.
In fact many charities I suspect have got used to the basis of lets get the money in and then work out what to do with it.
Maybe all this uncertainty will help redress that balance. We will need to ask these questions to be clear on the purpose. With the risk of less money, or less certain income, then focusing on what the core purpose will be even more important. Ironically that can only be a good thing. A clear purpose will lead to a better story. It will mean more money for the mission or purpose vs more money for the sake of it.