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Fundraising Tips and Tricks: How setting big hairy scary goals can help you fundraise more

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I believe to my core that the nonprofit sector can solve the problems of the world, but to do this we must change the way we fundraising and operate so that money moves through this sector differently. Times have changed, but the best practices for the sector have stayed the same – and they just aren’t ‘working’ anymore.

What changed everything for me, was learning outside of the nonprofit sector. The codes I was able to crack revolutionized the way I fundraised and, now, the way I teach fundraising inside the Power Partners Formula.

This new way of operating doesn’t JUST change how much we can fundraise, but the way we feel about fundraising too (which is vitally important to our success).

Blazing a new path has plenty of challenges (as you know too well as a nonprofit leader). To keep my focus, I hold tight to my core values: 

Courage:

Change-making is scary work. Being the first to say something, being the first to do something, brings up a lot. Nonprofit leaders understand this better than anyone. I don’t pretend to be fearless, but I value courage and activating acts of fearlessness by being courageous – one step at a time.

Curiosity:

I use curiosity as the solution for judgment, black and white thinking, low energy, and negative self-talk. I am constantly learning, and consistently asking myself “where can I get curious here?” We tell ourselves a lot of stories that lead to limiting beliefs about what’s possible and what we’re capable of, curiosity opens our minds and our capacity.

Vulnerability:

My work is adaptive, human, nuanced, and relationship-based. I could not do the work that I do without feeling things deeply and having my heart and eyes open. Being vulnerable is scary at times but it is the way to real human connection and transformative change.

Imperfection:

Imperfection and vulnerability go hand-in-hand. Perfection is an illusion and one that does not serve us or the people we serve. By allowing myself to be human and giving myself the grace of forgiveness, I show up as a more powerful leader and change-maker. It allows me to truly serve my community and clients, and relieves them of the impossible expectations that surround perfectionism. I believe this is the path to reducing burnout in the sector.

Alignment:

I used to talk about authenticity as the key to sustainable fundraising success. But, what I’ve learned is that authenticity is a privilege that isn’t accessible to those actively discriminated against when they do show up as their full selves. . So, I’ve decided to switch out that word for alignment. The value of alignment is that we get to show up and be visible in alignment with our core values. We also get to be honest and reflective when things feel out of alignment. Being true to ourselves is key to sustainable fundraising success.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

Our beliefs about the world come from the status quo. A narrative created by those historically in power – white men. This is problematic and unjust for so many reasons. Holding DEI as a core personal and business value is critical in ensuring that I am constantly reflecting on how I perpetuate injustice but have the opportunity to challenge the status quo to create more equitable opportunities. I also understand the value and need for diverse voices, particularly those historically marginalized and oppressed, with a seat at the table and with the microphone in hand.

Real Results

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