Measuring our fundraising is one of the most important things that we do. Measuring helps us see if a fundraiser is doing well or if it’s time for it to be replaced.
I remember working for a larger nonprofit and we had an event that has gone on for over 20 years. Year after year this event wasn’t allowed to be tweaked or changed in any way. We had measured for years the amount of money that was brought in from that particular fundraiser. We had seen where the amount of money raised was dwindling year after year. The truth is fundraising events have a life cycle. Eventually, people get tired of the same event over and over and they quit supporting it. This particular event had long surpassed its heyday but it had always been done and so it was deemed it would always be done. This isn’t a great way to fundraise. Measuring successes and failures help you to direct and redirect funding dollars into more profitable fundraising activities.
Events aren’t the only thing that this happens to. It happens in fundraising letters and really all fundraising activities. They have a life cycle and become a liability and not an asset. However, many organizations continue to do the same thing year after year because … well either they just don’t want it changed or they haven’t been watching the measurement close enough to understand that it’s time to do something different.
So what beliefs keep organizations continuing to do the same fundraising activities even when those activities are no longer productive?
Measuring Success Or Failure Doesn’t Change What I’m Going To Do.
Not measuring success or failure has you doing the same thing while expecting different results. Some say that’s the definition of insanity. The Fundraising Success Path will cover metrics and help you interpret your data so you can have different results. You will also know what is really working so you can reallocate resources to help more people. Learning what to measure and how to interpret those results allows you to make intelligent decisions about where your energy and money goes. It means being a good steward of a donor’s money.
I Don’t Want To See My Failures.
When we avoid acknowledging our failures, we can’t grow or make corrections that actually work. Just because we avoid our fears of failure, doesn’t mean we aren’t failing. In Nonprofit Nation, I help you work through your mindset of avoiding failure so you can see the opportunities in the failures instead of focusing on it. You will also have a supportive group of other nonprofit leaders to encourage you. You will embrace the failures and see them as potential growth opportunities for your organization and yourself.
Measuring Success Or Failure Is A Waste Of Time Because I Don’t Know What To Do With The Data.
You sit day in and day out wondering if you are making an impact. When donors or grant questions ask you about your impact in the community you can’t answer them honestly. Because the honest answer is, “I don’t know.” You are even tempted to make numbers up. The saddest part is that by not answering that one question truthfully, you are losing out on funding. Nonprofit Nation will teach you what to measure and how to interpret the data so measuring success or failure won’t be a waste of time. When you know what’s working and what’s not, you can easily switch gears and do the things that help more people.
I Don’t Know How To Measure the Right Things So I’ll Only Wind Up Wasting Precious Time And Money.
You keep procrastinating learning about what to measure. Nothing changes. You go down the same road until you look up one day and think, “the phone isn’t ringing as much” or “we aren’t seeing as many people coming through the door” or “it seems we aren’t getting as many donations in”. Your observations then start supporting a narrative that may or may not be true. In Nonprofit Nation, we learn the measurements that matter so you don’t waste time and money on the wrong things. When you know where to focus your attention and where not to, you make better decisions and save time. An added bonus is that you also don’t waste money because you are able to cut the things that aren’t working.
The fundraising membership Nonprofit Nation closes tomorrow. Sign up before it’s too late.