In this video Jeremy talks about mistakes he sees in fundraising and steps you can take to make sure you’re on the right path. Watch the whole video below or read the transcription to learn more!

I’m Jeremy Turner. I’m the founder and managing director of EPIC Mission, and today we’re going to talk about Fundraising. In fundraising, they’re really two big mistakes that I see again and again that organizations are making. The first one is organizations that in their outbound messaging they’re focusing on what they need. Not necessarily what they do. So in their asks, they’re making way too frequent asks asking for money because of something that they need in the moment. And, they’re not really tying their asks back to what it is that they do, the impact they make, the problems that they solve, or the needs they fill in their community. The second huge mistake that I see again and again is organizations that don’t practice great stewardship that don’t make their donors feel known, recognized, and appreciated. So instead when organizations take the time to reach back out and acknowledge the gifts that folks have given and perhaps tell them a little bit about what that money was used for and how it helped propel the organization’s mission forward, instead, those donors feel recognized and appreciated and are more likely to give more and more likely to give more often in the future. There’s a really common mistake I see organizations making with relation to fundraising, and it’s this: Businesses of all types have to continue to grow and evolve and innovate through time. This includes nonprofit organizations and their fundraising efforts. So one of the mistakes I see again and again is organizations that don’t innovate how it is they fundraise. They continue to rely on the 37th Annual Spaghetti Dinner or the 5K, and the community just has perhaps grown tired. The organization may see their donations dwindling, and they don’t really understand why. So, I would highly encourage organizations to look at ways that they can possibly generate earned revenue if they haven’t done that in the past. If they are currently doing it, how else might they do it or how could they continue to innovate how they generate earned revenue while also taking a look at their contributed revenue opportunities, and how they can continue to evolve those as well. So they can make sure that they’re keeping their current and prospective donor base engaged. If you’re getting ready to start fundraising for your organization, there are three things that I would highly encourage you to do. First is focus on your education. Fundraising is a skill set. It’s a craft, and you’ve got to take the time to pour into yourself and develop your own skill set. There are tons of different places that you can go to get training. Whether it’s from an organization like ours, like EPIC Mission, whether it’s the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Go online and go into your community and find some way to learn how to do fundraising better. Two is working on the messaging that you’re going to be delivering through your fundraising asks. Too often, I hear organizations and they’ve got these big flowery fluffy messages, but I don’t really know what it is they do. People want to know what you do. How are you making the world a better place? Why do you exist? What’s your purpose? And one of the ways that you can really get your purpose – understand your purpose for yourself – and begin to communicate that out is to encourage and to learn some of the stories of impact for your organization. Find a family – find an individual who’s been impacted by your organization and learn exactly what this means. How has their life changed? How is their life better as a result? And if you’re a new organization learn these stories of impact for your sector, perhaps. That way, as you’re talking to people and seeking to engage them and build deeper relationships with them through the fundraising process, you can help them understand what it is you do and why they should care. Online fundraising has a couple of benefits for your organization. One is with the power of social media, you can reach a ton of people. Two, you can reach people who are geographically – physically – not nearby. They could be on the other side of the state, on the other side of the country, or on the other side of the globe. Three, you have an opportunity to connect with people who may want to give to organization and support your mission, but they don’t necessarily want to have to talk to anybody. They don’t really want the more traditional and personal relationship of sorts. So online fundraising can be another tactic, another tool in your tool bag and maybe a great addition to your current fundraising strategy. That’s all I have for you today on the topic of Fundraising. I hope that you found the information helpful. I look forward to seeing you next time and want to thank you again for tuning in today.