Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 16, 2018

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The 5 Biggest Fundraising Mistakes

by Jayson Krause

Trust me, there are dozens of little mistakes people make when they are fundraising - and each one of them takes away from the overall amount of money raised. Since we are in the business of raising as much money as possible for a cause or goal, then we need to make sure that we limit the mistakes (no matter how hard we try, they are going to happen) so we can maximize our fundraising.

Here are the 5 biggest mistakes I think fundraisers make:

  1. Spread yourself too thin - Most fundraising groups are small, so you need to maximize everyone's time and skills in order to get the most out of your fundraising. Focus your goals and focus the people around you - and you will begin to see a more relaxed workload for everyone, and more resources put towards your goal - raising money!

  2. The portfolio approach - If you are an individual or an organization that LAST thing you want is to make a portfolio your initial contact with a potential supporter. The portfolio is NOT a fundraising technique unto itself - it is one of many tools at your disposal. Think for a moment whether you would give funding to someone who just sent you a bunch of information you never asked for…

  3. Going for the big kahuna - Yes, it sure would be nice to reel in that one partner for your organization that is prepared to give you a blank check to run your operation. The reality is, unless your organization is extremely high profile, these aren't the people you should target. It's easier to get smaller donations for a wider base of support.

  4. Impersonal - Let me ask you a question… Are you more likely to give money to a friend or someone off the street who is asking? You need to think that way when you are asking people for their money - if they don't know you, your organization, or what you have to offer, then they aren't going to support you. Personalize your approach.

  5. Lack of a plan - Whether it is your initial fundraising plan, or your event plan - without one or the other (or any plan at all) you will fail. Yes, that's blunt - but you will fail to reach your fundraising goals. Spend time planning your fundraising approach so everyone is on the same page and you don't waste time with unnecessary actions.
People often ask me how I was able to fundraise $50,000 a year with only a handful of family and friends. I tell them I did it by limiting the mistakes I made, learning from the ones I did make and then making sure I had a plan that was focused and clear for everyone involved. Fundraising is not hard - if you do it right!


About the Author:

Jayson Krause implemented and perfected a fundraising strategy that raised him nearly $50,000 a year for 6 years. Now he has put together everything he knows about the art of fund raising into an empowering new book at

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