Would you call yourself a risk taker? An adventurer? Would you describe your nonprofit as adventurous and determined? As the world opens up to the vaccinated, many of you are making vacation plans. You are ready for new adventures, to travel, to spend time with loved ones you have not been able to see in person. Maybe you want to try ziplining or hang gliding or another bold and adventurous activity? Maybe your mind is saying “go for it” and you want to take in all that life offers. Do you feel the same way about your nonprofit?
I hear a lot of nonprofits talking about easing back into fundraising and the new normal as the country opens up and pulls itself out of the pandemic. I see capital campaigns restarting, in-person events being planned, and board members starting to meet in person. If nonprofits aim to resume and increase funding to serve, support, and assist, now is the time to go full force and not be shy about asking for donations. Ziplining or Hang Gliding?
Ziplining is fast. Ziplining allows you to see where you are going, and you better hang on for an exciting ride. You know where your zipline will end and sometimes you step off onto a platform, pivot, and resume on an alternate line. A zipline consists of a cable stretched between points of different elevations, a pulley, and a harness for attaching a rider, who moves by gravity.
Hang Gliding is quiet, serene, and allows you to observe what is below. Your speed depends on the wind and you can control your flight through movements. Hang gliding is the activity of flying by hanging from a very small aircraft without an engine, consisting of a frame covered in cloth.
If you compare your fundraising efforts to a zipline, your organization is working full steam ahead, or maybe you never stopped, and is implementing its development plan to increase giving like never before. Events are scheduled. The annual fund goal has risen. Your capital campaign is assertive - and the impact of your mission will be extraordinary.
If your fundraising efforts are not ready for ziplining and hang gliding seems safer at this time, fundraising is cautious. Your organization is focused on increasing awareness and re-cultivating current donors and lapsed donors. You are out getting to know your new COVID funders – donations that came out of nowhere in 2020 – and you are grateful.
Whatever your fundraising adventure is, ensure you have a plan and get out there to identify, cultivate and, when ready, solicit donors.
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style." Dr. Maya Angelou