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Magic 8-Ball for Fundraising

Who remembers the classic toy, the Magic 8-Ball? This was a fun game to play to answer basic questions with simple responses such as As I See It, Ask Again Later, Better Not Tell You Now, or my favorite, Don’t Count on It.

Now, fundraising success shouldn’t depend on the Magic 8-Ball game. If we fail to plan, then plan on failing is the popular mantra. How you plan is important and crucial to avoid the Don’t Count on It response.

Your fundraising plan for the year is just the starting point. How you pay attention and correct your course through the year is what will help you succeed.

If one of your goals is to have 50 visits during the calendar year, what happens if you haven’t made 25 visits by the end of June? Can you increase your efforts to have more visits during the following months?

Use your CRM reports to track your progress or a simple one-page spreadsheet sorted by month or week with your key fundraising performance goals will provide a quick visual summary, if you record your data.

Here’s an example of goals for September:

  • Schedule four posts and emails for North Texas Giving Day (NTGD)

  • Make 25 calls to prospective (NTGD) donors

  • Submit two grants

  • Research two new foundations

  • Send 25 thank you notes to regular donors

Notice how these have specific numbers attached to each goal? While general goals are nice, you need specifics to be able to track your results.

While you will track the amount raised by grants or certain appeals like North Texas Giving Day, I suggest it’s equally important to track the activities that lead to those gifts. While we can’t control many of the factors that lead to donor gifts, we can definitely focus our efforts to encourage ongoing giving.


Michelle Crim, CFRE

Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in startup and smaller nonprofits because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.

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