KB’s Top 5 Fundraising Mantras: #4 – Details = Dollars

Today I continue to count down my top five fundraising “mantras,” highlighting the five tips that I find absolutely essential to fundraising success.  While working with candidates and fundraising staffs, I often find myself repeating these five tips so often that they have become ‘mantra’-like. Though there are certainly many tips that are important to remember, these are the few I find myself accentuating most frequently.

 (In case you missed it, check out last week’s post: Fundraising Mantra #5 – Remove the Excuses)


#4: Details = Dollars

In the business of fundraising, the details matter.

Every voicemail, phone message, missed connection, mumbled pledge or rushed exchange between you and your donors are potential contributions.   And when you treat these potential contributions in a haphazard manner, you are failing to maximize your fundraising potential and most certainly are missing out on contributions.

Think of every message you’ve ever scribbled on the back of a napkin as a possible check.

Consider every voicemail you receive while running between meetings to be a potential contribution.

…. Sound like hyperbole? Think about it:

As you go about the business of campaigning, there are thousands of snippets of information hurled about; often at a frenzied pace that would make the most disciplined multi-tasker’s head spin. Between the grassroots events, media interviews, meetings with constituents, constant phone calls and staff interactions; you are constantly gathering thousands of pieces of information. It is impossible for you to store all this information in your head – no matter how “on top of it” you have always been. It’s time to ensure you have a system (and hopefully a staff member or volunteer) to help you keep up.

As important as the fundraising events, meetings and grand galas are, it is the small, unglamorous bits of data that truly separate the mediocre fundraisers from the great fundraisers.

If you aren’t actively tracking the details of your fundraising work in a thorough and effective way, you are actively hurting your fundraising efforts.

It may be time to take an audit of how you are currently tracking and storing information. Whether your process involves a simple spreadsheet or a complicated database system, save your information in a reliable manner. Those phone numbers, email addresses and call notes are your bread and butter.

Also – (Shameless plug alert!) – consider hiring a finance director or a fundraising consultant. I provide services to my clients that streamline their fundraising efforts to catch the details that are slipping through the cracks. We work with clients’ systems or develop them to best seize the opportunities they encounter. Investing in the help of a professional fundraiser can take your efforts to the next level.

(If you’d like to talk about how we may be able to help your campaign, click here to talk with us about how KB Strategic Group may be able to help.)

Details matter. Treat them with care and your campaign coffers will thank you.


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