The WORST Fundraising Advice We’ve Ever Heard


Men with Phone Cans The Worst Fundraising Advice Weve Ever Heard

There’s more to this article than just a catchy title. We want to demystify a very common misconception we hear all the time from leaders. These seven seemingly innocuous words amount to the slow death of fundraising programs. Are you ready? I’m gonna lay it on ya. Here’s the WORST fundraising advice we’ve ever heard.

“We don’t need to set a goal.”

Implied in these words is the underlying belief that by intentionally not setting a fundraising goal, that the sky is the limit. We’ve found this not only to be utterly false but damaging to fundraising programs regardless of the type or size of groups. Proper goal setting is one of the most important steps in the fundraising process.

Without setting a goal, groups run into an under-performance fundraising pitfall for two reasons.

  1. Too big – the enormity of the non- specific goal demotivates sellers. While a “Sky is the Limit” goal looks good on paper, in reality it can feel overwhelming to both sellers and volunteers. We’ve talked about “fundcrushing” before. Fundcrushing focuses on the enormity of the problem and tries to scold or coax people into giving
  2. Too little – the lack of a specific goal doesn’t focus sellers for their individual involvement nor does it help them to “buy in” and get them motivated to sell the fundraising product.

Now that we’ve explored the worst fundraising advice we’ve heard, you may wonder what is the “best” fundraising advice?

For fundraising programs, “Specificity” only helps, never hurts the overall effort. Be specific as possible when setting your fundraising goals. This is the best fundraising advice and a great starting point.

Fundraising leaders who spend the time developing clear fundraising goals and then communicate those goals to volunteers and sellers have the best chance of reaching those goals and consistently make higher profits.  We recommend our leaders to set a total sales goal and then divide these sales by the number of bags of pasta and then by the number of sellers.  Truly, selling $10,000 of pasta is within reach when you break this number down to just 6 bags of pasta between the 250 participants in your school.

What’s the worst fundraising advice you’ve heard? Comment and share with us. We are continuously using our noodles to bring you fundraising tips and ideas that will help your group meet its fundraising needs.  Need help goal-setting? Here are some other helpful articles that I’ve written on the topic.