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raise more money with this one simple trick with Cindy Wagman

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RE-RELEASE CURATED BY: Sara Hoshooley, Charity Shift Small nonprofit organizations face the same fundraising challenges over and over again. They often believe that one fundraising strategy can solve all of their problems and look to large organizations for inspiration. Better marketing, major gift campaigns, corporate sponsorship- they have so many ideas, but most of the time, those solutions are not aligned with what will raise their organization money today and in the near future and grow it into a sustainable program. Myths that Cindy wants us to walk away from

  • A donor meeting is an ask for money. Donor meetings are not an ask for money. It is not a pitch and it's not talking about your organization very much. This is an opportunity for you to get to know your donors, why they support you, what they care about. Maybe they even have feedback around your fundraising or ideas to help you raise more money.

  • It’s okay to make assumptions about your donors. We make so many assumptions about our donors based on our beliefs around fundraising and the value of our work, and almost always we're wrong. And then we use these wrong assumptions to then drive our fundraising strategy and decisions, which leads to us making bad fundraising decisions, which leads to us not raising the money we want to make or raise for the organization.

Cindy’s thoughts around fundraising

  • Get to know your donors. Most of our fundraising decisions are made by people sitting in a boardroom or around zoom and we make assumptions about our donors. And almost always these assumptions are wrong. We need to stop making assumptions and start verifying information about our supporters. The more information we know the more we can think about fundraising strategies that make sense for their donors and of course for our mission.

  • Donor meetings help you find more donors. By getting to know your donors, it will help you see patterns and learn about their values. They have probably shared these values with their friends and networks. Your donors are one of the biggest untapped resources in finding new donors to your cause so the more you get to know them and build that fundraising strategy in line with them, you're also creating opportunities for them to welcome more people and introduce your organization to more potential donors.

  • Communicate with donors. Getting to know your donor is an opportunity to understand how to communicate with them. By leveraging tools and technology, you can find ways to connect more with them. And to be effective, you need to communicate in a way that is aligned with your organization’s mission and what your donors are supporting. This could also be an opportunity to fix some problems with donors who are misaligned with your mission and lead them to learn more about your organization.

Favourite Quotes from Today’s Episode

“We always get so caught up in elaborate fundraising plans and strategies, and we have to do these big things. It's not fundraising. Success comes from consistency and finding those points of intersection between your organization, its mission, and your donors.”

Resources from this Episode:

Charity Shift is offering customized, End of Year Campaign Strategy packages for charities ready to raise more money than ever before this holiday season. Visit to download our free tips and to learn more.