Quick and Easy Tips for Fundraising Success #5

Image: Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Welcome to another installment of Quick and Easy Tips for Fundraising Success. You can read earlier posts in the series here.

Do you ever sit through meetings where lots of good ideas are discussed (“Let’s do this, that, and the other thing!”) but no one takes ownership of them? The next meeting rolls around and you’re all looking at the same list of to-do items?

If this sounds familiar, it’s likely that no one followed through – and things didn’t get done – because no one volunteered or was assigned for the tasks.

Today’s tip: Assign responsibility and deadlines

Next time you lead a meeting, reserve the last 5 minutes to summarize all of the next steps that were discussed and agree on who will do each task.

Start by asking for volunteers. Try to divvy up the work as much as possible. If a particular person is not volunteering for anything, try a gentle nudge, such as, “Joe, I don’t think you have a task yet. Would you like to take on calling Sue about the caterer for the spring event?”

It’s funny how having names attached to tasks really motivates folks to get their stuff done! (Sure works when tasks are assigned to me.)

To really boost your completion rates, be specific about the task and include a deadline. For example, rather than note a task as, “invite people to our event,” record, “Sally will call 5 previous event attendees by February 15 to invite them to this year’s event.”

Try a friendly reminder!

You may want to send a reminder before the next meeting (or task deadline) to all the folks who took on tasks. This is especially helpful for board members and other volunteers for whom your nonprofit is not a fulltime job.

This tip will serve you well in your annual fundraising plan, event timelines, development committee task lists, and many more. Any activity that requires a lot of tasks (which is a lot of what we do as fundraisers!) will work better if names and deadlines are attached.

What ideas do you have for ensuring tasks get done in between meetings? Please share your ideas, successes or challenges in the Comments box below!

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