The #1 Reason Fundraisers Don’t Meet Goals and Burn-out

Are you a fundraiser who has ever felt burnt out and that you’ll never meet the ever-growing goals set for you? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us have felt this way from time to time and there is one big reason for it and it can’t be solved with out-dated fundraising methods.

There are several reasons that fundraisers burn out and don’t meet their goals, but one stands out from the rest and no one is talking about it

Is it bad marketing materials? NO

Is it fear of visiting with donors? NO

Is it lack of time? NO

Is it an over-dependence upon cash gifts? YES!

Over-dependence upon cash gifts is the #1 reason fundraisers don’t meet goals, burn out, and ultimately leave their organization. That causes the organization a great deal of turnover and ultimately money. It’s a vicious cycle. Directors push fundraisers to get more cash in the door fast. Fundraisers dutifully try and try, but are sad and disheartened when they just can’t squeeze one more dollar out of the donors. In the end, they jump ship to another organization or leave fundraising entirely.

The reason for this vicious cycle is mathematical. Only about 10% of America’s wealth is held in cash. The other 90% is held in things like stock, retirement assets, real estate, and other interesting things. Americans are smart about investing and don’t keep their wealth in cash earning less than 1% interest. Back in the 80s interest rates were 15%-20% and it made sense to keep a good deal of money in cash. Today it makes zero sense to do that.

Today, an average American only keeps enough cash on hand to meet daily living requirements and cover emergencies. If we constantly ask them to contribute from that small supply of resources, we will constantly be disappointed. Donors will be sad that they can’t make the gifts they want to make. They will feel they can’t give because they don’t have enough cash to do so. They never imagine that they could make a non-cash gift.

It’s up to us to let donors know that they can make significant non-cash gifts and those gifts can be very financial beneficial. Before we can start doing this we must understand two things.

  • First, we must understand how assets work.
  • Second, we must understand when and why a donor would want to give a particular asset.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Non-cash gifts happen in conjuction with specific financial events in a donor’s life.

Once you understand the basic inner-workings of the various asset types and the kinds of financial events to look for, you’re 90% of the way there!

This new model of fundraising which I call “Asset-Raising” will shift the tides of success for nonprofits. It will allow them to raise more money than they ever dreamed and make donors very very happy. I believe this so strongly that I left a lucrative career as a lawyer in corporate America to dedicate myself to sharing this knowledge with you through a program called Turning Wealth Into What Matters™.

Please join me and start unlocking the 90% of America’s wealth that most charities ignore. You’ll be glad you did. I promise!

Learn how to kick your over-dependence on cash gifts.

Learn how to amplify your advisory practice with strategic charitable planning. 

Dana is an Educator, Professional Speaker, Consultant, and the creator of Turning Wealth Into What Matters™, a Strategic Growth Program for Fundraisers and Professional Advisors.

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