For your organization to grow and create a movement, you have to build your organization’s capacity. This is not optional – it’s integral to preventing burnout in your nonprofit.
As one fundraiser states in a recent Forbes article:
Moving an organization beyond surviving to thriving takes an extra step and an investment in capacity building. Capacity building takes the focus of an organization’s success beyond how they can be successful today and carries it into the future. Investments in capacity building give organizations the space to learn, grow and fulfill their mission over time. When we make investments in capacity building, we are opening ourselves up to the big picture. We are seeing beyond the immediate needs of an organization or field and investing in an organization’s health and longevity.
How as fundraisers should we strive to achieve funding capacity and long-term sustainability? If we don’t focus on financial sustainability, we will be tempted to chase donations from our go-to donors. Or worse, over-soliciting donors and creating a downward spiral of high attrition, leading to a smaller donor base and less funds.
How can you make sure your organization is healthy and equipped to make a lasting impact?
First, you need to recruit strong leaders for your organization who have a passion for fundraising work and a long-term vision to make the organization grow. These leaders should be innovative and forward-thinking, and be both young and seasoned, to provide a variety of perspectives.
You also need to keep in tune with changes taking place in your organization and the outside world. A nonprofit – and the world around it – is always changing, culturally, behaviorally, and technologically. This presents a challenge, but also a great opportunity. By evaluating our old processes, ideas, and beliefs about fundraising, we can address the changing landscape and make strategic decisions that will make a positive, long-term impact.
Most importantly, pay attention to what is happening at every level of your organization. Communicate with staff members at every level to see how you can make their jobs easier, motivate them, instill a sense of passion, and ensure they have the tools and perspective they need to succeed. With a strong staff carrying out the mission at every level, whether in finances, program management, or development, you can take your organization from surviving to thriving.