5 Mistakes Nonprofits Make After a Successful Fundraising Effort

  • by Shala Graham
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So, you put together a successful fundraising campaign and pulled in the donations you needed to keep your programs running, or maybe even expanding, for the foreseeable future. Now you can sit back, relax, and get to the business of actually improving the world, right?

Not so fast. Believe it or not, there are five crucial mistakes nonprofits tend to make after successful fundraising efforts that can make the results harder to duplicate again in the future:

1. Not thanking donors and volunteers.

It should go without saying, but you need to make an effort to thank the people who made your fundraising campaign success possible. In fact, it's a good idea to thank them personally, if it's at all possible. Phone calls, handwritten thank-you notes, and even small gifts or quick visits can be appropriate for large donors. If you have lots of smaller donors, try to thank them with personalized letters or social media communications.

2. Not giving donors updates on progress and projects.

When people donate money to a cause or organization, they love finding out how things turned out later. So, whether it's through a newsletter, quick flier, or some type of other communication, be sure to give donors periodic updates that keep them informed of your progress. They'll feel like they're part of the team, and may want to keep helping.

3. Asking for new donations again immediately.

This is a big mistake that a lot of nonprofits make quite frequently – the moment they receive a gift from someone (especially a new donor), they immediately turn around and ask for more. That doesn't always engender the best feelings from those who give gifts, and could backfire in the long run as they turn their attention elsewhere.

4. Not getting more information about the donors you have.

When you have a successful fundraising campaign, just as important and valuable as the money you raise is the information you can get. What kinds of people responded to your message, and what was it about your campaign that interested them? The more of this insight you can gain, the easier it will be for you to repeat your success again in the future.

5. Failing to reinvest in future fundraising.

If your fundraising campaigns are working well, try to expand your program a little next time so you can attract even more gifts. In the business world, this is a common tactic – building on profitable campaigns to keep more revenue coming in – but it's something that a lot of nonprofit executives tend to overlook.

Running a successful nonprofit isn't easy, and you have to pay attention to your message and ongoing communications with the public at all times – even in the days and weeks following an already-successful fundraising effort. Make sure you avoid these five common mistakes, and you'll have an easier time attracting donations the next time around.

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