We asked each one of the team members at Kennari Consulting the following question:

What is the single best piece of advice you would give a nonprofit organization that wants to strengthen their fundraising efforts?

Here are our answers:

Megan Brodie – Be intentional about gathering feedback/perspectives from community members and people who utilize your services to gain a clear understanding of what the true funding needs are.

Amber Erickson – Build in staff time and capacity to build relationships with funders.

Misty Hendricks – Always be thinking about ways to connect people to your mission. Hopefully, these people will not only be your supporters financially, but also champions for your cause in the community – if they feel connected and engaged.

Laura Kruisenga – It takes investment – of time, talent, and treasure – to see success. If you under-resource your fundraising efforts, you’ll likely see underperforming outcomes. 

Kim Kvorka – Understand the “why” behind your work. Having a clear understanding of who/what you are raising money for will ignite your passion, which will shine through in your work and inspire others to want to be a part of it.

Josh Spencer – Ensure programs and projects are driven by those who will benefit and reflect the voice of those served.

Sandi Frost Steensma – Read my book “The Giving Garden”!

Mary Sumners – Ensure you have enough staff for the amount of money you want to raise in the future, not the amount of money you are raising today. If you want to grow, you need to grow your staff.

Kirstin VanderMolen – Create a plan. A plan, or a roadmap, provides the opportunity to see what funding is needed and what should be put in place to reach it. This allows you to take a few, quality steps to reach your goal rather than trying a variety of different activities to get there.

Jaime Van Essen – Know how to pull some basic analytical data on your donors. Major donors, lapsed donors, and recurring donors, along with basic donor retention rates really are a great starting point for most fundraisers to think a little harder about their donors and develop ongoing strategies to cultivate them.

Becca Waite – Promote balance. Nothing great can be achieved by employees and teams that are burnt out.

Kelly Yagiela – Make the focus of your fundraising efforts centered on the needs of the community you serve. Whether it’s a grant proposal or a fundraising campaign, donors want to support projects that fulfill an identified need in your community and see that you did the work to prioritize the voices of those you serve.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments if any of these pieces of advice resonate with you or if you would add something to this list!