As part of the martyr complex from which so many of them suffer, nonprofit leaders often think that it’s best to push themselves and their organizations harder, faster, farther. Nonprofit leaders are continually faced with new opportunities – new client populations to serve, new demands for program expansion from funders, new partnership opportunities.And while pursuing new opportunities is a critical part of becoming (and staying) a relevant, impactful social change organization, not every opportunity is the right one for you as a leader, for your staff and board, or for your mission.
Many of the principles of fundraising I learned early on really are true: listen to prospective donors to connect them to your cause; build relationships to move supporters to the next level of giving; and thank donors more often than you ask for money. These do result in better fundraising outcomes. But based on my recent experience, I’m wondering if the scarcity-based approach of holding your funding sources under lock and key could use an upgrade.