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31. Fundraising - Problems

Fundraising Problems

Problems and mistakes do and will happen, but some of these can cost you considerable fundraising money and can even land your group in legal trouble. Look out for the following to prevent your group's fundraising efforts from becoming derailed:


It shouldn't even be an issue, but it is. Many volunteers who believe in the cause of their non-profit want only the best for the cause, but they need to be taught to never be rude to a potential donor. Unfortunately, non-profit groups who recruit through telemarketing especially have developed a reputation for rudeness. Sometimes, volunteers will accuse potential donors on the phone of wasting their time and will even be rude to someone who has said no to donating money. Even experienced callers will sometimes do this, believing that a "hard tack" approach will make someone feel guilty enough to donate.

Let's face it, there are some very rude people out there, but that does not give volunteers the right to respond with rudeness. Volunteers need to keep their manners at all times. This will reduce the chance of having a complaint filed against your group, or of a nasty article appearing in the local paper criticising your organization. All the energy you have needs to be focused on your cause and your fundraising, not fighting fires because of a rude volunteer. You need to stress the importance of politeness to everyone in your group and discuss what to do if someone is rude to them. Remember the best response is to simply walk away, but if the situation looks like getting violent, then call for help from the local police force.


There is a chance that disagreements will happen between your workers, no matter how good a person you are at fundraising. If this happens, act at once so that the tensions between your volunteers don't taint the work you are doing. Try to diffuse tensions before things get out of hand by talking about the concerns and problems.


One of the most ineffective ways to fundraise is to dabble. If your non-profit seems to be involved in every cause and seems to want to try every type of fundraising, your efforts will simply be too scattered. Focus on one cause and two or three fundraising efforts at a time for the best results. Specializing makes it easier to target potential donors and find sources of funding that are likely to be helpful. Most government grants, as well, are designed for groups that are very dedicated to one specific area or project.

The Prima Donna Syndrome

Many of us like to lead from time to time, but if someone in your group likes to hog all the spotlight, then others are bound to feel overlooked. To counteract this, make a point of praising or rewarding everyone who is doing a good job. Those who are outgoing and like to lead often do well in interacting with potential donors. Giving such workers this sort of work can help make them feel important while making sure that their talents help rather than hurt your group.


If your organization, or someone in your organization itself, is accused of misusing funds or of some unsuitable behavior, then the charge needs to be addresed immediately. If the charge is found to be true, but is caused by an honest mistake, take steps to correct the problem, and make sure the person making the charge is informed of this. If the charge is false, you need to prove this, and then explain to the public what has happened, and how it has been dealt with. You need to ensure that your non-profit group maitains its good reputation, otherwise your fundraising efforts will all be in vain.

Legal Problems

It is always a good idea to have a lawyer that you can turn to in case of trouble. Acidents do happen and so do law suits, and they can be caused by a mistake or by bad feeling. You may also need to hire a public relations service in order to help your non-profit group deal with the press associated with your legal troubles.

Not Enough Money Made at Fundraising

For every organization there comes a time when no matter how carefully you planned your fundraising events, and how good your idea were, you were simply not as successful as you had hoped and did not raise all the money you. If this happens, you can immediately turn to a new method of fundraising to try to make up the difference. Or can you find a way to manage with what you have? Remember that every fundraising event brings you closer to some of your goals, even if you do not make as much money as you had hoped.

If you are constantly making less than you would like through fundraising, evaluate your fundraising strategies. What have you not tried? What else can be done? Go back over this website to see if you have missed something.

Next page: 32. Fundraising - Conclusions

Practical Fundraising Ebook - Table Of Contents

  1. Fundraising - The Basics  
  2. Fundraising - Terminology 
  3. Fundraising - Money 
  4. Fundraising - Where to Find Donors and How to Reach Them 
  5. Fundraising - Targeting Your Donors 
  6. Fundraising - Research 
  7. Fundraising - Your Donors' Needs 
  8. Fundraising - Ideas 
  9. Fundraising - Donated Products 
  10. Fundraising - Bought Products 
  11. Fundraising - Marathons 
  12. Fundraising - Lotteries, raffles and more 
  13. Fundraising - Fairs, Auctions and Bazaars 
  14. Fundraising - Fun Events 
  15. Fundraising - Drives 
  16. Fundraising - Services 
  17. Fundraising - Tips for Choosing a Fundraising Idea 
  18. Fundraising - Your Plan 
  19. Fundraising - Your Team 
  20. Fundraising - Staying Organized 
  21. Fundraising - Communicating With Your Donors 
  22. Fundraising - Advertising 
  23. Fundraising - Letters 
  24. Fundraising - Emails and more 
  25. Fundraising - Person to Person 
  26. Fundraising - Thank You Notes 
  27. Fundraising - Grant Proposals 
  28. Fundraising - Press Releases 
  29. Fundraising - With Computers 
  30. Fundraising - Secrets to Success 
  31. Fundraising - Problems 
  32. Fundraising - Conclusions 



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