Yes, it really happened at the Knoxville Food Bank.
This is Sandy Rees’ story of what happened when this organization embarked on a “think big with no excuses” mindset.
This is the kind of approach that can change worlds.
And it’s an approach that Sandy brings with her whenever she speaks or coaches.
BTW, Sandy is launching her new book today: “Get Fully Funded: How to Raise the Money of Your Dreams.”
And I have to say it is an amazing book! Join her launch party today. Please pick up a copy of this terrific resource. You know I am very picky about who I recommend – and Sandy gets the gold star.
Here’s the story (imagine yourself and your own board in this same scenario!):
One momentous day, someone asked a question:
One day, the folks at the Food Bank stood back and looked at the big picture.
And they acknowledged something they never really talked about:
“We are only meeting one third of the need in our area. It’s not good enough.”
Then someone spoke up:
“If we totally wanted to meet the need in our area, how much would it cost?”
Nobody had ever thought this way before. It was a new way of thinking, of looking at their community’s situation – and their organization’s opportunity.
“Hey, we will never get where we want to go unless we change something. What is it going to take?”
And wouldn’t you know, the staff got fired up and embraced this idea. They decided to commit themselves to ending hunger. Yes, they did.
Sandy added, “it started with a spark. One spark. And the flame spread.”
The staff got together with the board and figured out the steps to take.
“We figured that we needed three times the food to meet the need. So we started thinking really big! We changed our fundraising strategies and tripled our budget in three years. And went from 500k to 1.5 million.”
Moral of this story: a “no excuses” approach.
Too many nonprofits go for what they think they can get. They shoot for a conservative number.
They take the easy way instead of thinking big, considering what they really need and going for that.
I asked Sandy what it took to get everybody in a different mindset.
She said that they just spoke the truth. They had a board retreat to get everybody recommitted and remotivated. And focused on a new bigger, grander goal.
The new Fundraising strategies worked.
- They stopped doing little events.
- They worked harder on major gifts.
- They added a monthly giving club.
- They got their board more involved.
- They grew their donor base thru direct mail and speaking engagements.
These are strategies YOU can implement today.
Sandy issues a challenge in her new book:
“Why can’t you raise every single dollar you need?
“Why can’t you raise the $ of your dreams?
You actually can.
You just need a NO EXCUSE policy.
Don’t blame your board, your donors, the economy, your budget.
Just take responsibility for what’s happening. And be willing to do the work it takes to make it happen.
Don’t wish for the fundraising fairy to magically rescue you.
Don’t say, “we can’t afford that.” Because fundraising brings in a return on investment. It’s not a black hole.
It’s a multiplier – returning back many times the money invested.
Take responsibility for your fundraising. If its not working you have to figure out what it is and what you need to do.
As long as you think you can’t raise the $$, then you can’t. And if you do think you can raise it, then you will!
Mindset is everything. Like everything else you accomplish in life, it starts in your head.
Here’s my question to you – can you be your organization’s spark plug?
Leave me a comment and tell me if you can!