Shiny stuff, copying, listening to opinion, bad decisions and unrealistic expectations. Jonathon Grapsas on the mistakes that are killing your fundraising.

If I read one more article or hear one more corridor comment at a conference suggesting “the fundraising environment is tough”, I may spontaneously combust.

The fundraising environment is the one you create. Not some hideous external monster that we can hide behind. It's your team, the decisions you make, the rhetoric you listen to or ignore, the risks you take. It's within your grasp.

It frustrates the hell out of me when I hear excuses about poor fundraising performance, when many of the contributors killing your fundraising are simply bad (or misinformed) decisions. Let’s cover five of them.


There’s two parts to this. The first part I’m sure many fundraisers can relate to. It’s that feeling of entering a new financial year knowing you’ve been set up to fail.

The last round of budgets came back and your expenditure was cut by $200k, but your income is magically expected to increase from the last version, and from last year. Less to spend but…

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