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💡Thinking Small: How Small Nonprofits Can Make a Big Impact in Fundraising



I want to dive into a topic that's been on my mind lately: The power of thinking small. Yes, you heard me right. Small nonprofits, I'm talking to you. It's time to shake off the notion that size equals success because that couldn't be further from the truth.


Recently, I had the privilege of working with two different nonprofits who were feeling a bit defeated. They had listened to advice from other consultants and pros in the fundraising field who made them feel they were too small to make a real impact. They were convinced that raising the necessary funds or achieving their desired level of impact would be impossible.


But you know what? They were wrong.


A team member from one of these nonprofits attended one of my webinars on Giving Tuesday last fall. Fast forward to Giving Tuesday 2023, and the organization raised almost $15,000 after implementing the strategies I shared. Here’s a snippet of the feedback I received from one of their volunteer board members the day after Giving Tuesday:


"So far, our donations total $13,415.49! We had 46 donors, two of whom signed up to be monthly donors. Because of your advice, we are sending an email to our whole list today as both a thank you and an invitation to donate if they missed their chance yesterday. We will send personalized thank yous by Friday. Honestly, we could not have done this without you!"


I cannot tell you how much reading this email warmed my heart. I hope it warmed yours, too, because this nonprofit proved that size doesn't matter when it comes to fundraising success. It's all about strategy, preparation, and confidence.


So, what were the key takeaways from their success?


  • Confidence is Key: No matter your organization's size or experience level if you prepare and believe in your mission, you can achieve great things.

  • Build Relationships: Donor relationships are the lifeblood of fundraising. Take the time to cultivate meaningful connections with your supporters.

  • Prepare, Prepare, Prepare: Have a fundraising plan, a campaign plan, and a communications plan so all tasks are completed ahead of time, from announcements to thank-you letters. Make the donation process easy for donors to navigate.

  • Stay the Course: Fundraising success doesn't happen overnight. Stay committed to your plan and keep pushing forward, even in the face of challenges.

Now, I want to take a moment to address another related misconception I've come across too frequently: The belief that organizations with a budget under $1 million are considered “small.”


Let me share something important with you – if your organization isn't experiencing fundraising success, the only thing that may be “small” is the scope of your planning and the level of passion driving your efforts, not your budget.


Even a $1 million nonprofit can be "small" if it doesn't invest in fundraising, marketing, skilled team members, and thinking long-term and innovatively. Small to me means "small-minded, small scope, unwilling to think big." But you can be a “small” nonprofit with big dreams and supersized gumption and still achieve your dreams!


I know because I did it. I took a struggling organization with three months of operating income left before they had to close the doors and turned it around. It took me almost five years, but I doubled the team, doubled the budget, and increased fundraising revenue by 300+%. 


But, like investing your money, long-term gains don’t happen overnight. You make a plan, take the time, invest your resources strategically, and keep working toward your goals – and you WILL reach them.


So, my amazing friends, don't let anyone tell you you're too small to make a difference. With the right mindset and the right support, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. And that means with a strong plan and focused dedication, small nonprofits can achieve incredible fundraising success. 


And if you ever doubt that, just remember, I'm here to help instill that confidence in you.

If you're ready to take your fundraising efforts to the next level and need someone in your corner to help boost your confidence and provide expert guidance, I'm here for you. Let's work together to make your fundraising dreams a reality. Schedule a FREE 30-minute discovery call today at https://calendly.com/thenonprofitmaven/gettoknow.


Keep fighting the good fight!


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