How much of an Executive Director’s Time Should be Spent Fundraising?

Mar 3, 2021Fundraising, Leadership, Nonprofits, Philanthropy

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How much of an Executive Director’s Time Should be Spent Fundraising?

Wait! Let me clarify . . . 

How much time do you think an executive director (or CEO) should spend on fundraising to make a big impact and raise significant funds?

Now that’s better!

Would you say . . . 

10 percent?

20 percent?

50 percent of their time?

50% of Executive Director’s Time Should be Spent on Fundraising

First of all, fundraising should be a significant focus of the executive director. 

In fact, any organization serious about raising significant funds needs to have the executive director spending at least 50% of his or her time focused on the fundraising process. And yes, asking for money!

Consider Fundraising Executive Director’s Top Priority

That means the executive director be engaging with donors at meaningful levels, asking them for their support, and making them feel gratitude and thrilled to be supporting the mission.

No question, fundraising is a top priority of the executive director. 

In other words, consider it your #1 responsibility.

Without funding, programs and activities of the organization cannot be carried out.

Indeed, programs are the heart of the nonprofit. But it takes funds to even open the doors.

Executive Director cannot go it Alone with Fundraising

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb

Without question, the executive director cannot take on fundraising by his/herself.

For one, fundraising requires the help of board members.

To start, if you are a board member, step up and ask what you can do to support fundraising.

Most importantly, fundraising does not necessarily mean asking someone for money. 

No doubt there are numerous ways to help. 

As a board member, jump in there and ask how you can help.

Director of Development and Executive Director work Hand-in-Hand

One last point . . . if you are fortunate not to be a one-person office, your director of development can help you go further faster.

Absolutely, the executive director and development director work hand in hand.

You are working together — in sync — to nurture relationships with donors as part of the fundraising process. 

A Large Portion of Executive Director’s Time Should be Spent on Fundraising

As the executive director, make sure you dedicate much of your time focusing outward and connecting with donors. 

After all, you want to be meeting with donors, articulating the vision, and sharing your progress and impact.

Although difficult to hear, you are failing if you are not focused on fundraising.

Discover Your #1 Fundraising Blocker

Fundraising need not be complicated, especially if you know the steps to take.

One thing I‘ve realized from coaching nonprofit leaders is fundraisers — new and experienced —- are stopped in their tracks by ONE THING.

As such, that lead me down the path of creating a QUIZ, so you know the ONE THING holding you back from reaching your full potential . . . from knocking fundraising out of the park!

In fact, you can take this 60-second quiz right now while it’s available and discover Your #1 Fundraising Blocker . . .to discover what’s holding you back from bringing in the big gifts year after year.

You need to do only: 

#1 Click the link here

#2 Take the quiz

#3 Uncover your #1 Fundraising Blocker

Other Resources:

Nonprofit Leaders to Live MLK’s Dream

Racial Injustice: 4 Immediate Ways for Nonprofits to Take Meaningful Action

How to Incorporate Storytelling in Fundraising

Nancy Rieves, Ed.D. is a fundraising coach. She provides executive and development directors with a roadmap to maximize and sustain major gift fundraising. She prepares leaders to be confident and successful in raising money. Reach her at nancy@nancyrieves.com.


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