Why Fundraisers Fail to Follow-Up

Jul 29, 2021Fundraising, Leadership, Nonprofits, Philanthropy

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Why do fundraisers fail to follow-up with ideal potential donors and ready to make a gift? 

I was talking with a fundraiser who knows the ropes in securing large gifts. 

She knows what it takes and is committed to fundraising efforts at her nonprofit. 

Actually, she is a rock star!

But here’s the problem. . .

Often, she gets sidetracked and does not tackle the tasks she knows must happen, especially if there is any chance of her bringing in the large gifts she is working on.

She has ideal potential major donors, but she is not following up, stopping to have meaningful conversations, and being creative in her approaches.

No doubt, she knows this.

Does this sound familiar?

I bet it does!



Fundraisers Get Off Track and Fail to Follow-Up 


Sometimes we get off track. Absolutely, we know what to do.

We get distracted, doubt ourselves, and then hesitate to move forward.

As fundraisers, we have all been there! We fail to follow-up with donors.

So what’s the solution? 

Fundraisers need Accountability Partners  


As fundraisers, our work is exhausting. We work late hours and never “turn off.” 

Here’s the thing — we need help and support from others. 

One way to get the support we need is to find an accountability partner. It could be your boss, another staff member, or a board member if you are a one-person shop.

This person is not there to be a drill sergeant. On the contrary, an accountability partner works through issues with you and helps you break down priorities into actionable steps.

On top of that, there is energy when you come together and collaborate and share what’s planned for the week.

Schedule weekly meetings with your accountability partner and share your goals. Because sharing goals is powerful. No question, it keeps you focused, and you are more likely to do important tasks.

Even better, build in time at the beginning of each meeting to report what was accomplished the previous week and your goals for the upcoming week.

Summary: Why Fundraisers Fail to Follow-Up

Clearly, create a system in which you share your progress and tasks each week with another individual; Make it a part of your culture. 

Above all, don’t beat yourself up when important matters fall off your task list.

We all get off track.

Indeed, create a process that includes an accountability partner.

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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