We often refer to fundraising as a discipline but many fundraisers don’t seem to realise the importance of this word in their profession. The fact is, good fundraisers need to be disciplined.
For example, being prepared to roll out the same pack for years to the same media – just because it’s working. Sticking with approaches that work rather than being distracted by pretty ideas that don’t do the job. Testing rigorously. Keeping your eye firmly focussed on your organisation’s strategic goals. Of course, lots of fundraisers don’t do these things, but the best ones do.
All this talk of discipline doesn’t diminish the importance of innovation and vision in fundraising – far from it – but innovation needs discipline around it so that the innovation is focussed, tested and analysed properly – and the vitally important resources of the charity and its donors are used as effectively as possible.
Perhaps we could all benefit from treating fundraising as a true discipline.
By Richard Docwra, Director, ChangeStar