[PODCAST] The Three Epic Fails in Fundraising

What would you do if you knew you would not fail in an epic fashion? Probably raise support for your favorite mission, right? Unfortunately, there are some missteps that are common on the fundraising journey. In this episode of the Good to Growth Podcast, Katie talks to fundraising expert Jack Alotto, MA, CFRE about three of the most common “epic fails” in fundraising. 

Epic Fail #1: Not realizing what you’re actually doing.

You’re cause selling! That’s right! While fundraising is about relationship building, vision casting, and even a bit of advocacy, it is the act of selling a cause. Jack explains how the first epic failure is failing to realize that you need to sell the cause you’re representing. The Fundraising Academy (where Jack teaches) built a complete curriculum around the art of cause selling, and mastery of it can amplify any fundraising career. Jack offers some helpful pointers on developing the skills to sell your cause. 

Epic Fail #2: Not asking for referrals.

Working from the inside out, Jack recommends starting with your board of directors for referrals. He boldly states that “the board’s role in fundraising is inescapable!” They’re also (hopefully) your most qualified referral sources. After all, they already believe in your mission and have values that align with it. Jack suggests building off their patronage by praising their support and asking them to connect you with similar individuals. Calling out what you appreciate about your board of directors and asking them who of their peers is similar is not only flattering, but it can also be highly effective in terms of social engagement of your donors. 

Epic Fail #3: Go listen to the episode!

Jack’s third area of caution is one we’ve all experienced. Give it a listen!

Shout out to the cause selling experts at Fundraising Academy for making this podcast possible!

Jack Alotto Epic Fails in Fundraising Podcast Image

Katie Appold

Katie’s nonprofit career includes a variety of leadership roles for human service, foundation, and publishing-related nonprofits as well as many volunteer roles. Under Katie’s leadership, nonprofit organizations have developed new programs related to free healthcare, affordable and accessible housing and literacy programs for K-12 students. In her first Executive Director role, Katie increased the annual revenue of the organization she led by 300% and received the top grant prize in the nation for affordable housing through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis. Today, she leads Nonprofit Hub and Cause Camp, which collectively serve more than 50,000 nonprofits throughout North America. Her educational background includes an undergraduate degree in business administration and a masters degree in nonprofit leadership. Katie serves as the board president of Gracious Grounds, a housing organization serving individuals with disabilities. She is an active member of the Grand Rapids Young Nonprofit Professionals, the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Cause Network, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

March 11, 2022

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