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Fundraising framework: empowering nonprofits to Do Good Better

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Is perfection paralysis standing in the way of your fundraising efforts? Feeling overwhelmed with where to start or the next right step to take? When you’re fundraising, it feels like you have to have everything perfect to start. Having a simple fundraising framework helps eliminate the stress of having it just right.

If we wait for perfection, we’ll never move the needle forward on fundraising. That’s why Patrick Kirby of Do Good Better Consulting created a 5-day fundraising framework. He realized he’d get to the end of each week unsure of what he’d gotten done.

“When you're in the trenches, you kind of overanalyze and overthink a lot of this stuff. And I was waiting for everything to be picture perfect before I would make a move. And that hesitation cost us a lot of revenue. It cost us relationships because I was trying to put on this persona of ‘everything is picture perfect.’”

-Patrick Kirby, Do Good Better Consulting

He had a clear picture of the actionable steps he had taken, which helped his motivation and excitement. Then, he shared it with clients and saw their success, too. Because this fundraising framework is simple and flexible, it works whether you have 20 minutes or 2 hours to give.

The 5 day fundraising framework

This framework provides an actionable plan for nonprofit leaders to make meaningful progress in their fundraising efforts. Designed to be simple yet effective, it’s great for both newbies and veterans. With only 5 steps, you only need to focus on one thing for each day of the week. These steps are planning, doing, documenting, celebrating, and appreciating.

Monday: Planning

Mondays set the stage for a productive week. Take time to review your emails, prioritize tasks, and identify the essential actions that need to be accomplished. When you have a clear picture in your mind, it is easier to tackle the week’s challenges. You know the important things are not being overlooked.

On Mondays ask yourself: What is the one thing you have to get done this week?

“You know, all hell is going to break loose in your week. That's how a nonprofit works, so what do you need to do in order to scramble your entire week to get that one thing done.”

-Patrick Kirby, Do Good Better Consulting

Tuesday: Doing

Tuesday is the day for action. You know your plan. Now, it’s time to act on it. This is the day to take proactive steps to connect with supporters. This is the day that you engage in meaningful activities with your donors.

“Everything kind of moves forward on Tuesdays. You have a meeting, you have an ask, make a phone call, do something to sort of build that relationship.”

-Patrick Kirby, Do Good Better Consulting

On Tuesdays take a proactive step to connect with supporters and build genuine connections with your community.

Wednesday: Documenting

Wednesday is for documenting. You just took action yesterday, so now is the time to document the interaction.

“And then after you've had all these wonderful conversations with donors, in the middle of the week, get that information out of your brain, possibly with a great CRM system.”

-Patrick Kirby, Do Good Better Consulting

It’s important for nonprofits to track their activities, connection points, and donor engagement. When you know how and when you last connected with a donor, you’re able to build stronger relationships. You’re able to remember the insightful or interesting tidbits you learned from your donors. Notes also jog your memory about the important things happening in their lives. By engaging meaningfully with your records, you ensure no valuable insights or opportunities slip through the cracks.

On Wednesdays write notes about your Tuesday activities.

Thursday: Celebrating

Thursdays you celebrate the wins of your week. While it is often overlooked, it is important to take time to acknowledge and celebrate the successes you’ve had! Spend time celebrating with donors, board members, volunteers, or anyone else on your team. Remind yourself and those you work with why you do the work that you do!

“We don't spend a lot of time as non-profit leaders celebrating wins because we think it's bragging.”

-Patrick Kirby, Do Good Better Consulting

But pausing in your week to celebrate the good keeps you motivated to continue on through the challenging parts. Recognizing achievements reminds everyone of their positive impact on the community.

On Thursdays celebrate the successes you’ve seen in your nonprofit.

Friday: Appreciating

End your week with a focus on appreciation. Friday is the day to write personalized thank-you notes and emails or make phone calls. Remember the reason for the call is not to make an ask. By showing genuine gratitude for your supporters, you create a connection with your donors. They feel valued and hear how they’ve had an impact on their community. When donors feel connected to your org, they are more likely to become partners in your mission.

On Fridays write a thank you note, send an email, or call a donor to show your appreciation.

Fundraising framework and building consistency

With donors, consistent communication is key. While some fundraisers fear overwhelming donors with too much communication, regular interaction is key to maintaining relationships. By treating donors as friends and engaging in genuine conversations, you build meaningful relationships. When you have deep relationships, you’ll stay top of mind with donors. They know you and have confidence in your work. They feel connected to that work and see the impact it’s having.

“Now, if you're asking people for money all the time that can be excessive. But building a relationship with your donors is the same thing that you would want to do with your own friends, your own family, right? Your mom and dad are not going to be mad that you call them all the time, right? I have never in the 20 years that I have been doing fundraising, never, been punched in the face for calling to say ‘hi’ or ‘thank you.’”

-Patrick Kirby, Do Good Better Consulting

If you’re concerned about reaching out too much, ask your donors their preferred frequency and method of communication. By openly asking for input, you can better tailor your interactions to suit individual preferences, strengthening the bond between your nonprofit and its supporters.

Fundraising framework conclusion:

The 5 Day Fundraising Framework developed by Patrick Kirby provides nonprofits with a clear roadmap for success. By putting this simple yet effective plan into place, nonprofits can establish a structured approach to fundraising. Because each day has its work, it is easy to see what has been accomplished in a week. You’ll be able to look back and see how you and your team have actively moved the fundraising needle forward. By planning what steps you’ll take and documenting what was done, you’ll fundraise proactively instead of reactively. Celebrating wins and appreciating those in your community drive your mission forward and make it easier to stay motivated.

If you want to hear more from this conversation with Patrick Kirby, listen to the full episode on the Beyond the Donation Podcast here or wherever you listen to podcasts

Patrick Kirby, creator of 5 day fundraising framework, Profile Image

About Patrick Kirby

For over two decades, Patrick Kirby has been immersed in the world of fundraising for nonprofit organizations. As an accidental fundraiser himself, he recognized the need to demystify the fundamentals of successful fundraising. This realization led him to establish Do Good Better Consulting, a firm dedicated to helping nonprofits excel in their fundraising efforts. Kirby firmly believes that mastering the basics and understanding that fundraising is not as overwhelming as it may seem are the keys to becoming a fantastic nonprofit leader. Through a range of services, including consulting, a podcast, events, and the recently launched DoGood Youniversity, Kirby aims to equip nonprofits with the knowledge and tools they need to thrive.

To learn more about his 5 day fundraising framework, check out his book Fundraise Awesomer

Elisha Ford
Content Writer
Written by
Elisha Ford
Content Writer

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