How to set realistic goals in fundraising — and why you should have two sets of goals

Date / Time: November 12, 2018 12:00 am

Nonprofits are nothing if not ambitious. Just look at those mission and vision statements. But how can we channel those big, huge, ambitious organizational goals into realistic goals in fundraising? If your organization struggles to reach its fundraising goal every year, it may be because you have just one goal.

When you set a public fundraising goal, it’s set in stone, and that pressure can lead to greater performance. But if the number is too ambitious it may work against you: When a goal feels unachievable, your employees may feel inadequate or as though they are being set up to fail. At the same time, when a goal seems easy, people won’t work as hard to achieve it and won’t feel the same level of satisfaction. Consider setting two goals to meet the mark both internally and externally:

  1. A conservative, public-facing, realistic fundraising goal that holds your team accountable
  2. A more ambitious, internally-facing, stretch goal that pushes your employees to go above and beyond

Now, how do you actually set fundraising goals that walk the line of ambitious enough, but not unrealistic?