Following on from my last post, you can also use limited resources better by:
Breaking Tasks into Manageable Chunks
It can help, particularly if you have other aspects to your work, if you timetable in activity on certain days or times of the week. It helps you to manage a varied workload better and it also ensures that you are covering everything – even less pressing or non-time pressured activities, which often slip to the bottom of the pile.
Obviously, you will need to have a degree of flexibility with this. For example, if you only fundraise on a Tuesday and a donor wants to meet you on a Friday, you’re going to have to meet them! But maybe managing fundraising within your limited time could become easier if you spend 30 mins a day on research or block of a Monday morning?
Get ahead with your social media by scheduling in 1 hour for updates for the week ahead. Setting aside time on a Friday afternoon to set up your Tweets for the week on Hootsuite or schedule in some Facebook page updates will mean that you’re all set to go for the following week.
OK, so it will probably take more than an hour the first time you do this but, I promise it does get easier as you get into the habit.
Just one word of caution, as I said in my last post: Don’t Over Automate.
Social media works best when you’re present so, while your automation helps to provide a backbone, you still want to check in each day with relevant or newsworthy updates, to retweet others or to comment on conversations you’ve generated.
Share the Load
Who else can manage fundraising tasks in your team? If the answer is no-one, is there someone there that you can bounce ideas off or ask to be a fresh pair of eyes on your funding proposal? If the answer is still no, maybe it’s time to think about getting new board members!
Seriously though, if there really is no-one, you could think about speaking with a trusted associate working in an other organisation who could perform this role – or get a mentor so you can offload and bounce ideas.
Who deals with admin in your team? Could they add in gift recording and managing the thank you process? I’m guessing they could.
What about research? Can different people give up half an hour a day to help you to build your prospect list? Even if this isn’t practical longer term, if you’ve a campaign coming up or if you’re just launching your fundraising, asking team members to help build a good quality prospect list can get you up and running.
If there really is no-one to help take on the admin, take time at the start to get some good systems in place – maybe get an intern in to help do this – and make sure your fundraising runs like clockwork.
If you want to avoid becoming completely overwhelmed, decide to focus on getting really good at one thing and spend a month really trying to blitz it!
So if you want to improve your grant funding success rate, focus on that. Put the systems in place that you need to support this by allocating time & resources for research, proposal writing and reporting. Find some fantastic prospects that really fit with what you’re trying to do and get your case for support tuned and ready to go!
Or perhaps you have a campaign coming up that you’d like to get wider support for and have decided you need to focus on social media to do that. Spend time deciding on your strategy, choosing your platform and engaging that audience.
Or maybe you wan to get your Board more involved in fundraising and need to raise awareness by meeting with each of them and gaining an understanding of what they would like or need from you.
Choose one area and focus on it. That doesn’t mean don’t do anything else but it does mean spend a month where the one aspect you’ve decided is a priority is what you’re spending most of your time on.
These are just a few ideas to help you manage your resources on a shoestring. But let me know what’s worked for you in the comments below!