What’s THE Best Fundraising Strategy?

Dear Kim,

I only want to use the most successful fundraising strategy. Which is it?

Signed,
—Cut to the Chase

Dear Cut,

Few people want to use unsuccessful strategies, but I am glad your clarified for me that you are not in that group. If by “success,” you mean most money in for the effort you have expended, personal face to face solicitation of large gifts is the best strategy. Special events are good for boosting morale, getting better known and sometimes attracting corporate gifts, but are a slow way to simply raise money, and a successful event will depend on a few people asking other people for large gifts to underwrite the event, donate products, or whatever. The short answer to your question is that no fundraising strategy will do its best for your group by itself. Fundraising has to be conceptualized as part of your program activities and has to be built into the rest of the work you do. Fundraising takes a lot more time when it is conceived as a completely separate function from program. Then several fundraising strategies have to be used together for maximum effectiveness.
—Kim