Hey Consultant! How much money did you raise this month?
I really don’t like this question, because I become immediately defensive.
Firstly, I haven’t done my job in educating that individual, because we as consultants aren’t raising the money – we are helping you raise the money. After all, these are your donors and your relationships.
Secondly, there is no magic elixir when it comes to raising money. For development professionals, this is also frustrating. Yes, they are in the trenches and responsible for leading the fundraising effort, but the CEO and board must be informed and involved. Sure, the occasional windfall occurs, or an unexpected bequest rolls in… but mostly the money comes in because of a carefully thought out development plan being executed tirelessly by your development staff.
When development professionals seem crazy busy, and there isn’t any dough coming in, consider that they are doing the necessary work to facilitate those donations. Instead of asking, ‘How much money did you raise?’, ask how you can help to reach the development goals of the organization, then roll up your sleeves and pitch in!