You want to increase your fundraising results for your non-profit? Don't know where to start? Easy. Start where you are.
What I mean by that is, analyze where you are. Know your key numbers. How many of your donors were new donors last year? How many were renewals? How many donors do you have overall?
By answering some of these key metrics, you can start drawing conclusions about your current donor base and where you need to put your energy into expanding. If all your donors are friends of your Executive Director, you need to focus your energy on finding new donors. If all your donors last year were new donors, but your renewal rate was low (national average is 40%), then you need to focus on engaging your current donor base and wooing lapsed donors.
Start working from where you are, and let your current strengths and opportunities guide your decisions. In fundraising it's easy to think that you need to focus on everything, especially when you're running a small to medium sized organization or fundraising shop. But you realistically can't. You have to prioritize. Pick one or two goals for long-term growth and stick to them.
And when you have to choose between focusing on the donors that you have or acquiring new donors, always, always, always choose the donors that you have over anything and anyone else. The people that already believe in you and your mission are always more valuable than the woman who your ED ran into at a conference. If you already have a solid donor engagement and renewal process, then congratulations! You can move onto donor acquisition. But if you're like most fundraisers and non-profits, donor engagement is where its at!