10 tips to check your fundraising pipeline..

As the gulf disaster continues and oil pours from a fractured pipeline it make you wonder at the quantity that is seeping through. A reservoir that big feels endless. And when you can’t stop it, it certainly focuses the mind on the whole process – from reservoir to product.

But when we fundraise we very often forget or don’t pay enough attention to the pipeline or reservoir that is needed to feed our machine. A few conversations last week showed that when you are focused on delivery of the budget or short-term target, its dead easy to forget that behind you, you need to be cultivating and planning . This is not about one fundraising technique over another. All require thought – direct marketing, legacies, major gifts, volunteer recruitment etc. All have a requirement for active consideration of the pipeline that feeds your world.

So here are 10 tips to make sure you pay attention to the pipeline in your fundraising

1. Make someone accountable for thinking about the pipeline of prospects or gifts

2. Build a model that makes the pipeline as important as the delivery – the whole process so everyone understands

3. Create a ratio for each output to focus attention – 1 gift requires 12 prospects etc

4. Make an agenda item each time you meet to discuss the pipeline

5. Create a health check for the pipeline – a diagnosis of the what’s there

6. Talk to the pipeline. Engage and involve and build excellent stewardship and donor care

7. Keep building your brand and profile to influence the pipeline and be as audience and market specific as you can

8. Contribute to the sector to stimulate the market place – PFRA, Remember a Charity, Association of Charity shops etc

9. Survey attitudes and perceptions of the wider pipeline to help engage and cultivate

10. Create a risk register of the pipeline and what is needed to ensure a healthy flow into your fundraising

It’s easy to forget about it until it’s too late…a few steps taken now can make a real difference to the future. Pity BP didn’t do that…

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