In the category of "Tell Us Something We Don't Know," last week Compass Point published UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising, which concludes, among other things, that nonprofits struggle with high turnover, difficulty finding qualified staff, and a lack of a holistic orientation towards fundraising. I had no idea!
Oh, I don't know – I don't mean to be so snarky about the study. It's a good read, and worth a few minutes of your time. That said, I'm not sure I'd consider it groundbreaking. If you've been in the nonprofit space for more than two weeks you knew all of this already.
Fundraising is hard work, and despite what some people will say it isn't sales or marketing or communications. It is its own discipline. It requires practice and patience and determination. And more than ever, it requires leadership.
Yes, fundraising is hard work, but it is work worth doing – and work that, more than ever, desperately needs to be done. Call me old fashioned, but if we want better fundraising leadership the place to start is within ourselves. I'm not saying we don't need structural and cultural change; that would help. However, to overcome the obstacles we have to decide we're going to stop complaining about them and start figuring out ways to climb over them.