The Hummer (the big gas guzzling SUV) is often viewed as much more vehicle than anyone needs, at least in its scratch-free and clean condition. Unless you use it for off-road pursuits, it belies a desire for image and success, or at least to feel safer on the road than anyone else.
Fund raising revenue can have a similar appeal. The private sector differentiates revenue targets by the use of top-line metrics (gross revenue) and bottom line metrics (profits). Which is more important to your organization? Most non-profits welcome success in both especially if it meets the needs of key supporters. When a donor offers money for something ‘just outside’ your mission, do you take it so you can meet top-line objectives? Do you offer transaction services that improve top-line dollars but do nothing to deliver on your bottomline reason for being? When it is out of balance?
Your mission matters most right? Here are three ideas for ensuring focus on your mission:
- Give the greatest recognition to those that support your mission – don’t recognize non-mission donors in the same way you recognize mission donors.
- Make sure your message – to supporters and media – is only about your real bottom line. Don’t publicize results that aren’t tied to your mission.
- Train and align advocates and volunteers to promote only your bottom-line.
Are you driving a Hummer? The combination of the gifts you accept, who you recognize, and how you talk about yourselves will answer that question for you.