Fundraising can be Stressful! Tips for avoiding it!

Tim Ahern | October 9, 2019

Nonprofits spend serious time talking about what it takes to have a successful fundraiser. But halfway through the campaign, one thing usually becomes clear to everyone: fundraising is hard work. For youth-based fundraisers, stress isn’t limited to the adults involved. Whether they’re rounding up donations or just helping with a big event, children experience stress, too.

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Including stress management as part of your fundraising planning process can help. Here are a few tips to help you keep stressful situations to a minimum, as well as deal with the stressors you can’t avoid.

Increase Your Resources

One of the best things about being a nonprofit is that you can recruit as many volunteers as you want without cutting into your budget. Ramp up your recruitment efforts, pulling in far more volunteers than you think you’ll need, and put one or more team members in charge of managing them. Plan to delegate as much as possible across your teams of volunteers to free your leadership team up to focus on planning and managing.

Start Early

Although there will always be unexpected surprises along the way, starting early can help take some of the pressure off you and your team. If your fundraiser kicks off in mid-October, you should consider moving your first planning up to mid-summer. Create a schedule that makes sure you’re ahead of all deadlines, including cutoffs to get orders in for products.

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Just Breathe

Meditation can do wonders to relieve stress, but you don’t have to spend an hour on a mat to get similar benefits. The diaphragmatic breathing that’s part of many meditation and yoga classes can help you in your daily life. Taking a few minutes to close your eyes and breathe deeply can help you relax. It also reduces the harmful effect that stress hormones have on your body.

Use Project Tools

Lists don’t just help us keep things organized. They also make us feel as though we’re in control, reducing the stress that chaos brings. You can find fundraiser planning checklists online and customize them to meet your own campaigns. If you prefer a more electronic approach, consider a project management tool that you can share with the entire team.

Work in Fun Time

Need stress relief? There’s no better way than to have a little fun. As you’re planning your campaign, be sure to work in intermittent events designed just for fun. These should be in addition to any fundraising events you’ve planned, with only your volunteers and employees invited. Even if it’s something as simple as a pizza party or rented space at a local bowling alley or escape room, you’ll all be better for it. Not only will it help reduce stress, but you’ll also find that everyone bonds a little and feels appreciated for the hard work they do.

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Stress comes with almost any successful venture. By enacting strategies to prevent and reduce stress, you’ll have a more relaxing, enjoyable fundraising season. We have plenty of great tips to help your fundraiser go more smoothly. Be sure to check those out here.