Category Archives: fundraising

How to increase revenue

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.  Proverbs 11:14 (ESV)

The wisdom of many counselors, as the Bible tells us, can be a good thing. All that counsel will be especially helpful when it boils down to something very simple.

Every organization that I know of that is not fully endowed…every church, every ministry…wants to bring in more money. Much is written about increasing revenue and donations, as it should. But, actually, there are only two ways to do so:

  1. Get more customers or donors.
  2. Generate more revenue or giving per customer.

There is only one way to get more customers:

  1. Make sure you add more customers than you lose.

And finally, there are only two ways to generate more revenue per customer:

  1. Raise prices. 
  2. Sell more products to each customer.

These principles comprise all the knowledge and counsel you will ever get about increasing funding. The reason why it’s important to keep these ideas in mind is so you can test every idea, plan and program against them. If you cannot see and measure how what you or one of your counselors wants to do will get more customers or donors (net), or how it will generate more revenue per customer, then you’d better think of something else. Sounds easy? It’s not. But it is simple.

Future posts will unpack these ideas. Would love to know your reactions, and especially why you think it’s more complicated than what I’ve explained.


Think Twice, It’s NOT Alright

A recent study indicates that fundraising works better if preceded by effective planning and surrounded by solid management. Sounds obvious when you say it like this, but what wasn’t obvious is that survey data showed that donations and grants earmarked for building fundraising capacity do not show as good a return as money aimed at good management. This is worth a thought or two….

The Limited Returns on Fundraising Support for Nonprofits | Stanford Social Innovation Review.