Need Help Figuring Out Fundraising?
Let's be honest, fundraising can feel like trying to juggle flaming torches while riding a unicycle on a tightrope over a pool of hungry sharks. It's a comedy of errors, you're the star of the show, and even on the best days it can feel like trying to convince people that your cause is worth more than the spare change in their pockets. Fundraising is hard!
There's nothing like that fear when you're in front of a prospective donor, feeling like a lost penguin in a desert. You're sweating bullets, your mouth feels drier than a desert cactus, and your carefully rehearsed words vanish from your brain faster than ice cream on a hot summer day.
But hey, silver linings! Fundraising is masterclass in humility and resilience. It's a journey of self-discovery where you realize that persistence is the name of the game. So when life gives you lemons, throw a lemonade stand fundraiser and get some help along the way!
Why Derik Timmerman?
- Top Rated: America's best nonprofit executive coach and expert
- For-Profit Background: 6+ years as a global McKinsey & Company consultant and facilitator to top executives of Fortune 500 companies
- Nonprofit Expertise: 20+ years working on staffs and boards of nonprofits of all sizes and causes
- Diverse Sourcing: Deep understanding of fundraising from major donors, corporate sponsors, grants, events, & planned giving
- First-Hand Fundraising: Certified fund raising executive (CFRE) and experienced leader raising $12m+
- Practical Coaching: Believes your time is too valuable to waste, helping you prioritize the right next steps every week
- People-First Approach: Puts the WHO/WHY before the HOW, encouraging you, celebrating you, and building up the whole person
An estimated 75-80% of newly established nonprofits fail to raise enough funds to sustain their operations long-term.
The ethos of Sparrow's proprietary approach to fundraising coaching is prioritization: doing the right things, at the right time, in the right way. As is the case in many spheres of life, there are plenty of good things you can be doing as a nonprofit fundraiser. However, it's only focusing on the best things that will win your cause the funding it deserves.
How to achieve that? Building a development system from the inside out. Critical topics include your personal values and beliefs about money; ways those mindsets affect how (of if) you talk about money with your board; and how your team works together to cultivate new and existing support.
Once Sparrow has a clear picture of your high-potential fundraising sources and what's holding you back from being a $1m nonprofit, we'll walk you through a step-by-step coaching journey that prioritizes networking, major donor cultivation, sponsorships, grants, and a signature annual event.
What to Expect from Weekly Touchpoints?
Progress. Secure a speaking engagement? Lock in a new major donor? Win that $10k grant we applied for last month? Using our up-to-date fundraising dashboard as a discussion tool, we'll celebrate any and all wins, no matter how small.
Insights. In fundraising and in life, if we're not learning we're not growing. A key use of time during our touchpoints is taking stock of lessons from the previous week. A script isn't working? Let's talk about it and change it up. A networking approach is winning new donors? Let's double down and win even more.
Next steps. The tasks we focus on between touchpoints or "homework" is how we keep the fundraising momentum going strong. Each team member (Derik included!) leaves the touchpoint with practical activities that will increase community awareness, cultivate individual donors, win sponsors, apply for grants, and more.
Research shows that 72% of nonprofit professionals believe that fundraising is the most challenging aspect of their work.
The best nonprofits know that it takes multiple strong sources of funding to build a well-rounded funding model that can survive the inevitable shocks.