By Linda B. Haley, CFRE, President & CEO

​There’s nothing like the end-of-year push to the goal to get your heartrate up, is there? Hopefully, you’re just a few thousand away from reaching the pinnacle – the point at which you can rest – for at least a moment – in the knowledge that you’ve completed your main task as a fundraiser. You. Hit. The. Goal!

If you’re like most successful chief fundraisers, you are competitive…you drive to succeed. You enjoy the thrill of the chase, the rush of the ask, and the satisfaction of hitting the number.

But to be truly successful, we all must learn (and then regularly remember!) that fundraising is NOT a one-person job. It takes the full team – staff, board, and donors – to truly achieve fundraising greatness…to raise the dollars that will make your nonprofit and its mission remain viable year after year.

That’s especially true at year’s end. If you’ve been giving your board and senior staff monthly updates on your progress to goal (tell me you have!?!), then no one will be surprised that pushing over the top at year’s end will be necessary. Those last few dollars are part of the team’s commitment to ensuring that EVERY needed (and budgeted) dollar is raised.

To ensure success, here are a few tips:  1) make sure you build an “over the top” effort into the plan at the beginning of the year so you won’t be scrambling in June or December; 2) do not let desperation slip into your appeal, whether live, written, or digital – invite people to help you reach the solution, not rescue the sinking ship; and 3) pull reports that help you find folks who are about to “lapse” and inspire them to join you once again before the year is over.

End-of-year work can be scary…but exciting, too. Be well prepared. Share the load with the full team. Have solid strategies in place. And drive, drive, drive to get OVER THE TOP!

Need help ensuring you hit the number in the next FY? Contact Let’s Build Hope – we want to hear from you: (314) 716-2496 or

#LBH #LetsBuildHope #GlimmersOfHope #OverTheTop #HitTheNumber #YouGotThis!

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