I talk a lot about the need for innovation in fundraising. I include a photo of a grumpy committee member with a speech bubble saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” followed by a chart showing the law of diminishing returns in several of my presentations. My honest belief is that if we don’t innovate our fundraising will eventually turn in the wrong direction.
However, not every nonprofit organization is ready to innovate. If an organization is just getting started, hasn’t implemented best practices or is an organizational train wreck it might not be the right time. So when is the right time?
Fundraising guru Steven Screen does a great job talking through that in his article “When to Attempt to Innovate.” The “Stabilize, Optimize, Expand, Innovate” framework is a great way to approach fundraising innovation. Where is your organization at on that framework? Are you ready to innovate or do you need to address some other issues first?