Eek, It’s a Ghost! Nope...just Your Fundraising Program

Lisa Tarshis
October 26, 2021

It’s spooky season, and there are a lot of reasons to be scared. Horror movies. Haunted houses. Running out of Halloween candy within an hour of trick or treating. 

But today, I want to talk about something frightening that we fundraisers experience year-round: the Sunday scaries. 

We’ve all been there. The restless Sunday evening, where you can’t stop thinking about everything you didn’t get done the week before. The feeling of dread when you wake up Monday morning. 

We feel the Sunday scaries because we don’t know exactly what the week will bring. We know where we want to go--how much money we need to raise--but we don’t know exactly how we’ll get there. 

So we just try everything under the sun, filling our days until the weekend comes around again. And the cycle repeats. 

But we don’t have to feel that way. When we have a fundraising plan in place, our weeks feel less scary because we know exactly what needs to be done each week. We don’t need to do the work of strategizing, prioritizing, and stressing because that’s already been done. All we need to do is follow the roadmap. 

5 reasons you should create a fundraising plan this Halloween (or literally whenever): 

  1. You’ll have a clearly defined roadmap for the year. Think about it: in a scary movie, isn’t the scariest part the haunting music before the villain jumps out of the closet? Uncertainty drives fear. When you know exactly what to expect, you won’t feel so tense at the beginning of your work week. 
  2. You’ll operate from a proactive place. When we don’t have a plan, we’re constantly reacting because we haven’t defined our goals and priorities. But our best work comes from a proactive place, one where we can take a step back and look at the work more globally rather than make knee-jerk decisions.  
  3. All you have to do is implement! You’ve already put in the time, thoughts and honed the strategy. Now all you have to do is execute, which is a much easier, less stressful place to operate from. 
  4. You’ll build trust with staff, board and volunteers. People like to follow a leader with a vision and a plan. Showing that you’ve put in the time, thought through the scenarios and that you have a plan to reach your goals is a great way to build buy-in and trust. 
  5. You’ll be able to accomplish more by focusing on less. Through the planning process we choose the items we will focus on and equally as important, the items we won’t. This allows us to confidently streamline our work and focus on the areas that will have the greatest impact. 

So, get spooked this Halloween--but don’t let your fundraising department be the reason! If you’re ready to say goodbye to those Sunday scaries and create a fundraising plan for your organization, join me in Plans That Produce, where I’ll take you step-by-step through the process of creating a fundraising plan that is tailor made to your organization.

P.S. Have you been struggling with the Sunday scaries recently? Today’s freebie, 5 Ways to Avoid the Sunday Scaries, will share tips you can implement right away to make your work week feel less daunting!