Seven ways to avoid fundraising burnout

In any team environment, you must recognise and avoid fundraising burnout for the wellbeing of the whole team and its wider impact on the charity. Here are our suggestions to keep a fundraising team energised and avoid burnout.

Professional fundraising is a rewarding career. When supporters agree to donate, employees experience what it’s like to play an integral part in building a charities mission and increasing impact within the community.

But while fundraisers experience the highest of highs, the career can also lead to some professional lows. Long hours, budgetary constraints and a constant focus on relationship building can all take a toll if not managed correctly. In some severe cases, this fatigue can lead to burnout which can seriously impact a team and fundraising outcomes.

Staff are one of your most valuable assets. In any team environment, you must recognise and avoid fundraising burnout for the wellbeing of the whole team and its wider impact on the charity.

Implementing programs and adopting systems that allow teams to work smarter, not harder, makes employees feel like their hard work and energy are spent working efficiently to get the best results.

2) Focus on data

Work becomes less stressful when you can specifically target supporters based on their giving history rather than ploughing through poorly qualified contacts to achieve results.

Building processes based on the foundations of data will help teams focus on the numbers to increase motivation.

3) Set KPIs

Setting KPIs gives every member of the team a tangible goal to work towards. Reviewing performance and comparing to others on the team keeps employees focussed and allows managers to identify areas where professional development may be required. This transparency means that work or performance issues are identified promptly to avoid the staff member experience the stress whcih can lead to burnout.

4) Team building

It’s time to put the fun back into fundraising!

Offer a day out of the office when targets are reached or simply to reconnect with the team away from the office environment. Professional team building games have fun at the core but are also designed to teach invaluable professional skills that spill over into the work environment. Focus on team building to address time management, risk management, trust, delegation, and draw out leadership qualities from team members. And yes, you all get to have a good time together too!

5) Publish and share results

Show team members their efforts are valued by regularly publishing the results for various campaigns. Photos of the team at work, financial milestones reached, and individual achievements contribute to a sense of fulfilment and acknowledgment of hard work and effort. Tangible photos of fundraising outcomes facilitate connection and make the time spent at work worthwhile.

6) Stay in touch

If staff have been working remotely, it’s easy to become discouraged without the energy of a team or team leader to keep the motivation going. Hold regular Zoom meetings with a focus on encouragement and motivation. If someone is struggling personally, as many people are in our remote working culture, devote time to listen and guide them towards appropriate help. Providing remote workers with all the support and assistance they need to do their job well from home (such as IT equipment and support) will keep motivation up and reduce the likelihood of fatigue.

7) Rewards and setting targets

Break organisational goals down into smaller, easier to reach milestones. Daily and weekly targets will give team members a feeling of fulfilment. Use a visual representation such as a thermometer rising to publish achievements.

If a fundraiser was the recipient of a significant donation, for example, celebrate with the whole team and a reward for the individual. Team rewards for individual performance help counter employees becoming solo players, instead shifting the focus to the part everyone in the team played to get the donation.

SupporterHub helps increase efficiencies within a team and adopt a more data-driven approach to fundraising. To find out about our FREE trial (no credit card required) and learn how SupporterHub can help take your charity to the next level, book a demo

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