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Stop Over Complicating Things

I have had conversations with at LEAST a dozen organizations, colleagues and nonprofit friends this week and it seems they all have one thing in common: over-complicating things.

From appeals to events, it appears there is a bug going around – like the back-to-school-mystery-illness that kids come home with the first 2 weeks of school kinda bug – and I have no idea who patient zero is.

Whoever is prescribing the idea of over-thinking, over-analyzing, over-correcting or over-planning needs to take a vacation…or take antibiotics if that’s the medical cure for this type of advice. In my 15 years of fundraising experience, the best answer is usually, keep it simple.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of time you take when deciding on what word to describe “impact” is before your decide to make a donor call – STOP. OVER-COMPLICATING. THINGS.

If you are overthinking the process and order in which to ask certain questions during a coffee meeting you have set up with a potential supporter of your organization – STOP. OVER-COMPLICATING. THINGS.

If you have an event coming up and you’re trying to figure out how to add 14 different games, prize opportunities, and mini fundraisers to make a few extra bucks over the course of the evening – STOP. OVER-COMPLICATING. THINGS.

If you are writing a social media post, and you are spending more time on trying to figure out how to translate your message so that the kids on Tik-Tok are moved to give generously to your cause – STOP. OVER-COMPLICATING. THINGS.

If you have been stuck on trying to figure out what the best way to say “thank you” for a $31 gift you received, and have spent 30 minutes watching YouTube videos on folding unique origami to stand out from everyone else – STOP. OVER-COMPLICATING. THINGS.

The stress levels of fundraisers is high enough as it is. We’re constantly bombarded by unreasonable expectations, the fears of economic downturns and worried about nonsensical reasons why your donors aren’t calling you back in a timely fashion.

The last thing you need is a bunch more “stuff” rattling around in your brain distracting you from the ONE THING that has been proven time-and-time again: Building Donor Relationships.

If you’re overwhelmed at your desk, and struggle to carve out time dedicated to meeting donors, cultivating new relationships and elevating those that love and care about your nonprofit – I’d love to help! Shoot me an email at and let’s see how we can help you UNCOMPLICATE all the things.

Your brain and sanity will thank you. 😉

- Patrick Kirby


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