Q. What is the most common reason that well-intentioned fundraising efforts get derailed?

A. While there can be an array of specific reasons, our experience is that it can all be summed up in two words: execution and leadership. Fundraising consultants like Mersky, Jaffe & Associates are hired to help you through the process. We can teach you best practices, advise you how to proceed, create strategies and suggest tactics as well as prepare you to handle many of the most common fundraising scenarios. But we cannot cultivate your donors or make you pick up the phone to make the calls.

We cannot be the connection to your donor, nor do you want us to be. But if the assigned person is not checking in with a donor or there is no thank you sent, all of the advice in the world will not help you succeed. Ultimately, it is all about execution.

This is true of starting a fundraising program or campaign as well. Everyone agrees that new funding is required, but no one is willing to lead the effort. There is always a higher priority. The excuses are endless, but the results are the same: no matter how compelling the case, the absence of leadership causes the fundraising endeavor to come to a halt before it begins.

Conversely, strong, detail-oriented execution and pervasively optimistic leadership can make up for a host of shortfalls in the campaign process. Hard work in fundraising does pay off.