Lessons Learned

Blooming Art learn to drum

Even with the tremendous success of Blooming Art, we learned a few things along the way.

  1. Success is contagious!

    The more connections, both formal and informal, created among coalition members and donors, the more profitable the relationships. Success stories among members had a ripple effect, renewing an investment of time and energy in the coalition

  2. Collaborative fundraising inspires and strengthens a successful coalition.

    With multiple stakeholders and many moving parts, it’s important to listen to all ideas and solicit and accept feedback. Working together helps staff and board leaders from different organizations increase their capacity as fundraisers.

  3. Engaging coalition members early and often is critical to ensuring that everyone is invested in the outcome for the entire coalition, not just their organization.

    The coalition needs to be part of the decision-making every year, particularly as policies and guidelines evolve.

  4. Fundraising doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game; helping allies raise funds benefits all.

    Nonprofits vary widely in their capacity to raise funds, and smaller groups struggled to reap the benefits of Blooming Art. It’s important that leaders of larger organizations provide support and assistance, ensuring everyone is successful.

  5. Social networks are critical.

    Don’t underestimate the power of social networks. Major donors give to organizations and efforts supported by their friends and colleagues; public events that bring people together further shared interests and commitments. Donors benefit as well. They were introduced to new organizations that were trusted by other major donors and respected organizations.