September 2014: 5 Obstacles to Fundraising Success

eNews Masthead - Transforming Challenges
In this Issue

Opening Remarks

Successful fundraising can be a challenge for many organizations, especially religious and nonprofit ones.  In this edition of Transforming Challenges, we interview Senior Consultants Greg Cascione and Tom Reid and get their take on the biggest obstacles to fundraising success.

At The Reid Group, we have a passion for helping leaders and organizations transform their challenges into opportunities to create a better world. One of the ways we do that is through this e-letter, Transforming Challenges. Is there someone you know who could benefit from receiving it? Forward this edition to them and encourage them to subscribe for themselves. They’ll thank you—and so do we!

The Reid Group News

  • St. Gregory Abbey in Shawnee, Oklahoma has hired The Reid Group for help with strategic planning.  John Reid and Maureen Gallagher will work with the Abbot on a five-year plan which will include decisions about health care and property needs.
  • Lucien Roy is conducting an evaluation of the campus ministry program for Silver Lake college in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
  • Maureen Gallagher is working on her fourth contract with the Sisters of the Humility of Mary in Villa Maria, Pennsylvania.  Maureen will be facilitating Community Days throughout the year and helping the sisters develop an implementation plan to put their “Living Document” into action.
  • The Diocese of Indianapolis has contracted with The Reid Group to provide consultation on the implementation of the planning process in the four deaneries in the city of Indianapolis as well as to facilitate the planning process for the three deaneries of Bloomington, Seymour and Connorsville.

So as you look at your individual or organizational future, what are your challenges? Could you benefit from skilled support? Give us a call at 206-432-3565 or send us an e-mail to start transforming those challenges into opportunities.

The Reid Group teleseminar series

What is your best idea for raising funds for your organization now?

You are invited to attend a Reid Group Teleseminar on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 5 PM ET. The call will be hosted by Tom Reid. Tom will be joined by his colleague Greg Cascione. The session will focus on top ten ideas for raising funds for your organization NOW!

Date: September 17, 2014
Time:  2 p.m. PT, 3 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. CT, 5 pm ET

During this teleseminar, participants will be provided a “best practice” top ten list to raise money for your organization as soon as possible. In addition, the session will also offer tips for practical ways to build on the momentum of the call.

Are there issues or questions you would like to hear more about?  Send your comments and feedback to us at

Feature Focus

Biggest Obstacles to Fundraising Success:  An Interview


Tom Reid, Senior Consultant

What stands in the way of successful fundraising in organizations?  We sat down with Greg Cascione and Tom Reid, Fund Development consultants with The Reid Group.

What was it that first interested you in fundraising?

Greg:  I was working at my undergraduate alma mater, and they asked me to get involved in their fund development efforts.

Tom:  One factor was my background in sales, but more importantly, I was volunteering with a number of nonprofit groups that never had enough money.  I got a lot of satisfaction out of helping them raise funds to support their good work.

greg cascione fund development consultant

Greg Cascione, Senior Consultant

In your experience, what do most organizations identify as their biggest obstacle to successful fundraising?

Tom:  I think it’s a mental block for many organizations.  They think of fundraising as if they were asking their parents for their allowance rather than an activity that grows out of their commitment to their mission.

Greg:  Many organizations don’t recognize the potential that’s out there.

Tom:  Yes–they tend to underestimate the gratitude their supporters feel for their work.

And what do you think is the biggest obstacle?

Greg:  Infrastructure issues, like staffing or technology.  It can be a complex task to build the kind of program necessary to support successful fundraising.

Tom:  I agree that many organizations have inadequate infrastructure to support their fundraising efforts.  There is also the mindset, found mostly in nonprofit and religious organizations, that fundraising is a dirty word.  They think of it in terms of asking or begging, not investing or partnering.

Do you think that every organization has the ability to be successful in fundraising?

Greg:  I’m not sure every organization has that potential, since there are so many components to success.  But I am sure that many organizations can be so much more successful than they are.

Tom:  We worked with one organization, a religious community of women, that was absolutely convinced they wouldn’t be successful.  And they were right–if you think you can’t, you can’t.

What makes fund development consulting rewarding for you?

Greg:  With the right people and the right organization, fundraising can be a transformational experience for an organization.  It’s all about the mission.

Tom:  Helping a helping organization further its mission is very satisfying.  That our work helps an organization realize its vision and turn an idea into a reality–this is the most rewarding part of any kind of consulting.


The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning

art of change cover

Think about what your organization could do if the process of planning met the inevitability of change head-on—and it resulted in significant success.

Organizations large and small, religious and secular, for-profit and not-for-profit, successful and unsuccessful, go through change. John Reid and Maureen Gallagher of the Reid Group have been instrumental in helping many groups discover the power of Prophetic Planning. This book presents a complete overview with detailed information that any organization will find useful in understanding how to plan for change.

The Art of Change: Faith, Vision and Prophetic Planning, and its companion CD are now available from Liguori Publications as well as from

And that’s it for this month. Look for Transforming Challenges next month–and until then, have a good day and a great week.Kathy Johnson, Editor, Transforming Challenges
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