Dream Raiser Fatigue

Dream Raiser Fatigue
Raising dreams takes a team. Whether it is planning an event; launching a project or product; or finding right-fit partners, champions, or sponsors… your efforts require collaboration, and sometimes a lot of it. We meet many entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations who actually have developed dream raiser fatigue!

Dream raiser fatigue... Is that a thing?  

...YES, according to many nonprofits, community organizations, and entrepreneurs. They have shared that the past couple of years have created challenges with volunteerism, fundraising, and donor relationships. The pivoting and steps needed to raise big dreams and projects have consumed people’s time and energy.


STRIVE: Strategies to Reduce Dream Raiser Fatigue

Here are some tips to reduce dream raiser fatigue and make a bigger impact with your partners. We call this the STRIVE model (Raise a Dream, 2021):


Strengthen and cultivate relationships with champions and partners. When you engage others, you share the efforts. Support and appreciate volunteers and those involved in helping raise the dream. 


Track the impact and Talk about it! Celebrate the impact with your partners, community, and champions. Tracking and celebrating impact often creates a chain reaction and brings in new supporters. 


Retention and Recognition of your partners is essential. Ensure that you are working on retention and ongoing relationship building with your partners, sponsors, and champions. Be continually asking yourself, “How can we build a relationship with donors versus simply having transactions?”


Innovation and ongoing “review and learns” are one of the foundations for success. Rather than focusing exclusively on the metrics of fundraising—the bottom line—center your attention around fostering a sense of community among donors to grow giving and retention. Notice if you may be experiencing “death by” events or campaigns. Are you spending most of your time setting up tables and chairs or running virtual event registration?


Value and appreciate the partners you have. Also, creatively expand your reach and ensure that you are continually making time to identify new partners, donors, or champions. Allow time for the relationship building process. Hint… through collaboration and partnership with brands, appreciating and valuing or recognizing them should be one of the key results that benefits all parties.


Educate others about the big dream(s) you are raising. When others know your WHY, you can more easily engage right-fit, shared-value partners. Evaluate your approach, strategy, and results. We use a four-step “review and learn” process for this. Learn more here in an article we wrote on Pamela Chatry’s blog.

As you reflect on or plan raising your big dream, how can you apply the STRIVE model to avoid volunteer/dream raiser fatigue and make a bigger impact?

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