Working in the nonprofit world means you probably wear multiple hats and fundraising is no different. Many people are comfortable asking others for money and sometimes they’re even good at bringing in gifts. However, successfully connecting donors’ passions to your organization’s mission requires you to be more than a fundraiser. Your donors expect and deserve more than just the ask.
1. Be a Student
Look to other organizations and colleagues, or dare I say competitors, for methods that seem to connect with donors. To keep up with changing times and donor expectations, you have to keep your tool kit stocked with fresh fundraising techniques. Drive the evolution of your organization by prioritizing learning and paying it forward to others.
2. Be a Developer
Cultivate individual donors along with the for-profit sector and other community-based organizations. Your organization should have a presence in the community and that means seeking and building relationships beyond your list of major donors.
3. Be a Listener
If you want to understand what donors want: Start listening! Focus on listening to their story, not only telling the story of your organization. Build a relationship based on transparency and respect and donors will reward you with their loyalty.
4. Be a Collaborator
Look for opportunities to collaborate with other organizations that have complementary missions and goals. You’ll use less time and resources than if you carried out the service independently and you’ll reduce duplication of services in the community, which stretch funding sources way too thin. Most of all, pooling your ideas can result in even more thorough services for your consumers.
5. Be a Steward
Every donation you receive means that someone chose to give your organization a gift. Respect that decision by thanking them properly and repeatedly with updates on the impact their gift had on continuing the mission.
6. Be a Strategist
Create a fundraising plan and secure buy-in from your team and donors. Take calculated risks and build in an evaluation process so you can track the return on investment of those risks. Thoughtful planning is always a good investment of time.
7. Be a Dreamer
Remember to dream big! Donors may appreciate a solid fundraising plan, but you’ll also get points for pizazz. Tell the story of the impact your organization will have with meaningful gifts. Ask your donors to dream with you!