Tuesday, April 7, 2015

5 Things You Can Start Doing Right Now That Will Make You a Better Fundraiser


Last week we wrote about certain people skills that will help you achieve fundraising success. Here are 5 more things you can start doing right now to help you master the art of fundraising.

1. Cultivate relationships with donors that are based on honesty, integrity, and trust.

Fundraising is all about relationships, and healthy relationships are built on trust. When a donor makes a gift, it's an act of faith. The donor is saying, "I trust you with my money. I trust that you will invest it wisely and steward it appropriately." This is something that should be taken very seriously.

Think of how you feel after you've had a negative experience in a store with a bad salesperson. After that experience, you don't buy from that store - not because you don't like the store but because you had a bad experience with the salesperson.

How to build and nurture trusting relationships with donors? Always tell donors the truth. People can sense when someone is being insincere, so always be authentic with donors. Remember that trust doesn't happen overnight; it's about consistency. If you are inconsistent in what you say and in what you do, you are going to lose trust.

2. Hone the skill of story-matching.

As a fundraiser, you have to always be finding ways to match stories. How can you match your donors' stories with your organization? What's meaningful to a donor? How and why would he or she like to contribute to your organization? Listen for what your donors are compassionate about and find a way to match that with your organization. If you can do this, you've created mutually beneficial, win-win relationships between your donors and your organization. It's also important to be able to match your donors' stories with your own stories so that you can relate to your donors and build relationships with them.

3. Work on your organization skills.

In the business of fundraising, you need to be a good manager of your time and others' time. You need to be strategic and able to zoom out and see the big picture of 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, etc. Being as organized as you can be helps you stay on track and make the most efficient use of time.

See our blogs, 5 Time Management Tips for Development Officers and 3 Reasons Why You Need A Strategic Plan.

4. Tap into your innate positivity.

Go into everything with a positive attitude. People are drawn to and energized by positive people. Be open to new or different ideas (from your staff, or from donors who want to give to your organization in unique ways). Don't say, "Oh, I don't think we can do that." Say instead, "Let me get more information and let's see how we might make that work." Let people try new ideas. If they work, great. If they don't, they don't.

5. Enhance your presentation skills.

Fundraisers need to give great presentations, both in face-to-face conversations and in front of large groups. Before any public speaking opportunity, be sure to ground yourself in your goals for the event and reach deep down to tap into the reservoir of passion that you possess for your cause. A Greek rhetorician once told me, "Andrea (On-DREY-a) if you have passion, they will follow you." Best. Advice. Ever.

Stay tuned for practical tips on public speaking in the coming weeks!

Want to learn more or find out how we can help you work on any of the 5 items above? Contact Giving Focus today.

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