An essential ingredient for fundraising success is passion. Whatever the cause you're raising money for, you need to really believe in it. It has to truly tug at your heartstrings.
Donors give to organizations with missions that match their own priorities. The same holds true for the people raising the money: fundraisers will have more success when their organization's mission aligns with their own personal philanthropy mission.
What's your personal philanthropy mission?
You basically know what you're passionate about and what's important to you, but have you written it down in a formal statement? Just like an organization's mission statement, having a clear, concise personal philanthropy mission statement will really sum up who you are and how you want to change peoples' lives with your fundraising skills.
In her book Inspired Philanthropy, Tracy Gary helps people come up with their personal philanthropy mission statements. These statements have two parts: identifying the causes you're most passionate about, and determining how your own giving will help to forward those causes.
We're only going to focus on the first part here - identifying the causes you're most passionate about - but feel free to go the extra mile and address how your giving will help!
To come up with your personal philanthropy mission statement, ask yourself the following questions:
What values are most important to you?
What issues are you most concerned about?
If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?
What are you most thankful for?
What are the biggest challenges facing our world or community that need to be solved?
Which accomplishments are you most proud of?
How do you want to be remembered?
When your personal philanthropy mission statement matches with the mission statement of the organization you're raising money for, then you've got something pretty special - and you've also got something that's crucial for fundraising success.
Gary, Tracy, and Nancy Adess. Inspired Philanthropy: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Giving Plan and Leaving a Legacy. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2008. Print.