February 18, 2015
EVEN THOUGH YOU HIRE A PROFESSIONAL FUNDRAISER, THEY REQUIRE TEAM SUPPORT!
I meet with a lot of nonprofit Boards in my work.
One of the interesting things I find is that when I start to discuss my role with some Boards, they seem to find it quite interesting that I require their support and can’t do it entirely on my own. I have even been asked, “If you need our help then what are we hiring you for”? Fair enough question from their perspective, however, it fails to understand that the fundraiser-client relationship is really about a team effort!!!
I saw an interesting quote from Seth Godin in one of his Blog’s which said: “It’s much easier to persuade a philanthropist to fund your project than it is to persuade a rich person to become a philanthropist.” So it is one thing to know a bunch of rich people, (which is always nice), but in fundraising it is even more important to find an individual or business who is already very giving and are passionate about and will support your cause. The Board, staff and contract fundraiser (in my case), all need to work together so we find the right candidates to support the work of the nonprofit.
I also found some really interesting information on how to be a successful Board from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation review course for the exam, that I try and share with Boards and Staff now when I meet with them. Here are some of the important points to make note of:
- Make your own gift
- Obtain your corporation’s gift
- Identify individual donors you can approach
- Identify corporate/foundation donors you can approach
- Attend donor cultivation events and meetings
- Search for people you know to get involved or help on projects
- Strive to remain knowledgeable about all activities
- Be available to work on projects
- Attend all scheduled committee and Board meetings
- Support staff innovation and “risk taking”
- Challenge yourself and staff to be creative
- Make thank you calls to donors
- Be responsive to staff-generated and volunteer-generated suggestions
- Be positive
- Ask questions
I think this information suggests you could hire the best fundraiser in the world with great connections, etc., however, that fundraiser cannot do it alone. Team work is especially mandatory if you are involved in a campaign to raise significant amounts of money. The best connections are the ones that have already been known to support the nonprofit, as they are the ones who will have further connections and may also consider raising their own previous investment. It is the work of the Board, staff, and in my case the contract fundraiser, to identify and cultivate the relationships with these connections, using the strategies laid out in the list above.
I hope you enjoy my postings and find this information useful. Please let me know what you think in the comment section of my Blog http://raveresults.ca/blog/ .
If you would like to learn more about how my experience and skills would benefit your nonprofit, or a nonprofit you may be associated with, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me as I would be pleased to meet and discuss the opportunity of working together.
Mitchell Ravvin, BComm, PFPC, CFRE
Rave Results Inc.
7436 21A Street SE
Calgary, AB T2C 0V9
Rave Results Inc. is a professional fundraising service specializing in assisting mid-size nonprofit organizations. Areas of expertise include: Donor Development, Major Gift Fundraising, Sponsorship, Planned Giving, and both Annual and Capital Campaigns.