Wait a Minute…Who Does the Fundraising Around Here?
Spoiler alert: everyone. I recently came across a compelling video of social justice leaders speaking about the challenges and rewards of fundraising. They offer hints about how to do it right, and those hints lead to getting more people involved.
Check out the video here.
You have probably heard the phrase “creating a culture of philanthropy,” but what does that really mean in practice? It means getting everyone at your organization involved in helping donors to make the impact they desire through giving. It means that your board members, program staff and front desk volunteers are all part of the fundraising team.
My favorite quote from the video: “Because the work matters to all of us at the organization, we all have to be involved in the fundraising.” But, why? Because you never know who your donors, or potential donors, will interact with as they get involved in your organization. Can you really expect that a donor can learn about your organization without having an interaction with anyone other than the Executive Director or Development Director? Even those of you with a staff of one (or zero) have board members and volunteers involved.
When everyone on the team feels responsible for fundraising, you have a much greater chance that these interactions are not only positive, but can lead to major gifts. After all, the goal of philanthropy is to help a donor make the impact they desire. If your team can assist in helping a potential donor understand the impact of your organization, it’s easier for that donor to decide if that impact coincides with the one they want to make on the world.
But how do you DO this? One person (or group) at a time. Share this video with team members. Meet with each person (or group) and share some specific ideas of how they can impact fundraising success. Make sure you recognize and appreciate staff and board members when they have a great interaction with a donor. Share that story with the staff/board members who “don’t get it” too, so you can help them connect the dots.
So remember that fundraising isn’t just your responsibility. If you want it done right, don’t do it all yourself! Every time I help a client write a fundraising plan, we take time to consider how others can be involved. If you need assistance creating a plan that involves other people, reach out and let me know. You’ll be relieved to know you’re not the only one responsible for fundraising.