Keys to Effective Fund Development
- People give to people. People do not give to organizations, mission statements, or strategies.
- It’s about the money...but it's not really about the money. It’s
about vital mission and ministry, work that urgently needs doing. Money
is the means to an end, and when donors become involved in our cause,
great things happen.
- Effective fundraisers see things from the donors’ perspective.
We are able to put ourselves into the donors’ shoes, to understand how they feel and what they need.
- Fundraisers should be donors too. Successful fundraisers and donors have a relationship based on their shared commitment to philanthropy.
- Cultivation needs to occur...before the ask!
- Fundraising is not selling. Fundraisers and donors should always be working together to further the mission.
- Fundraisers know how to harness the simple power of emotion. A successful case for funding appeals first to the heart. Logic then reinforces the appeal.
- Fundraisers offer a clear, direct proposal to which people can relate. Work to open donors’ hearts and minds. Then they will open their pocketbooks!
- Know who to ask, who should do the asking, how much to ask for, and when. Be sure to do your homework. Don’t “wing it.”
- Present your organization’s case for funding clearly and consistently. Donors should be able to readily distinguish your mission and ministry from all the others.
- Fundraising is not marketing and your approach, direct mail, and support materials shouldn’t look like marketing. Recognize the difference between a publicity stunt and real investment.
The more connected a donor becomes, the more he/she will give.
- Listen. Don’t simply wait to talk. Effective listening is key to understanding the needs of your donors and prospects.
- Turn complaints into support. The most loyal donor is the donor who has complained and been answered with honesty and compassion.
- The trustworthiness of a fundraiser and his/her organization is a reason to start and to continue support. This appears to increase in importance as people get older.
- Always say “thank you,” properly and often. It’s also a good idea to be comfortable welcoming and including people.
- Great fundraisers…
Speak with donors, get results, take calculated risks, innovate, use
creativity and imagination, understand the power of technology, are
patient and undeterred, and always include others in the excitement!