Fundraising Peers Offer Tips for Success
What makes top fundraisers and fundraising consultants successful?
Two weeks ago we ran the first installment of our Q-and-A with winners of FundRaising Success’ 2007 Fundraising Professionals of the Year Awards in which some of them answered this and other questions. Here, our second and final presentation of their responses:
What are your keys to success?
Katya Andresen, vice president of marketing for Network for Good and one of our Fundraising Professionals of the Year: The key to all marketing — and fundraising — is simple: always, always, appeal to the perspective of your audience, not your own. As a mentor of mine [Sharyn Sutton, founder and president of Sutton Group, a consultancy that helps groups working for social change] says, it’s not about teaching people to value your cause. It’s about showing people how your cause relates to their existing values. This is the single most important lesson I’ve ever learned, and I say it ad nauseam in my book, in workshops and to anyone who will listen.
Ted Kohnen, assistant director of Planned Parenthood Online and one of our Rising Stars: 1) Teamwork. I’ve been fortunate to work with an extraordinarily talented and creative group of individuals who never settle. 2) Passion. You have to be passionate about what you do. That passion will show through in your work and communications with others, especially supporters. 3) Risk. Not every appeal or campaign will be a blockbuster. But, if you don’t try it you’ll never be able to learn what works and what doesn’t.
Kim Ruotsala, director of development for Food Bank of the Rockies and one of our Top Women in Fundraising: Surround yourself with people who strive to be part of a solution, treat everyone with the respect they deserve, don’t get discouraged by rejection, and laugh often and laugh loud.
Michael Knipp, chief copywriter/editor for Creative Direct Response and our other Rising Star: Resisting the allure of mediocrity.
Tim Burgess, co-founder of Merkle/Domain and one of our Top Men in Fundraising: Straightforwardness, integrity and having fun.