So ... You're a Fundraiser!
Once you get the answers you need, focus on being a motivating factor. Motivating others is your first step to being a true development professional. Even if you don’t personally supervise anyone, you can play a role in motivating the board, volunteers and interns, as well as motivating people to give through speaking engagements.
Fundraising is everybody’s responsibility. But don’t frame it this way. When you talk with staff, instead of pointing your finger and demanding help, frame it as, “Your programs are incredible, and I’d love to highlight them. Will you help me?” Don’t frame it as obligation, but as highlighting your co-workers’ hard work and showing off their achievements. The more people you have giving you ideas, supporting you, understanding what you do and helping out, the better.
Your fundraising plan
You have to have enough money coming in the door to carry out the work you do. So do a fiscal checkup with your accountant and board treasurer. Where is your nonprofit? What are your receivables? What are your payables? How fast are you burning cash? How can you cut costs and make sure your nonprofit is stable?
Once you do this, you can start to look at how to keep money flowing in smoothly without a lot of effort. Here are some ideas.
1. Create a fundraising plan and communications calendar so you can plan backward for each event, appeal letter, e-newsletter and piece of your fundraising strategy for the whole year.
2. Have weekly check-ins with the board and volunteers where you start and end with what is going right at your nonprofit. If you want to learn more about solutions-focused meetings and questions, check out this post about Alan Kay’s book, “Fry the Monkeys.”
3. Make sure your communications flow smoothly, including between you and your board, and you and the rest of the volunteers. Give lots of opportunities for people to ask questions. It’s important that they know what your priorities are and in what order. Likewise, you need to tell them what you need to be successful, push back on unrealistic expectations and know when things are coming up.