So ... You're a Fundraiser!
While you’re there, stop by the human resources office and ask if employee volunteerism is compensated by the company. Also ask if there’s a group of employees who like to volunteer or if they’re looking for new projects to volunteer on.
11. Send out an e-newsletter at least once a month.
12. Cut down on the number of events you have. No more than two events a year.
13. Start a major-gifts program, name it and brand it. Show major donors that you care with appreciation events.
14. Look through your database and see who could be re-engaged as a donor or volunteer.
15. Ask your volunteers for donations.
Have you mastered fundraising?
I was recently reading a book called “Mastery” by Robert Greene, and it struck me that it could be applied to fundraising. How do you know you’ve mastered fundraising? Well, you never really know. There’s always something more to learn. Maybe you’ve done grants your whole life and you don’t know about appeal letters. Or you’ve been in a big shop and only done planned giving, or you’ve been in a small shop and had to do a little appeal letter, a little grantwriting but then never got to learn how to do a capital campaign. There are so many holes in our knowledge. We have to do better. I know, it’s worked so far, but it hasn’t worked as well as we’d like it to.
“Mastery” talks about the different kinds of learners:
- Dabblers: Dabblers get frustrated quickly and give up, then try something else. A dabbler reads a book on karate, goes to a couple of classes and drops out. Then he decides to try Indonesian stick-fighting, goes to a couple of classes and drops out. Then decides to learn Japanese, picks up a book, practices for a week and then drops it. Know anyone like that?
- Obsessives: These folks obsessively try to go make the biggest splash they can right off the bat. They try very, very hard for a while, then get burned out and never come back. Obsessives don’t want to be on a plateau. They fear the plateau. Oh man, I am such an obsessive!
- Hackers: Hackers learn just enough to get by, stay on a plateau for awhile, then bump up a bit as they have to learn something new. And then stay on that plateau indefinitely. Maybe this person just had to learn how to enter donations. Then she learns how to run events — because she has to. And that’s all she ever learns. Nonprofit marketing, grantwriting, planned giving — none of that interests her. She thinks, “Why bother?” She won’t get promoted. She’ll stay on her plateau.