Still More Strength Training Tips for Fundraisers
[Editor's Note: The cover story in the May issue of FundRaising Success, "Strength Training for Fundraisers," featured 12 tips from global fundraising consultant Ken Burnett to help nonprofits flex their fundraising muscles and build (or rebuild) an effective development department from the ground up. As promised in the issue, here are the final steps — 14 and 15. Find No. 13 here.]
14. I'd make our organization the best communicator anywhere
Effective communication is important for fundraisers. So I'd study thoroughly the ever-increasing and improving options for customer relationship management technology. At the right time for us, I'd invest prudently in it.
These communications systems can transform the way fundraisers deal with donors, just as the development of electronic databases transformed fundraising potential 20 years or so ago. But I'd hope not to forget that this leap forward will be less to do with technology, more to do with processes and much more to do with people.
When installing donor databases some years back, many fundraising organizations got it badly and expensively wrong (for a variety of generally not very good reasons, largely to do with a failure to anticipate needs properly and a reluctance to invest sufficiently). I'd have a chance now to learn from the past and get it right this time. I'd take the decision carefully and thoroughly, of course. But I'd make sure I took it bravely, so our organization could stay that all-important 15 minutes ahead. And so we could treat our donors exactly like we'd wish to be treated ourselves.
15. Finally, I'd give a little bit extra
To stand out, you have to be outstanding. So in fundraising it pays to go further than expected. My colleagues and I, therefore, would always offer a bonus, particularly, but not exclusively, when dealing with donors one to one. We'll have competitions to see who can come up with the most cost-effective and original "extra mile" that we can go, for our donors.
Ken Burnett is a globally renowned author, lecturer and consultant on fundraising, marketing and communications for nonprofits. This "Top Tips"' list is an extract from his book, "The Zen of Fundraising." Reach Ken at firstname.lastname@example.org