The Three R’s of Fundraising Success
Perhaps I’m dating myself by conjuring the age-old axiom about the most important subjects in grade school being the three R’s of Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. But in today’s frantic pace of fundraising, a new trio of R’s easily emerges and takes center stage.
First and foremost are RELATIONSHIPS. The essence of the fundraising process, no matter what the methodology, are the relationships we build. Many of us honed our ability to build donor relationships via our own relationship with one or more mentors. I personally can thank so many key individuals in the nonprofit sector for fulfilling that role for me.
If you haven’t been fortunate enough to have had a mentor relationship, I urge you to make finding and building one a priority. One of the many joys of this sector is the strong abundance of experienced professionals willing to help others. All of the top-notch, experienced fundraisers know that sharing the proper methodologies with those eager to learn improves the results for everyone.
If you know how to create and build friendships, then you know where to begin to build long-term donor relationships. One of my mentors in the nonprofit world alluded to the fact that you just have to substitute the care and concern of the mission of your organization for the genuine care and concern you build about each other with a friend. If you’re successful with building true care and concern, proper support in the way of gifts and time will soon follow.
Keep in mind a few key differences will come into play for the successful fundraiser. Among them will be the fact that you must be able to replicate this relationship building, even for major donors, on a much larger scale than you do for personal friendships. A key facet of this will be the third R coming up in a minute.