The Three R’s of Fundraising Success
The third and final R is the most often overlooked, but never by the top fundraisers. It is RECORD KEEPING. Yes, just like the top sales and marketing professionals I have known, the top 20 percent of the fundraisers achieve more than the next 80 percent combined.
In this day and age, it is so easy to truly have at your fingertips hundreds of details on a thousand or more key people you are building/maintaining relationships with. The best professionals know their brains can only keep so many details on so many such individuals.
Imagine if you could remember the details of every conversation, meeting, written communication and e-mail. Add to that the fact that you can now easily track where every relationship came from, what stage it’s in, and what the next step and ultimate goal are!
For example, if a major-gift prospect shares a passion or a personal memory in an early conversation, what would it mean to relate back to the passion or memory numerous conversations or steps later? Should perhaps your relationship-building strategy be built around those items? It is for the top 20 percent of fundraising professionals.
If you aren’t able to personally and easily store and access tons of such vital information, then you are severely limited in the results you can achieve. All nonprofits, no matter what the size, must consider all such information a key asset. They must insist upon it, garner it and, most importantly, protect it. Any nonprofit that just has a record-keeping system consisting of a listing of gifts/pledges and prior written communications falls into the “limited” category. The best fundraising organizations harness the power of aggressive and extensive record keeping and use it to enable and insure outstanding results.
So there have it. The Three R’s of fundraising success. Although relationships, research and record keeping are not the only factors, they are among the ones most often mentioned by my personal mentors in this field over the last 25 years. Perhaps they can help you achieve new heights of success too.