How to Succeed in Fundraising
Whether you work at a nonprofit organization or at an agency partner, would you like to know the secret to being more successful in your job and your career?
Of course you would … so here you go.
Let’s start with the assumption that you’re honest, smart, always learning and a hard worker. That you have persuasive communication skills. That you’re driven to succeed for your organization and your own career.
If you don’t have that, there’s not much that will help you.
But assuming that you have all that, assuming that you’re honest, smart, hard-working and a good communicator, there are a few other things that can really help you.
My 15 commandments
1. Learn your organization’s business (and your clients’ business if you’re at an agency) more thoroughly than your boss. Know the terminology, the history, the revenue, the programs, the issues and the people. Don’t just know your area of responsibility. Learn the big picture and how what you do fits into it. Pay attention to the details so your boss won’t ever want to go into a meeting without checking the facts with you.
2. Know your boss’s (or clients’) likes/dislikes, problems and objectives — and deliver. How does he or she want to be briefed? In writing? Graphs? Verbally? Be super-organized when coming to your supervisor. And get it right! When your boss asks for information, don’t guess. Your boss can guess — probably better than you can. Always bring accurate information or a well-thought-through point of view.
3. Know your boss’s boss’s likes/dislikes/priorities so you understand your supervisor’s needs. You generally have to be responsible for the details, but make sure you understand the big picture of how the details are used. You’ll do a better job. And you’ll learn. And learning is always key to success.
Tom Harrison is the former chair of Russ Reid and Omnicom's Nonprofit Group of Agencies. He served as chair of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.