5 Back-to-Work Supplies for Fundraisers
2. A Rolodex, literal or electronic
The person you met at a conference, the former colleague who has moved on or even the person you cold-called a year ago when you had a question may be a great source of information when you face a new situation or a troubling trend. My experience is that fundraisers are among the world's most generous people in terms of sharing their time and knowledge. Yes, we all "compete" for the same pot of discretionary money, but we also know that we need each other — and the world needs all the other causes as well as ours.
When you need to bounce an idea off someone, pick up the phone and call. (You could send an email, but a call is a nice touch, in my opinion.) Explain what you're after, following some pleasant conversation to reconnect, of course. (That's why I like a call; you can build rapport before you leap into your request.) You may get lucky and find out just the information, the example, the referral or whatever you need.
And be ready to get a call on occasion, as well, from someone seeking your advice. It's a great feeling to know that you may have saved someone from making the same mistake that you are still smarting from.
3. An idea file
Whether you get a regular supply of mail and email appeals because you are an active donor to multiple causes or you subscribe to Who's Mailing What!, you need a source of inspiration.
When you just can't figure out how to write an invitation to yet another event, looking at those from other nonprofits can trigger an idea that was buried in the back of your mind somewhere. Reading other appeal letters about fiscal year-end drives or annual campaigns can generate a new way of looking at the same old idea.
Pamela consults with nonprofits, helping them develop their fundraising strategy and writing copy to achieve their goals. Additionally, she teaches fundraising at two universities, hoping to inspire the next generation of fundraisers to be passionate about the profession. Previously, Pamela led the fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. Pamela is a member of the Advisory Panel for Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, a CFRE, a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Dominican University, and holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from California Southern University. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @pjbarden.