6 Habits of Fundraising Excellence
I've heard donors referred to as "giving units." Others view them as records in a database or "problems" to be handled. But to be successful in fundraising, I believe you have to truly appreciate the people who contribute, choose not to contribute, tell you why they stopped contributing, ask others to join them in contributing or in any other way respond to your fundraising. If you appreciate your paycheck, you should appreciate the people who make it possible for you to receive that payment — your donors.
Ability to apply information
There is a lot of information available to fundraisers, nonprofit leadership, board members and everyone else who is curious enough to seek it out. To make that information more than just white noise, an excellent fundraiser needs to look for patterns. Are giving trends pointing to a need to revitalize your own fundraising program? Are nonprofits doing X now finding better success with Y or Z? Simply reading (or scanning) a lot of articles isn't helpful. Each of us needs to ask, "What — if anything — should I do/say/think differently because of this information?"
Passion to learn
Have you ever worked with the person who stopped learning a decade or two earlier — and is proud of it? Vow to never be that person. You may not become an expert in everything, but having a working knowledge of many fundraising tools can help you bring the right people on board to complement your skills, give you fresh ideas to implement and simply make your work more enjoyable.
Willingness to submerge your own feelings
I suspect this will be carved on my tombstone, but it's true — I am not the target audience. "But I don't like it" (spoken or unspoken) is not a reason to not try something in fundraising. This doesn't mean anything goes; common sense (that rare commodity, it sometimes seems) must have a starring role in your decision-making. But only doing things that you like will make your fundraising program less effective to a broader audience. If excellence is your goal, not making every decision all about you is a requirement.