6 Principles of Success for Exceptional Fundraisers

Posted by Don Carmichael on 2/13/17 5:30 AM

Everyone has an idea on how to create the best fundraising event possible...but do you have a strategic, well thought out plan? Follow the six steps below and you will.

New Networks and Donors.

Each volunteer at your organization has a unique and extensive personal network of friends and family. This network includes family members, co-work­ers, friends, neighbors, suppliers, etc. Consequently, you want to form a team of volunteers who love your organization and can reach out to their friends and families. Each volunteer knows hundreds of people you don’t know. You generate new donors as your volunteers invite their friends to your event.

The Power of Accountability.

  • Accountability should be a hallmark of every event you host and is crucial to your success. Make sure all volunteers are aware of these three things.
  • They should clearly know and understand their jobs and responsibilities, and you should be communicating
  • clearly to your volunteers their goals and responsibilities.
  • Have each volunteer commit to contacting a certain number of their personal contacts and follow up with them. A good way to see if a volunteer really cares about your cause is whether or not they would be willing to talk about it to the people they know.
  • Communicate weekly with your committee by positively encouraging them, and be faithful to hold them accountable to their efforts. Keeping your team on target with the timeline will be an ongoing process and requires careful attention and oversight.
  • They need to commit to attending weekly meetings.

Setting High Standards and Expectations.

It’s critical that each person in your event personally commits to the goals you establish and that those goals are aggressive! Human nature is such that most will fall below the standard, so set the standard high enough that you win even when the majority of your people fall short. The more firmly you get com­mitments up front, the more successful you will be and the fewer performance problems you will have.

Effective Use of Volunteers.

This may not be true with your organization, but many organizations struggle with volunteer burnout and not knowing how to best utilize volun­teers’ time. In this event, volunteers have a limited and defined responsibilities. The fruit of your volunteers’ commitments during the timeline should translate into a substantial number of donations raised during your event. As a result of the additional funding for your organization, more lives can be affected. In other words, your volunteers will have very specific roles, and they can also have the satisfaction of knowing that their contributions of time and energy will ultimately influence the lives of other people.

Inspect What You Expect.

This lesson is applicable and true in all arenas of life when you are in charge of overseeing others. Don’t assume that telling someone what to do is enough to get the job done. You must inspect their work to make sure the job is done cor­rectly. This is especially true in volunteer environments! Make sure your expectations are clearly communicated. Follow up with support, encouragement, help, and appreciation.

Ask, Ask, and Ask Some More.

The reason people have volunteered for your event means that they believe in your cause. And for most people, they will be happy just volunteering but there are always the highly motivated outliers. These folks will go out of their way to be helpful and you should not feel bad about giving them extra opportunities to serve. That’s why they’re there. So always have a couple of extra tasks handy to allow your people to stretch their fundraising wings and get after it.

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Topics: donors, fundraising, events, volunteers, development