The Vital Expert Fundraiser
Of the roles vital to a nonprofit’s success, none are as important as the staff or director who agrees to become the expert fundraiser. For a nonprofit to achieve the financial success it needs to have to accomplish its mission statement, at least one person needs to become passionate about fundraising. Without an expert fundraiser the organization will not have the funds necessary to conduct business and the nonprofit will fail.
Expert Fundraiser Qualities
It does not take someone with highly developed marketing skills to become a good fundraiser. Most importantly the candidate needs to care about building relationships with people. It is relationships that attract donations, whether that be from individual, businesses or grant funders. A person who loves to build relationships will understand fundraising strategies the best.
Second, the expert fundraiser candidate needs to have a determined passion for the organization for which they are raising funds. Many times the person who has the greatest passion for the organization is the person or persons who found the organization. However, others who understand the vital role the nonprofit plays can be just as passionate. Passion will drive the fundraiser to reach farther for funding than any paycheck or work ethic will generate.
Third, the expert fundraiser will most likely be able to juggle lots of fundraising programs at once. Expert fundraisers understand that there needs to be many revenue streams generating funding all at the same time. Some efforts will generate donations at times while others will at other times. In addition, certain types of fundraising, like fundraising events will most likely generate many smaller, on-going donations with relative ease. On the other hand, grant writing can generate larger, one-time donations. It takes more than one type of fundraising to balance the budget of an aggressive and growing nonprofit.
Expert Fundraiser Attitude
An expert fundraiser learns quickly to allow rejection to roll off their back and move on. Much like sales, finding and cultivating donors is ripe with rejection. The key is to keep one eye on the overarching goal and embrace those that contribute to the big picture. Just like most things in life, some will want to be a part while the majority will have no interest. The expert fundraisers gift is to sort those that will be a part from those who have no interest. There is only one way to determine the interest someone has, and that is by asking. If the invitation is met with rejection, quickly moving on to find the person or company that is overjoyed to help, makes the last rejection irrelevant.
Expert Fundraiser Discernment
For the expert fundraiser, money is not necessarily the ultimate goal. One who is expert in fundraising understands the value of in-kind donations and volunteers. The time a volunteer can give to a nonprofit organization is priceless. If you added up a few hours each week and what that would cost your nonprofit in payroll, even at a modest amount per hour, a volunteer could be a major donor. Likewise, in-kind donations can add up quickly. The gift of goods, services or software could save your nonprofit buying the items, accounting for large donations.
There is not much difference in a for profit company and a nonprofit other than the product. A for-profit company sells a widget which in turn makes the company a profit. The nonprofit, in essence sells the story of the good they do in the community. In the sales world, most agree that 10 conversations about something one sells results in 3 sales. The same strategy applies in the fundraising arena. Rarely does a donation appear out of nowhere. The expert fundraiser knows determination in fundraising results in great funding. The donations are out there for the asking.
The financial success of a nonprofit is largely dependent on the passion and attitude of the person in which the nonprofit gives the responsibility to raise funding. It does not take a rocket scientist to be an expert fundraiser, it takes a dedicated and determined one. If a nonprofit wants to have great funding, then pick a person with the right attitude and passion to be its expert fundraiser.
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