I am first a “friend”-raiser, then a fund-raiser. Developing relationships enhances fund-raising success over the long term. We can be the connector of donors with beneficiaries in a manner that will increase pride in the organization as well as donor satisfaction through engagement.
- Fundraising requires authenticity at all levels — the organization, the purpose, and the person.
- Successful fundraising requires an “investment case,” in other words, donors expect a clear and compelling explanation of the expected return or outcome on every gift.
- Great organizations think long-term, including establishing long-term objectives and intermediate plans to achieve.
This is my personal mission statement: I strive to become the best version of myself and help others to do the same. I always work to find happiness, fulfillment and value in my life. I inspire others with my actions, integrity and principles and never forget the power of my voice. I help others experience joy, feel supported and as a friendly face. I give before I receive. I remember what is important in my life is my family by making my marriage, daughters and immediate family a high priority and treating them with the highest of care, love and support. I create a welcoming home for my family, friends and everyone who enters. I am open to change, people, learning opportunities and growing every day. I follow my passions and chose opportunities that fill my bucket. I am a leader and desire to make tangible contributions to my organization, profession, community and the greater world. I honor my commitments. I recognize and develop my strengths as a person who is smart, articulate and hard-working, while at the same time being humble and never boastful. Ultimately and always, live my life to the fullest.
I also live by “If you don’t know better, you can’t do better.” For fundraising, remembering three things … 1) Progress Shall Mark our Every Step; 2) Don’t be afraid to ask; 3) Help donors find their passions within and for the betterment of our our organization
- It is about relationships and not transactions. Don’t forget the people behind the gift.
- It is a long term strategy, not a short term wins. Follow the plan and you will get the support. Push to raise money quickly and you will either burn bridges or leave money on the table. Keeping in mind that donors want to buy deck chairs for the Queen Mary and not buckets for the Titanic.
- People want to change lives, show them how their gifts do that.
- Don’t ask, don’t get …
- There is a fine line between asking and begging and as fundraisers, we need to be aware of that (and not fall on the begging side) …
- Fundraising ethics are everything … our reputation is at stake.
“BePe” — Be prepared. Be personal. Be perceptive. Be personalized. Be persistent.
- Outwork and outplay the competition (i.e. other charitable orgs).
- Engagement is key.
- As Jerry Maguire would say if he was a fundraiser, “Show me the money BUT also show them the IMPACT!”
It’s not about me – it’s all about them.
- Be open to the conversations, relationships and journeys our donors will take us on.
- Be present – and that’s so hard with our small teams. We hear these voices in our heads. “We should be further along in revenue, I have staff one-on-one meetings today, I need to get that information out to the board, I’ve got to get back to the Strategic Planning workgroup…” We need to put all that aside every time we pick up the phone.
- Be your authentic self and understand you’re not going to mesh with everyone. For some, my job is to find the right person who will.
I’ve also had others in my professional journey who have helped define who I don’t want to be. That’s all a part of the journey, too. No experience is ever wasted. We have the great opportunity to work in an industry that provides life-long friendship and sisterhood. It shouldn’t be about the one, transactional gift.
My personal philosophy this year is the pursuit of “doing good” is doing more. (Delta Gamma’s motto is “Do Good.”) I am celebrating our donors this year and helping them identify their passion for making a difference.
My purpose is all about our journey together, mine and the donor, and the lives we can touch, the legacy we can leave, and the world we can change for the better. Together we have the opportunity to brighten the future of the hundreds of lives we enhance each day.
I would describe my brand as a fundraiser as being about relationships, persistency and trust. Serving on staff of the Fraternity and Foundation for 23 years has provided me the opportunity for so many wonderful relationships with brothers (and family) of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity. These relationships are key to securing on going support for the Foundation.
Persistence is something I learned early on in my career. I had one prospect who took about three years for me to finally get a response from and meet with in person. Through a series of ongoing attempts and trying different approaches, we finally made it happen. As a result, we were able to secure a major gift from the individual. It never would have happened without persistent effort.
Trust is an absolute. You are unable to be a successful fundraiser without it. It really serves as the basis for the first two points, relationships and persistence. Donors need to trust the organization, the leadership and the staff.
All three are impacted by my final thought which is that we must be responsive and do what we say we are going to do. If either don’t occur donors will choose to go somewhere else with the charitable dollars they have available.