The Secret to Fundraising is So Obvious It’s Hidden
Most people have no idea they already have the basic skills needed for fundraising because they take their skills for granted, and think they have to be a certain kind of person to raise money.
Fundraising Secret, Revealed
Ready? Here it is:
The secret to fundraising is cultivating relationships based on trust and warmth.
Biggest Fundraising Mistake
The biggest mistake fundraisers make is believing we can only be successful if we come across as someone other than who we are, usually someone we think fits the stereotype of a successful fundraiser. This stinks for you and your donors. You can’t have relationships based on trust if you are pretending to be a stereotype. It’s also very hard to be peaceful and ethical in your fundraising if you are indulging in this mistake.
The secret to fundraising means you
- Connect at a human level
- Build a bond from the donor to the organization (and not to you alone)
- Engage the power of the relationship for the long-term thriving of the organization.
Not pretending to be anything other than ourselves conveys integrity. Integrity is crucial for trust. It also conveys a comfort with ourselves that puts donors at ease, allowing warmth to develop between you much more easily. This is how to build sustainable fundraising friendships that will last an organizational lifetime. As you know, it takes a lot less work to maintain good strong friendships than to build new ones.
There is no special way to look, behave, or speak to be a good fundraiser. I’ve known great fundraisers from every social class. Anyone can raise money. What is essential is preparation: know the basics, and know your audience, your donor(s). This is essential especially for people you think are “born” fundraisers!