Homeless youth

Homeless youth
People we don't see.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

We fundraisers have to be nice

Being nice pays off. And for many of us, it's just the right thing to do.

When I was laid off in January and in the midst of a job search, I would say this often. I seriously felt that being nice to people had paid off for me as I had so much much support and so many invitations to interview. Sure, I feel that I am a great fundraiser, but who wants to hire someone good at something if they are not a good person?

In fundraising one would just assume that fundraisers are nice. At least to donors.

Unfortunately that is not always the case.

It doesn't take a lot of energy to be nice. I actually believe it takes more energy to not be nice.

So what does being nice look like?

Respect everyone. Donors, staff, clients, volunteers.

Rock it with real kindness. To everyone I just listed above.

Do what you say you're going to do. If you can't do something, don't say you will.

Return a call or email within the same day.

Say thank you. Say it often.

Don't judge. We never really know what is going on with someone. I try to allow folks to have tough moments, offering any help is always good to.

Assume the best intent. Not easy, and it totally makes a difference.

Now that I have written all of this I realize that we all know when we're showing kindness and being nice and when we're not. It's pretty clear.

Our kindness pays off big time. It pays of for us, for our non-profit, for our mission and for those we serve.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Talk with your donors!

This past week I got yet another call from a nice guy who works for a fundraising company and wanted me to talk about hiring them to help us with our donors, especially with retaining donors and finding new donors.

There are a lot of companies out there who do an amazing job in supporting fundraising efforts for non profits.

But there are some things that you just have to do for yourselves. 

If you are fearful of speaking with your donors, of getting to know them and their vision for your non profit (and making sure it matches their personal vision) then you might want to try another field.

Don't hire someone to do something that is so vital in fundraising as speaking with and working with your donors.

For me, this is one of my favorite things about fundraising. I love getting to know our donors, asking them why they first got interested in us and our mission and making sure they know everything they want to know about how we are doing as an organization and the successes we are having within our mission.

Don't be afraid. I know, that sounds weird. Just pick up the phone and go from there.

Here's an example for something you can do today, right now:

Pull a list of donors who made a donation last September, but have not donated since.

Listen to your "pump me up" song.

Make the call, letting them you wanted to check in with them as this is the time of year they normally make their donation and you'd like to let them know what your organization is up to.

Offer to send them a newsletter, annual report, etc.


You can also leave a voice mail.

You can do it. Your organization, your mission and those you serve depend on you being able to talk with and engage your donors!

Thanks for reading!