For a fundraising campaign with a specified start date and end time, establish a “swat team “rather than a committee. Swat teams are groups placed together to produce bursts of successful results within project parameters set during a specific period of execution time. Utilize their team tactics as an example of how to execute your fundraising campaign.
- Recruit volunteers for fund raising campaigns that are sales or marketing professionals from the investment advisory industry. Why? Investment marketing professionals are accustomed to asking potential clients (donors) for assets (gifts).
- Cold calling works! Experience demonstrates that more than 25% of new institutional business for some investment managers and consultants is derived from cold calling.
- Be relentless (pleasantly persistent) when calling and following up on development leads. From personal experience, a general rule of thumb: it takes twelve “No’s” before moving on to a new and different prospect.
- Once you make contact or leave a message with a prospect, always send information on your organization (make it brief). If you speak or meet with the prospect, send them a hand written note thanking them for their time.
- Keep a record of your daily calls and necessary follow-up. This will keep you organized and aware of when you need to check back in with prospects, and if nothing else, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.
- Plan your year, your month, your week, and your day! Create a thermometer with your personal stretch goal and fill it in every time you experience success. Next year increase your goal by 20%.
- Always ask for at least twice as much you expect. The donor can always decrease the “ask” but rarely will increase the amount requested.
- Don’t be concerned about rejection; every “No” you receive means you are that much closer to a “Yes.” Just refer to the story of Abe Lincoln and this will all start to make sense…
- If meeting a prospect to discuss a gift, meet the prospect in his or her home or office, not at a restaurant. It provides the prospect the opportunity to show off his or her surroundings and feel comfortable in a familiar setting.
- Do your homework on the individual you are meeting with – find out what his/her interests are. If they have children, ask about them. If the individual is a business owner, ask about his/her business. You never know what the two of you may discover that you have in common…
Incorporate any and all of these tips into your existing fundraising strategy – choose the tips that fit you and your organization’s approach. Best of luck with your fundraising throughout the year!
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