Fundraising might seem simple but even shampoo bottles have instructions. While fundraising is a little different than lather, rinse, repeat, there are some foundational steps to follow.
Valerie M. Jones, CFRE, of Media, Pa.-based Valerie M. Jones Associates, offers ideas for fundraising in her new book, “Nonprofit Hero: Five Easy Steps to Successful Board Fundraising.” The five steps are:
- Thank. Be creative and thank in whatever way makes you comfortable. If you’re social, try thank-a-thons, calls and visits. If you’re more reserved, write heartfelt thank you notes. “Saying thank you easy, it’s important, and as your mother taught you, it’s the right thing to do.”
- Engage. Donors are more than just checkbooks. If you want them to volunteer, engage them in ways that enrich and satisfy them. Try to discover what they find satisfying and match them to it – at least some of the time.
- Research. Make research an ongoing activity, not an occasional event, and involve everyone, including staff, board and volunteers, in generating a year-round stream of new funding sources.
- Cultivate. This depends on your nonprofit, your prospective donor and you. Donors have different personalities. An analytical donor might grasp reading a report rather than a hands-on donor who wants to experience the frontlines of your mission.
- Ask. One of the most frequent reasons that people stop giving is because no one asked them. But asking isn’t a performance – it’s a conversation. Listen as much — or more — than you talk.