Leadership is a buzzword every election season, but it seems especially prevalent in these past few months leading up this November 8th. Members on both sides of the fence might be debating what it means to be a leader. Nonprofit managers already know the subject well and have been tinkering with the ideas of what makes a great leader for years.
At the recent Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference in National Harbor, Md., three nonprofit leaders well-versed in the subject presented on that very matter. Matt Brown, senior consultant, Schultz & Williams, Ed Zakreski, managing director, Roundhouse Theatre, and Caroline Cunningham, founding president, The Trust for the National Mall led a presentation titled “The Fundamentals of a Successful Campaign and Why Leadership Trumps Them All,” giving the following advice:
- Develop a culture of philanthropy within your own staff. When employees feel more connected to what they do, they contribute above and beyond expectation.
- Your volunteer leaders are an incredibly valuable asset. These passionate, committed individuals with a connection to “the cause” are some of your most inspiring ambassadors — use them.
- With the rise in peer-to-peer fundraising, giving your volunteer leaders tools to start their own fundraisers helps expand your organization’s reach and draw the attention of potential donors. Whether your donors are multi-billionaires or mid-level donors, encourage them to get their peers involved.
- Your leaders should be the proud faces of your organization. Leaders should be committed to the campaign and the “cause,” willing to contribute, willing to advocate, and be able to ask the tough questions.