Many people do not understand the essential role fundraising plays in running a successful not-for-profit organization. Fundraising is a whole lot more than a means to an end. Being a good fundraiser makes you a much better executive for your organization and community leader.
Fundraising gives you a chance to meet important people
Most of the people who can write you a check for $1,000 or more are people who you might never get to know if you were not leading a not-for-profit organization. They simply don’t have the time or inclination to have casual conversations. But many wealthy people have a compelling interest in their community and a strong desire to have an impact. You will feel lucky to have the most amazing group of new friends from people who are committed you your cause. They will have their own stories of how they got where they are today which will be fascinating and educating. If you want to be a leader, never lose interest in learning from successful people.
Fundraising Gives You New Insight and Wisdom
Major gift contributors can tell you a lot more than just how they got to be successful. Their collective insights probably include contact with every peer on their level of the success ladder. If they own a business they can introduce you to other business owners. If they sit on the board of a Fortune 500 company they can introduce you to other Fortune executives. If they are retired and begining to liquidate their estate to charity and family, they will know others who are doing the same. They will tell you about their experiences with with charities and non-profit groups. They will tell exactly how they want to help your cause if you will simply “shut up” and listen. With each additional contact your wisdom will reflect their insights and you will learn what types of thing you can do to earn their trust and support. Some you will agree with, some you won’t. The point is to soak up as much about their knowledge and network so that you will be “brilliant” as you run your organization.
Fundraising Builds Support from Local Community Leaders
Raising money builds supports and momentum for your charity or cause in your community. It sends a message that many people are supporting you and your cause. It makes others stop and take notice and builds respect for what you believe in. Leaders in your community pay attention to whom other leaders are giving to and supporting. Make sure you ask every elected official where you ministry or charity is headquartered for a contribution. In most states political campaigns can make charitable contributions. Of course, make sure you contact elected officials from BOTH parties. After you get a gift, ask them if you can use their name in order to contact others who have may have supported them in past elections.
Fundraising Builds Credibility for Your Cause
When people in your community see that you are having fundraising success they stand up and take notice. No one wants to be the odd man out, people will get involved, get out their check books and part with their money if they feel like it is a good investment. Demonstrating that you are a good steward and using donations “exactly” as they have been designated will lead to greater long term support. Do not be afraid to announce publicly when you have reached a fundraising goal or critical benchmark and in the process have key supporters on hand to quote or give a testimony about why they support you.
Fundraising today is very important to your future. As a leader of a non-profit organization you should be known for your stewardship, caring heart and your fearless courage in asking for additional support for your cause.