Recently, The Fundraising Authority published an article titled “The 7 Habits of highly effective fundraisers”. We thought this information was so helpful, we wanted to share it with our customers and friends. Many of our customers already use our online fundraising software as a way to increase efficiency in their current fundraising efforts by managing all aspects of their fundraising campaign in one easy-to-use fundraising website. So, why not be more effective across the board?
Below we share the highlights from the article as well as our own thoughts and contributions. What Joe Garecht, from the Fundraising Authority, identifies in his article are the 7 key traits that are shared by the most effective development professionals. These are the people who are most likely to meet or exceed the goals identified by their organization via demonstrating the following traits and exercises.
Pick up the Phone
Effective fundraisers use the telephone as a primary fundraising tool. When they need to get in touch with a donor prospect, they don’t just send an email, they pick up the phone first, then send an email follow-up, which is a great way to help build a strong relationship. A phone call is personal and is much harder to ignore than an email.
Focus on Fundraising Metrics
Good fundraisers realize that resources are limited. Therefore they have to spend their time doing what works. How do you determine what works? They spend their time tracking metrics and evaluating the success of past fundraising efforts. (another good reason why online fundraising software can help – as it reduces resources needed from traditional fundraising methods AND provides numerous reports for tracking success
Ask for Referrals
One of the best ways to generate new prospects is to ask current supporters to introduce you to their network. This includes: board members, donors, volunteers, participants, and constituents. Joe suggests that nonprofits make a point to do this at least once a year.
Diversify Revenue Streams
Don’t rely on only one large funding stream. If it dries up, your organization is scrambling to find more money. Effective fundraisers spend time diversifying revenue streams. Diversify through grant writing, fundraising events, an annual fund campaign, a major gifts program and more. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Remember great fundraisers push to meet new prospects and increase major donor revenue prospects.
Build a Strong Board
A nonprofit’s board of directors can and should be a major source of development support. Successful development professionals work hard to strengthen their board of directors through training, support and encouragement to board members. Consider organization board giving campaigns and constantly seek out new supporters who are capable of making a positive impact to join your Board.
Follow the 80/20 rule. Effective fundraisers follow the 80/20 rule and spend most of their time focused on those activities that offer the highest rewards. They test new things, keep what works and cut the rest. When they have too much work on their plate, they don’t try to do it all. They delegate and spend their time focused on the strategies that have the best potential to raise funds over the long term.
Practice the Craft
Great fundraisers are constantly working to become better at what they do. They don’t assume they know everything and they keep up with the latest fundraising news and trends. They continue learning – they read fundraising strategy guides, attend non-profit seminars, conferences and training opportunities, and constantly seek ways to hone their skills. This can make the difference between being a mediocre fundraiser and an excellent fundraiser.
In addition to the behavioral traits found in fundraising professionals, there are other factors that contribute to increasing overall effectiveness in managing a fundraising campaign. This article has also given us inspiration to look deeper into our current fundraising software solutions in order to identify the key contributing features that play a role in achieving fundraising success.