Fundraisers are vital to many organizations’ well being, so it is critical that fundraisers be successful in their endeavors. However, because fundraisers are individuals, they differ significantly in their approaches and personalities; what one fundraiser finds helpful another may find useless. Despite these discrepancies, there are some basic characteristics that successful photo calendars fundraisers share.
Successful fundraisers are often extroverts who enjoy other people’s company. They thrive in a variety of social situations and excel at comfortably conversing with others. As the face of their organization, fundraisers should project a warm, disarming manner; this reflects well on the organization and helps to set the donors at ease. Though fundraisers may have no trouble directing the conversation, effective communication requires that they listen as well as speak; fundraisers with poor listening skills risk losing potential donors. It is important that fundraisers take the time to really listen to what potential donors say and to address their questions or concerns clearly. This begins the relationship building process that is vital to the fundraiser-donor relationship.
People are more likely to respond positively to fundraisers who truly care about their cause. It is obvious to donors when fundraisers believe in what they are saying, and fundraisers who are enthusiastic often naturally project qualities that donors appreciate, including a vast knowledge about the cause. Furthermore, fundraisers who are passionate about their cause will inspire more donors to offer support. Though some fundraisers attempt to fake their enthusiasm, their actions only harm the fundraiser-donor relationship.
Resilient, Optimistic & Determined
Disappointment and rejection are everyday realities in the life of fundraisers; even the most successful fundraisers do not secure every donation. However, successful fundraisers remain optimistic despite their disappointments, and they do not give up on securing a donation, even if it mean waiting a few months or years. Fundraisers work to maintain their relationships with donors; many successful fundraisers work for years with a potential donor before procuring a significant donation. Without the determination and optimism to see them through, fundraisers may question their ability to secure a donation and quit when they were on the verge of procuring a donation.
Though fundraising relies heavily on individuals’ strengths, it is ultimately a team effort. Team dynamics are important to the success of fundraisers; team members who constantly argue and degrade each other will not improve the team’s overall effectiveness. Team members should share helpful tips and support each other, whether in the face of disappointment or success.
Fundraisers do not interact with just one potential donor at any time; they may juggle a number of donor relationships simultaneously. To ensure that they do not confuse donors, successful fundraisers keep meticulous records of prospective donors. Furthermore, fundraisers have excellent time management skills and know the value of careful planning. An often-overlooked part of the fundraising process is following up with potential donors, but successful fundraisers conduct through follow-ups, being as detailed about the meeting as possible.
Potential donors want to know that their money will be used responsibly and that the organization is working towards its goal. Successful fundraisers know this and incorporate it into their presentations. They impart to donors the organization’s objectives and the steps the organization has taken to achieve its goals. Furthermore, successful fundraisers often report the results of projects that donors help fund; this gives donors the satisfaction of seeing their money at work.
Successful fundraisers are intrinsically motivated; they do not need external rewards or recognition to encourage them to do their best. Fundraisers who are intrinsically motivated derive their motivation from the enjoyment and fulfillment they experience when doing their job. Fundraisers who are intrinsically motivated may find it easier to make it through the disappointment of rejection.
Fundraising is an intense, socially oriented job, but successful fundraisers use the above characteristics to aid them in achieving their goals. Though it may seem that some of these traits are unattainable, it is possible for fundraisers to cultivate them. It will take time, but the results will be evident in the number of donations fundraisers secure.