Ken Burnett writes a great blog about fundraising — I highly recommend reading it. I am borrowing some of the idioms/sayings that he published (he, in turn, borrowed from someone else) with my own take on them.
- Fundraising is not about the money. It’s about necessary work that urgently needs doing. Money is the means to an end, not the end itself. Sound vaguely familiar, folks?
- Fundraisers need to be able to see things through their donors’ eyes. And to put themselves in their donors’ shoes. I am not someone who would respond well to a Direct Mail piece. But then again, I am not the Direct Mail target audience.
- Don’t just ask people to give. Inspire them to give. Fundraising is the inspiration business. Truth!
- Share your problems as well as your successes with your donors. Honesty and openness are usually prized more highly than expert opinion and apparent infallibility. Quite often, the donors can help you overcome your challenges (and not just by writing a cheque). As they say, the truth is your friend!
- Always try to turn complaints into support. The most loyal donor is the donor who has complained and has been satisfactorily responded to. Donors will remember how you solved their issue. For a very long time.
- Always say ‘thank you’ properly and often. And accurately (few things less forgivable than thanking a donor for something he or she hasn’t done). It’s also a good idea to be brilliant at saying ‘welcome!’ Remember the adage about thanking folks seven times before asking for the next gift?
These are but a few of the sayings from a list of 30+ idioms. Remember, this isn’t rocket science — common sense usually prevails!