This week’s Quick Tip is all about how to grow your mailing list. In less than 10 minutes Simon gives you a bunch of ways to capture more email addresses, postal addresses and phone numbers of people who are interested in the work you do.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that fundraising is all about asking for money.
But a good fundraiser knows that that’s actually only a small part of the job. The real time consuming stuff, and the really important stuff, is the things that happen before and after the asks. In fact, if you get really good at the ‘inbetween’ stuff, you start to see your asks get easier and your results get better.
And yet we neglect these things.
Because they don’t feel like fundraising.
But it’s a false economy. Making a bunch of cold calls and asking for money or gifts in kind feels like fundraising. Posting social media post after social media post asking for donations feels like fundraising. Organising a big gala ball or a golf classic even feels like fundraising because of all of the little transactions along the way.
But are they the best use of your time?
The best fundraisers I know carve time in their schedule for fundraising that doesn’t feel like fundraising. And if you want to see your results improve then perhaps ask less and do the following 8 things more:
- Conversations with Staff & Beneficiaries
We have nothing if we don’t hae stories that demonstrate the work of our nonprofits. Someone once said to me that a fundraiser not collecting stories is like a sports writer not going to watch sport. So it’s important we make time to sit down with staff and beneficiaries (if possible) to ask them questions and build our story bank.
- Thank you letters and calls
By now we should all be subscribed to the ‘Ask, Thank, Report’ mentality, but how many times do we dismiss a thank you letter as a simple receipt? Actually, a thank you is one of our most important (and my favourite) fundraising tools. The better the thank you, the more likely you are to get further support. It shouldn’t just be read and then binned…it should be so amazing that the reader tells their friends and family.
- Asking Questions
Asking your supporters questions is a great way to find out more about your followers and to help them feel engaged. And actually, it’s a great bit of content when you can’t think of or don’t have time to write something new. Haven’t mailed your mailing list for a while? Try emailing them, “Hey! Just wondering if I can ask why you signed up in the first place?”
- Prospect Research and Cultivation
The more we know about our potential corporates and major donors the better our ask. Let’s move away from writing out our standard proposal and printing hundreds of copies. Instead let’s take the time to learn as much as possible and build that relationship to the point that our proposal is pretty much just a personalised confirmation.
- Teaching Volunteers to Fundraise
Your volunteers raise more when you teach them how to fundraise. They don’t sit at home thinking about fundraising, they don’t know what to suggest to their employer, they don’t know what to email to their family, and they don’t know what wording to use on their Facebook. A bit of encouragement and a bit of guidance goes a long way and is proven to help them raise more. Certainly worth the time it takes to make a quick phone call.
Yes it sucks and you’ll probably feel really anxious at first. But networking doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It’s actually a great opportunity to meet people who share your values. People whose goals you can help achieve. And people who can help you. It’s no secret…the more people you know and the more people that want to help you, the easier fundraising (and life) is. So let’s get out there and start listening.
- Learning From Other Fundraisers
There’s only so much you can learn from fundraising courses and books. In fact, with some fundraising qualifications you don’t actually learn anything. No…most of our learnings come from other fundraisers. Why make the same mistake your peer made two years ago? Fundraisers are notoriously generous with their time and support and for the price of a cup of hot chocolate you can pick the brains of some of the world’s best.
Fundraising is a tough job. One of the toughest. It’s mentally exhausting and emotionally draining. And it’s limitless…you can always be doing more. And your boss, your Board and your donors will take as much as you give them. The only person that can clock you off is you. So schedule time for self care, switch off your phone and do something that makes you forget about fundraising.
This week’s podcast is all about death life! Simon talks to Ligia Peña CFRE (twitter.com/ligiafpena) – one of the few experts in the world on Legacy Giving!
They chat through donor’s wills, the legacy funnel, making that ask, life and death, and much more!
Find Ligia and her excellent blog and resources over at globetrottingfundraiser.com
A good fundraising ask is structured as The Problem, The Solution and The Ask. But how do you frame your problem and solution most effectively to engage the potential donor?
In this week’s Quick Tip Simon talks through The Problem and The Solution of your cause and the elements that work.
Another special LIVE recording of the podcast where anyone can dial in or comment! Join Simon as he delves in to some of your Unpopular Fundraising Opinions.
This episode’s unpopular opinions are:
– “The job titles we use within fundraising are for the benefit of internal processes & are a hindrance for external dealings and creativity for acting beyond your role”
– “That all donors are NOT equal, despite how democratic we might like to be.”
– “Using chuggers damages the charity’s brand.”
Camille St-Omer Donaldson (twitter.com/Camalamalamz) joins Simon on the podcast to talk about her journey towards becoming this year’s #IWITOT Fundraising Rising Star Winner.
Camille talks about putting herself out there and her experience as a black woman in a sector making efforts to be more diverse and more inclusive.
Have you ever wanted to know more about your host, Simon Scriver?
But still…here’s an opportunity to hear him being interviewed on the radio, where he talks about his start in fundraising, his current business, general problems in the charity sector, innovation, chuggers and much more.
Simon monologues about the fire at Notre Dame and the wealthy philanthropists who pledged to help rebuild it.