Fundraising is often described as a profession that finds you—those with a passion to help others, to make the world a better place, and who take the time to listen. Harnessing that passion, what are the ingredients to make a good fundraiser great? What keeps them inspired?
I explored these topics and more during our inaugural Nonprofit Fundraising Masters conference when I interviewed legendary fundraising expert and author of The Soul of Money, Lynne Twist, who is also speaking at our upcoming March 29 Silicon Valley conference, alongside Sierra Club executive director Mike Brune. She shared three solid tips:
- What you appreciate, appreciates
Spend time and attention on your existing donors. As Lynne says “Appreciation is the beating heart of sufficiency. Appreciation becomes a powerful, intentional practice of creating new value through our deliberate attention to the value of what we already have.”
- Congratulate donors—train them to see themselves as partners rather than helpers
The first line of every thank-you letter starts off with “Congratulations!” Lynne describes money as a “conduit, a way to express your highest ideals,” and when a donor steps forward in this way, she wants them to feel and know that they are a partner rather than a helper.
- Share the impact of a donor’s gift rather than your campaign goal
All too often, we can find ourselves caught up in a goal or quota and approach a donor with that singular focus and message—help us reach X goal by Y date. Try not to fall into this trap. It is dehumanizing. Instead, keep the focus on the donor and the impact that their gift will have on the program, project or organization.
To hear Lynne Twist and more of the world’s most successful fundraisers, join us in Silicon Valley on March 29 and San Francisco on September 19 for the second annual Nonprofit Fundraising Masters conference series. Visit Fundraising Masters today and save $20 with the “NFM” discount code!
The preceding is a guest post by Darian Rodriguez Heyman, an accomplished fundraiser, social entrepreneur, and best-selling author. His work “helping people help” started during his five-year tenure as executive director of Craigslist Foundation, after which he edited the best-selling book Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals and co-founded the global conference series Social Media for Nonprofits and Sparrow: Mobile for All. His new book, Nonprofit Fundraising 101, is the first truly comprehensive yet practical guide to all aspects of fundraising for your cause. Heyman is also an in-demand fundraising consultant and a frequent keynote speaker at social impact events around the globe.