Fundraising is Everyone’s Business
Whether your non-profit is large or small, you can help your staff (program, administrative, and development) understand that fulfilling their job description alone is not enough to move the mission forward. With your vision and guidance, they can learn how to help you with fundraising . . . and even enjoy it!
You know from your experience as a non-profit leader that personal relationships with your donors are the key to an effective fundraising effort.
And your non-fundraising staff can help you build these relationships, because program staff members are doing the work that stirs givers’ hearts. So, the best relational “fit” for a donor might be with another staff member, rather than someone from your fundraising department. Program staff tend to stay with an organization longer than fundraisers, so you will be contributing to the long-term stability of your mission by involving these staff members in relationships with donors.
Program staff are often eager to help cultivate these relationships, and donors love to talk with someone who can give firsthand reports on how lives are changed through their giving. These staff members can also be your best allies in identifying potential givers with a heart and vision for the lives you touch.
If asked and trained to do so, your program and administrative staff can:
1. Identify potential givers
2. Build relationships
3. Help tell the story of your good work by giving a hands-on view
4. Recognize strategic opportunities
5. Introduce you when it is appropriate
Here are four practical ideas for including your program and administrative staff in building relationships with givers:
1. Start small, maybe with just one or two who show an interest.
2. Train administrative and fundraising staff in all aspects of your program so they can represent your good work well.
3. Train them in fundraising, specifically building relationships with givers. Help them understand what you do in fundraising and why you do it.
4. Consider an onsite visit or a small dinner to introduce a few non-fundraising staff to a handful of givers. See where the relationships develop. Follow through with the staff members that seem to catch on and enjoy it the most.
I’m curious: Do you have experience in effectively engaging your program and administrative staff in building relationships with your donors? How did it work for you?