Fundraising can be a lonely existence, challenging and sometimes even misunderstood (even internally), having support from colleagues makes it all the more easier. If you’re the person responsible for the fundraising in your organization don’t feel you have to do it all yourself – every aspect of a successful nonprofit takes a team approach, and fundraising is no different. Before you start your annual fundraising planning, gather a team around you and talk through the needs of the organization and those you’re there to serve. Who to gather into a discussion team can be a challenge in itself – how about the CEO, someone from the team in the field, maybe a recipient of the work your organization does; I’d even look at an up and coming person in the organization being part of this team could help them further understand the work of the organization and grow their passion for it. The purpose of this discussion team is to look at the needs of the organization, previous funding challenges and to get some fresh perspective. Don’t let the thoughts and discussion be stymied by fear of others treading on your toes, let all discussion flow.
Perhaps you could try not speaking during your first get together, just sitting back and hearing ideas from the others – yes, it will be a challenge and you may want to chime in and say ‘been the done that’ when an idea is put forward, but resist speaking, if asked questions simply say ‘I’m only here to listen today’, give the others a chance to have their thoughts, ideas and understanding of the funding challenge heard. Yes it will be hard to hear the views, ideas and comments from people not normally involved in fundraising talk, perhaps some comments may sound like a criticism of your abilities but don’t take it to much to heart, see it as aiding you your work.
From this discussion session you will likely come up with some ideas for your next, perhaps a rehash of something you’ve done previously, maybe something not thought of before – any of this is good, what it will show is that others have an understanding of your role, the challenges you face – and who knows, maybe the next event you plan will be easier as you already have a team within the organization who are supportive and eager to help get it off the ground.
What have you got to lose, nothing, give it a shot you never know what may come of it – get a team together today and start planning your next fundraising campaign.