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Thanks to guest writer, Sandy Rees, CFRE of Get Fully Funded for sharing her thoughts with us!
Successful fundraising depends on many factors, but it mostly depends on you, the fundraiser. Your knowledge, ability, and attitude determine whether or not you will be successful in reaching your goals. Here are ten things that I have found to be critical to being a successful fundraiser.
1. Have passion for the cause. You must believe deeply in the work you are doing before you can successfully engage other people. Your passion and enthusiasm for the work your organization does is contagious and will attract others.
2. Show genuine concern for people. The more genuine concern you show for the people around you – coworkers, volunteers, donors, etc. – the more likely you will be able to engage them in fundraising. With donors, it’s critical to put their needs first over the needs of the organization.
3. Know yourself. Know your strengths and your weaknesses. Play to your strengths and work on the rest.
4. Believe in yourself. Know that you have what it takes to get the job done. Don’t take it personally if a donor says “no.”
5. Have an attitude of gratitude. Be sincerely grateful to anyone and everyone who helps your organization achieve its mission. Thank donors, thank volunteers, thank everyone.
6. Listen well. Most people are terrible listeners. You can give yourself and your organization a huge edge by simply being a good listener. You were given 2 ears and 1 mouth. Use them accordingly.
7. Nurture your eagerness to learn. Never think that you know it all. Be a lifelong learner. You’ll be more likely to stay ahead of trends and find new ways to raise support.
8. Willingness to work with others. Fundraising is not a solo sport. You must be able to function on a team. Play nice and remember, there’s no I in TEAM.
9. Be flexible. Go with the flow. Don’t get your feathers ruffled at change, because things WILL change.
10. Be organized. Manage all your resources, including your time and creativity. When your workspace is tidy, your creativity has more room to expand.
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