Within this you need to know where to find these supporters and how to navigate those channels effectively; like face to face networking, digital and your existing supporter database. Then you need to know how to research and engage with them to have effective conversations uncovering their wants, as well as their needs. And then you need to know how to nail the pitch, ask or proposal that will seal the deal.
And it’s a long journey that we’re not always prepared for. On average a partnership can take up to eighteen months to turn into something solid; and for the unsure among you that’s a long time to stay true to your methods and resist jumping overboard to ‘Quick Cash Cove’.
So what can we do?
Strong relationship building is a fundamental skill to ensure proactive fundraising success but this isn’t always something that comes naturally. It requires energy, creativity, excellent listening skills, compassion, empathy, communication skills, opportunity spotting and networking smarts, amongst other things – usually all in the same conversation!
Some fundraising sailors might find themselves naturals and effortlessly glide to the fundraising shores of success. But for others, the introverts, the ones who’ve always been reactive, or the ones who simply don’t know where to start; it’s easier to stay where they are.
We must train, and regularly refresh, our fundraisers’ interpersonal and relationship building skills so they can understand what proactive fundraising looks like and how to do it; as well as the other necessary fundraising training; like methods beyond their own speciality, legal, best practice etc.
At KEDA my most-requested fundraising training is how to find, secure and grow fundraising relationships. I’ve taught fundraisers in Newcastle, Dublin, Slovakia, London, Scotland and Helsinki, and the same thing surprises me in every city; the simplest things are by far the most effective and taken onboard by fundraisers, and it’s always the personal ways they can make a big impact that get them scribbling the most notes.
Want to make sure proactive, strategic fundraising works best for you?