Face it. Most people are afraid of asking for money. Others excel at it and love it so much they do it for a living. I am one of those people. What are the 5 habits that make fundraisers successful? 1. They are grateful.
Successful fundrasiers are some of the most grateful people you will ever meet in your life. First and foremost, they are grateful for the purpose for which they are making asks, be it a for profit product or a non profit mission. Secondly, they are grateful for every monetary gift they get. They are quick to openly express this gratitude, which makes the funder feel acknowledged and valued and contributes to the fundraisiers continued success.
2. They have a naturally positive attitude and outlook on life.
You can't be successful asking others for money if you don't see the glass half full. Your positive confident belief in your product or mission is what sells it. It takes many no's to get to a yes. The no's help you develop a thick skin but you have to be able to bounce back to a state of positivity to stay in the game and go out after your next ask.
3. They are born extroverts: they have a natural drive to always be creating, building and maintaining strong relationships.
A successful fundraiser is managing a portfolio of potentially hundreds of prospects. They should visit 50% of those prospects in a year and have 30% of their prospects in active solicitation. On average they should be making 2-3 asks a month and have a close ratio of 50-75%. This translates to a lot of phone calls, breakfasts, lunches and networking events.
4. They are extremely goal driven.
Whether they are building a playground for the visually impaired, a technology center for girls, or a hospital for children successful fundraisers can visualize the dream of their end goal and they dedicate each moment to strategically getting there. They break it down step by step to tangible, measurable goals they work every week, every month and every year to get there.
5. They are organized.
You can't raise millions of dollars or manage hundreds of prospects without being extremely organized. Fundraising is a big job and every minute of your time is precious. You have to spend it wisely cultivating relationships, making asks, pursuing new opportunities. Determine what 3-5 core areas you will focus your time on to get the maximum results to reach your goals, i.e. cultivating existing relationships, making asks, developing new relationships, working with your board, etc and hold yourself accountable.
I have found fundraising to be one of the most profoundly meaningful careers out there. Being in an intimate conversation with another person about the legacy they want to leave the world is deeply significant. Having the opportunity to be a catalyst to help one person make a difference in the lives of others is infinitely rewarding.
Go forth and fundraise!