This originally appeared as a guest blog post on Guidestar.
You know who they are. The fundraiser who makes it look easy. She nails the big gifts. Loves her job. He always seems to be grinning ear to ear. At the cocktail party they’re surrounded by all the donors you want to get to know. What’s their secret?
Truth be told, great fundraisers do things differently. Here’s 5 things that set them apart:
- They know exactly where they can turn the greatest fundraising profit and are laser focused on it. Great fundraisers know that the highest ROI comes from major gift fundraising. They keep their eyes on the prize. They don’t let themselves get distracted. They’d never compromise a larger ask for a short term gain, such as a table sponsorship at an event.
- They set ask goals for the major donors in their portfolio. If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there. A great fundraiser has thought critically to determine the right ask goal for each donor in their portfolio and when the right time is to make the ask. This may be their single greatest strength because in doing this simple task they can push back should unrealistic goals be forced upon them.
- They constantly mine their file. A great fundraiser knows the value of donors already giving to their organization and they make them feel it with fantastic stewardship.
- They are intensely curious. They are endlessly fascinated by others. They want to learn what your greatest passion is and what makes you tick. This is what inspires them to ask amazing discovery questions. Call them the last hopeless romantics but make no mistake - they’ll remember the smallest detail of your life and it’s that one detail that will one day win you over.
- They are profoundly grateful. For truly great fundraisers the glass is always half full. They can’t see it any other way. They are grateful to work for the cause they believe in and even more grateful for the opportunity to bring people closer to it.