A short collection of the most interesting articles and features that found their way across my desk this week. I’ll be collecting these gems and posting them every Saturday. If you find any articles that rocked your world this week, let me know on my Contact Page and I’ll add them to the next Golden Goulash!
When I talk to people who are new to the profession, they often want to know the same thing. “I work in a small shop,” they say. “Which activities will give me the most bang for my buck, no pun intended?” I am paraphrasing, but this discussion is definitely the #1 topic that I run across. And my answer is always the same: court your major donors.
When I first started, I wouldn’t have believed it were true. I wanted to get as many people excited about our cause as possible (which is important). I also wanted to create systems that were easy to maintain and monitor (also important). I wanted to design newsletters (keeping people informed is important) and hold (eek) special events (I won’t go there). I wanted to write grants (also helpful and important). But one thing I didn’t want to do was talk to major donors. I was afraid of them, didn’t feel that I had an rapport with them, and was scared to death of messing up, so I filled my time with other important—but not necessarily as important—activities.
I love a good webinar, and there are a ton of them out there! For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, they are seminars on a variety of topics, offered over the internet, usually with an expert speaker and a visual presentation. They’re great training for people with limited training budgets who want to know more about a particular development topic; many of them are offered for a nominal fee, and some are even free! I’ll be posting a list of them weekly; if you’re interested, follow the link for more information and to register. See my Webinars page for an ongoing listing. (NOTE: Membership may be required to access webinars.)
Ugh, just back from Cinefest, and too pooped to peep. The more efficient, “planny” side of me is currently teasing the flibberdegibbet part of me rather mercilessly with reminders that I could have—and should have—written this one in advance. Part of me wants to cop out in a big way. However, because this is The Daily Kylie, I will borrow from the gurus of our industry and the world at large to leave you with some inspirational quotes on this Sunday evening.
- Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving. – Hank Rosso
- Donors don’t give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe. – G.T. Smith
- In good times and bad, we know that people give because you meet needs, not because you have needs. – Kay Sprinkel Grace
- Fundraising requires both optimism and realism. Without the first, few if any gift solicitation efforts would be made. Without the second, few if any would succeed. – Howard L. Jones
- We should never forget that no Fundraising effort ever succeeds unless one person asks another person for money. – Andrew D. Parker Jr.
- Fundraising is not an event; it is a process. – Edgar D. Powell
- Fundraising opportunities will continue to exist throughout the next century. Those opportunities will equal or exceed all current experience or presently held future expectations. – Edgar D. Powell
- Fundraising is not a right — it is a privilege and we must always honor it as such. – Henry A. Rosso
- When we recognize that a better word for Fundraising is “friend raising,” we open limitless doors to creativity in support of our causes. – Sue Vineyard
- Appreciation can make a day–even change a life, Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. – Margaret Cousins
- Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. – Gladys Browyn Stern
If you have any quotes that you love and would like to share, please do. Have a great week!
I won’t lie. Face-to-face fundraising can be scary at first. I am an introvert, and I avoided asking people for a long time, preferring instead to write grants and fill out paperwork and send appeal letters. But, as the cloying cliche goes, practice makes perfect. And thus it was with me.
It took me a long time to realize what my problem was. I knew lots of people who asked, and had been asking for years. They were dynamic, they were successful—what was my problem? With a little introspection, I analyzed my situation and discovered the culprit:
I have a different personality type than the other askers I knew.
Most of them were outgoing, gregarious, vibrant and confident. On the contrary, I am a relatively quiet person, who can seem bubbly amongst people I know well, or when I am “fak(ing) it until I make it.” I am at my best among my colleagues, or among people who put forth the vibe of being even more scared or inexperienced than I am. But I am also a person who needs a ton of information to act and make the right decision. I often decided based on instinct, but my instincts are formed by learning as much as I can about a topic before presenting it.