In today’s episode, I’m sharing with you the 3-part process I use to help charities raise more money. These last couple of months have been a bit crazy and the last several episodes I’ve talked a lot about this pandemic and how to walk through this season. But I want you to know that the topics I’ve covered are things you should do all the time, not just during a pandemic.
This 3-part process is what I say in the introduction of every one of my shows, “this is the place where fundraisers come to be encouraged, empowered, and educated.” This approach is most effective with charities raising funds and it has worked really well for me. First, let’s talk about education; the process of learning how to fundraise.
Fundraising is not hard. If you haven’t read it, you should check out my book, Fundraising Freedom. I walk you through the word FREEDOM, which is a 7-step process on how to fundraise. The majority of what I teach is that the 7-step system because it’s so much bigger than just fundraising. Fundraising is not just about you. So many people try to go it alone, and nothing that has ever been successful has happened because of any one person’s strength alone. It’s so important that we invite other people to come along with us. The first part of my process is how to bring a team together with one common purpose, which is to fully fund your organization or personal budget. Prior to 2007, I did all of my fundraising on my own. I was a “Lone Ranger” trying to raise those funds by myself, I never wanted to impose. This is the wrong way to fundraise. You NEED to bring people around you who bring in different perspectives. It doesn’t matter if you’re raising a few thousand dollars or a million dollars, it’s all the same.
After teaching people how to fundraise, the second part of my process is encouragement. People want to give to the work you do. You are the one who is coming up with excuses and standing in your own way. The reason why I know this is because I’ve done this for the last two decades! I know how to procrastinate and avoid picking up the phone. Many people think that picking up the phone is something that comes naturally to me, and while I love people, it’s still hard to block out time for fundraising calls. Everyone needs someone pumping encouragement into your life; encouraging others is my superpower which is probably why you’re listening to the show in the first place!
The last piece of the process is about empowerment. Empowering someone to step out on their own is the ideal for me. I’m always looking for people who are passionate about the work that is happening inside their organizations and helping raise them up as leaders so they can go out and fundraise on their own, without an attachment to me. The best thing that happens with my students is when they talk about the successes they’ve had. All of a sudden, they feel empowered to go out and ask people for funds in a way that doesn’t feel slimy and feel excited about sharing their cause. I don’t mind jumping in and helping someone raise those funds in the beginning, but it’s so much better when you do it with your own team. I’m there to walk with you and catch you so you don’t fall on your face. And, just like learning to ride a bike, when the training wheels come off, sometimes you do fall. In fact, one of my students told me this week that they screwed up the process and didn’t do it to a tee, and yet, the person they asked still gave.
On top of this process, I want to share with you three things every leader needs. First, you need to be attractive to others so they want to lean in and learn more about you. Being likable is a big deal. Now, I’m not talking about being physically attractive, I’m talking about drawing people into the work that’s being done. The second is certainty. When you hem and haw about the work being done, people see that and will not fund you. You must be certain about the results you can deliver as a person or organization. Lastly, don’t be boring. People don’t follow boring people. When you rattle on and on about your organization and nothingness, nobody wants to follow that. You have to be exciting and share stories about the good work that’s being done. This is what draws people into you and your organization. All this means is that you communicate well and are concise in your message.
If you would like to have more of a conversation about how you can learn how to do this with a signature event or a larger campaign, please don’t hesitate to reach out. It’s why I’m here, I want to help you through the process. I hope you know I care so deeply about you and the work that you do. When you believe it’s possible to raise the dollars you need, you will make a crazy impact through your cause.
Connect with Mary: