Before everyone gets really upset, Fundraisers are very honest and work very hard to honor donor intentions. They do a great job of communicating with donors and addressing community concerns. The are very honest with everyone….except themselves. In this way, fundraisers and sales people share a trait. They can fill their days with this task, and that task, and writing this thank you note, and managing the tiniest details of an event. When, in the last week, did they truly ask for money?
In “Motivating Donors”, I spoke that the difference between the rest of the organization’s team and the fundraisers was that they knew how and when to ask. Yet, even fundraisers can have some dissonance, and avoid asking. If you are a non-profit, hopefully you have engaged some form of customer relationship database (CRM) to maintain and grow your donors. There are plenty out there at varying costs. There are some that are focused on non-profits like e-Tapestry, Bloomerang, and Raiser’s Edge. There are others, like SalesForce and SalesLogix, which are integrated customer management systems. They are worth it, no matter what the costs. If you train on them and use them, you will get your money back. My point of discussing CRM’s is that they can generate numerous reports. All very valuable, but will require some creative work to get exactly what you want in those reports, that is – when were the money talks. Do yourself a favor, create your own report that talks about: 1)what appointments you have; 2)what are the next steps in recent appointments; and 3)what donations you expect to receive in the near future. One more item: Your goal and where you are in relation. Then get someone to hold you accountable with this report. It can be a peer, your supervisor, Executive Director, or a board member who gets it. Give it to them each week, and talk about what you have sent at least once a month, if not weekly! The attached graphic is one I created for an organization I was with. You are a good member of the team, and good at what you do. Because you are good, you want to be measured and given the “pat on the back” or “kick in the butt” when appropriate. Be honest with yourself about how many times you asked for money. Be honest with yourself about how solid your donor prospects look. Be honest with yourself about whether you are exceeding your goals, or if you need a little help. We all know that ASK (for help) may be harder than asking for money.