December 12, 2016

How to Do Fundraising? The 7 Essential Skills

Here are the seven essential fundraising skills:  

1. Experience the joy of giving. 

Start by exploring your philanthropic journey. Include a clear understanding of the difference between philanthropy, development, and fundraising. Fundraising offers people opportunities to improve their lives. Prove it. Give a stretch gift, one that involves a personal sacrifice-large or small.Green Donate Button On Mobile Phone 

2. Organize step-by-step activities.

From hundreds of possibilities, you do fundraising by planning a sequential set of steps to move prospective givers to lifelong donors. Each year you refine your efforts. For instance, as you meet new donors this year, you “glue” them to your community with small, intimate events.

3. Recruit help.

Fundraising is a team sport. And, besides, it’s way too much work to do alone. So, you identify, recruit, and train your board, staff, and even other donors to help. Read about how in Let’s Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.

 4. Focus.

Once you recognize that you have too many income opportunities (not too few), you learn to prioritize and solicit a subset of your prospects who are most likely to give generously. This focus allows you to create remarkable outcomes with your limited resources.   

5. Finders Keepers.

You discover that keeping donors requires less effort than growing new ones. So your fundraising efforts involve stewardship–a process where you act to keep your current donors charmed. 

6. Expand your reach.

People move away, change interests, and die. Therefore to fundraise, you continually meet new people and help others do the same.

7. Keep it fresh.

Every fundraising technique stales over time, whether a gala, appeal letter, or site tour. You add new spins to your tried-and-true fundraising activities to keep people excited and interested. 

Rank yourself on these essential fundraising skills. Then, pick one to improve today.

Related post: Build Relationships.

For more major gift and fundraising insights, check out this Nonprofit CEO Library.

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Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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