Fundraising is by no means an easy task. In 2020, our lives were transformed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Most fundraising channels were closed off overnight. As fundraisers, we had to come up with new and innovative ways to raise funds to allow charities to continue to deliver their vital services.
And fundraising isn’t simply about being innovative. It’s about having high energy and infectious enthusiasm. You need to inspire your supporters while having the ability to educate and raise awareness for your cause. It’s about teamwork, relationship building and knowing when to make an ask. It’s about resilience. In a world where you may hear five no’s for every yes, how do you dust yourself off and go again?
Let’s dive deeper into the qualities that make a great charity fundraiser.
Passion for your cause
When a fundraiser is truly passionate about the cause they’re raising funds for, it shines through everything they do. Your passion is infectious. With it, you’re able to inspire your donors and your colleagues to support your cause.
You’re competing with lots of other charities. You’ll need to be able to tell your donors why your cause is worth donating to. Living and breathing your charity’s work means you’ll know heaps about it and be able to explain why it’s an important cause to support.
Ability to motivate
The ability to motivate supporters, potential donors, volunteers and staff is a critical part of fundraising. It’s important to remember that motivating donors is not the same as persuading, and you should never persuade a donor to do something they don’t want to do or isn’t in their best interest. The ability to motivate donors comes through understanding their motivations. Think about why they want to support your cause. Do they have a personal connection? Or do they want to make a difference in their community? Is it about wanting to have fun, or does giving just make them feel good?
Resilience to bounce back
No matter how amazing your fundraising campaigns are, you may not always see donations rolling in. Every fundraiser will experience rejection at one point or other. It can be so difficult to stay motivated after receiving a “no”, but building your resilience will allow you to go after the next “yes”, rather than dwelling on it.
Be constantly learning
As the pandemic has shown, the world is constantly changing. What may have worked once, won’t always work in the future. There are always new and interesting ways to fundraise. For professional fundraisers, there are so many great books and resources available. There are great blogs like 101 Fundraising. If you haven’t got the time to dedicate to sitting down and reading, the Institute of Fundraising have some brilliant videos. Their Five Minute Fundraiser series is a great place to start!
Become a donor yourself
I donate to different charities whose causes I care about. Obviously, it’s a great thing to do. But, it also means I know how it feels to be a donor. Supporting another charity can be a great way to get a feel of how organisations are talking to their donors and it can be really inspiring. Also, if the communications you receive aren’t great, it can help you with what not to do!
Being a charity fundraiser is a rewarding job. If you love meeting people and hearing about why they support good causes, you’ll love it. But, it requires plenty of passion, motivation and resilience. You need to be innovative and open to learning new things.
Our CEO, Natalie Moran, is using her resilience, passion and motivation to trek the Yorkshire Three Peaks in just over a week! Natalie is walking the 26-mile route to raise funds for Simon on the Streets, to support our work with people experiencing homelessness in West Yorkshire. Can you help her with this challenge by donating today?