To accomplish your fundraising goal, your organization must be a cohesive, well-organized together machine. You must be headed by the right people, with the right people doing each job, the right tasks getting done, and the right mindset that's necessary for success.
- Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus and the right people in the right seats, as Jim Collins said. This can be applied to your board, for instance. Drop the people who just want a title, to be on a board anywhere. Get people on your board who will be true champions of your cause.
- Board members should do two more things, besides championing your cause as mentioned above. They should invite others to get involved with you and they should invest into you at a level equal to their capacity and relationship.
- Stop relying on volunteers to raise money for you. Nobody likes to ask their friends and family for money. Your ask should be staff driven and volunteers can help in the team process.
- Get over it, you're in sales. The size of the organization you work in and what your organization does don't matter. Enticing people to make investments in your organization means you are in sales.
- Never make a cold call, ever. Contact somebody who would be a natural partner, who is involved or interested in the cause already, who had a memorable experience, or who gives you a reason to initiate a conversation.
- Make your visits. And don't call them appointments either! Nobody wants to go to the doctor or dentist. A visit implies that people want to be with you. Everything else is worthless if you're not out there, talking to people, garnering support and convincing them to help your organization.
- Do the math. You need to know, for example, how much you need per year per kid for your program. You need to know how much to ask people for. You need to know if you have a total dollar goal. And you need to know how much of that will need to come in with a few major gifts.
Source: Adapted by Jake Emen from Tom Suddes' Nonprofit 911 Presentation "33 Ideas that Change the Fundraising Game."