Last weekend I had the privilege of speaking at the Ohio Habitat for Humanity conference. I work with lots of Habitat affiliates across the country and this was a treat to be at an event with hundreds of them!
I presented several sessions, and there were definitely some themes among the info I shared. Here are a few of the important ones.
First, you must be passionate about your work. If donors and potential donors don’t see you as excited about the work your nonprofit does, how do you expect them to get excited? Share your enthusiasm for your cause.
Next, accept that if your organization is doing something worthwhile, it’s worthy of receiving donations. Lots of donations. BIG donations. I’m astounded at the number of people who view their organization as “just a little nonprofit” and don’t see it as equal to other nonprofits. They say things like “Our mission isn’t sexy like _______.” “We don’t have major donors like _______ does.” “We can’t get the media’s attention like _______ does.” Do you see the stinkin’ thinkin’ here? When you think like this, you are actually setting the course for the future. You’re dooming your nonprofit to remain small. Here’s the truth: your nonprofit is just as worthy as any other nonprofit out there. So start acting like it.
Finally, you must believe that no matter what you hear on the news about the economy, there are people out there who want to support your cause and are willing to make a gift. (If you need to, read that sentence again and again.) It’s true. I heard from a client just the other day, that they reached their campaign goal already this year (and it’s just barely November!) and are in great shape to start 2012. Another client started 2011 with a cash surplus because they did so well last year during the holidays. I’m here to tell you that you are no different. You can do this too.
You can see that these themes apply to everyone, not just Habitat for Humanity. The success in fundraising happens when you use best practice fundraising techniques with a positive outlook, and you expect good things to happen.
Once you learn how to recognize and speak the truth, I bet you’ll find it incredibly freeing, and you’ll find fundraising to be easier and more fruitful.