This is the latest installment of our series on Fundraising Culture, by Larry Johnson, Founder of The Eight Principles. We’ll look at what a culture is. What is looks like. The kind of fundraising culture you want. How to build it and how to keep it.
In the world of fundraising there are three fatal errors made in speaking with a prospective investor (AKA “donor”).
- Talking too much
- Not talking enough
- Not talking about the right thing
All three are deadly but the first is usually the most lethal. Fundraisers—be they professional or volunteer—almost always talk TOO much. It’s understandable. They’re passionate about their cause. That, of course, is their first mistake.
Donors really aren’t interested in your cause. Even those who will support it. Nonprofit leaders who allow their passion to drive a conversation may wonder why most prospective donors’ eyes glaze over in under 60 seconds.
Second, is being the proverbial “knot on a log.”
Staying mute while a current or prospective investor engages in stream of consciousness. With no direction, your donor is left to wander into all manner of irrelevant topics. When they finally pause, they wonder why their speaking with you at all.
Third, is the “I know what I need” conversation.
Here the fundraiser launches into a well-prepared monologue on a particular need or desire in which the donor is expected to invest. The donor’s reaction if not an out-right refusal is mild irritation usually resulting in the “hush-and-go-away” gift.
ALL of these unfortunate situations are easily remedied when people who are speaking with a donor—in any situation for any reason—are aware and have internalized the right paradigm. The paradigm of relational philanthropy.
So, what the hell is that?
It’s the mindset of partnership. It’s realizing that the job of anyone having contact with a donor is to understand the donor and seek to meet the donors’ needs—Little “N” or Big “N”. It has very little to do—if anything—about your needs or those of your organization.
More than ever it’s imperative that everyone in your organization understand their role in the fundraising drama.
Why? Because everyone in your organization will have donor contact of one kind or the other.
Talking too much, not enough or not in the right way or at the right time is responsible for millions of dollars going out the window. Literally.
So how do you get a “culture” where everyone possesses the right emotional intelligence. One that only avoids such debacles and creates unbounded generosity—the culture of generosity?
Having a culture of generosity used to be the “hard” part. If it wasn’t already a part of an organization’s DNA, getting there was akin to herding cats in a thunderstorm.
No longer. With paradigm-shifting Eight Principles training you get it—and keep it—in record time. Training that’s interactive, fun and for everyone—yes EVERYONE—in an organization.
The result: Raising much more money. Today and Tomorrow.
Note the emphasis on “interactive” and “fun”.
You bring the training “inside” your organization with your own facilitator and blow the top off your fundraising. We call it continuous learning—our version of train-the-trainer.
The best part? It doesn’t take buckets of money to get there. It’s desire and will.
If you’re a nonprofit executive or fundraiser, schedule a call with me. It’s complimentary. Whether or not continuous training is for you, you’ll have a much clearer idea of where you need to go and how to achieve your goals.
Coaches and consultants this can be of immense benefit to you, as well.
As a coach myself, I feel the pain of coaches and consultants who spend inordinate amounts of effort and time just to get a client to the point where they “get it.” It’s when that happens a consultant does their best work.
This is where the Eight Principles training platform is used to get your client “there” in record time. You take everyone from board room to front desk to the same place.
Clients don’t care how you do it. They just want results. If you deliver the culture in record time, you get to your custom work faster. You serve more clients. They get faster results.
Coaches and consultants, let me hear from you. Schedule a call and we’ll see if Eight Principles Training is a tool you can use to build your business and serve your clients more effectively.
My goal is simple. To show all who really want it the clear, proven path to abundance.