Showing Up

The phrase “Eighty percent of success is showing up” has been attributed to Woody Allen.

Whether or not he said it, it’s certainly true.

It’s especially true in the fundraising world.  Whether it’s organizations that are doing vital work, board members that are participating in meetings, staff that are dedicated, and donors who keep coming back, “showing up” is critical to the success of any fundraising effort.

When one or more of these is missing, you’ll have a tough road to hoe.

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

  • Organization doing vital work.  This is basis for all fundraising without this, what in the hell are donors giving to?
  • Board members who participate.  Sometimes overlooked, board members are THE leadership.  The guiding force.  Without their commitment to fundraising the organization just drifts along
  • Dedicated staff.  That’s all the staff.  Those who deliver programs, those who keep the lights on and those who seek the support of investors (that’s “donors” to some.)
  • Donors who keep showing up.  I say “keep showing up” because drive by donors barely keep an organization life-support.

Have you figured it out yet?  It takes literally EVERYONE to pull off a successful fundraising program.  Everyone has a role to play.  From the gal or guy at the front desk who answers the phone to the executive director and everyone in between, each of these will have would be supporter contact. 

Their impression of your organization is shaped by the random contacts they have with you.  If you have a receptionist who answers the phone in an indifferent or off-putting manner, they will do damage to a donor relationship that will take five or more positive contacts to counteract.

That’s why it’s so important for each member of the organization to understand the principles of relational and trust philanthropy.  When they appreciate these, they’ll act instinctively when the occasion arises.

Here at The Eight Principles we have a train-the-trainer training programThis format places a complete fundraising training curriculum inside your organization for on-demand team-based training.  Training that’s suitable for everyone—regardless of their role.

I invite you to explore it HERE.  It’s unique in the nonprofit world.  Totally without peer.  It puts everyone on the same team.  Like nothing you’ve seen.

Larry C. Johnson is the Founder of The Eight Principles and the author of the award-winning book, The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising.