One of the most frustrating problems in the fundraising world is when you don’t have internal support. It is next to impossible to get anything done if the Executive Director or President does not support the work that you do. But it can be incredibly frustrating and difficult if the program staff or in some cases faculty or doctors don’t support the fundraising process.
Here are a few things that I have done to gain the support of organizations that I’ve worked for. Recognize the work of the program staff (this works well with faculty).
- Make sure to say good things about them out in the community, if people talk about how great they are because of you it can make a big difference.
- Show everyone that you are doing work. I’m not talking about charts and graphs I’m talking about bringing donors on tours, holding an event on-site, or involving them in a cultivation or solicitation meeting. If people see that you are good at what you do and that you are working hard for them it makes a big difference.
- On donor tours I like to have the donor meet program staff. This allows program staff to speak directly into their programs and experience (which donors really like). It also allows you to recognize the program staff by acknowledging they play a key part in the organization to the donor.
- In the nonprofit world more than the business world leadership must come from the bottom (I will talk about this more in my next post). This means that you need to spend time talking to people in the staff room, take your co-workers out to coffee, make sure you are there for and remember important events.
I’d love to hear from you any stories good or bad about staff supporting the fundraising function. What have you done to help people see how important fundraising is?