Fundraising, while it may seem like an intimidating and daunting task, it’s really no different than sales, well, besides the fact that you’re selling an intangible object: the feeling the individual gets from donating [or the recognition they want]. So, if you’re someone who’s timid about asking someone for money, here are a few tips courtesy of Sarah Campagna. Sarah’s ten years in fundraising prepared her for success in her current sales and marketing role at Launch Team.
Find the donor’s motivation
As soon as you can, identify their motive behind donating and play off of it. Their motive may be to receive recognition or get their name on a building, but most of the time, they’re donating to feel good about themselves, so use this emotion to your advantage. Let them know all the good they’ll be doing, and be as concrete as possible in your request.
Be tenacious and don’t be afraid of that initial no.
While there may be instances when you’ll get an immediate yes, it’s more likely that you’ll receive a no, at least at first. But don’t be too discouraged because this “no” doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to donate, it could just mean that don’t want to donate right now. So follow up in a few months if the situation is right.
Be passionate & believe
It goes without saying, but you have to believe and be passionate about the organization you’re working for – you have to believe they’re helping the community. For example, say you’re attempting to collect funds for the Memorial Art Gallery; well, you’re probably not going to be very persuasive when attempting to get donations if you don’t feel passionate about the gallery and what it offers the Rochester Community.
Listen, listen, listen
It’s not about you, it’s about them, so listen and pay attention. Whether they’re trying to do it or not, much or what they say and do will reflect their underlying feelings towards a specific cause. For example, if you’re talking about a particular cause and the person barely moves, it’s probably not the best fit, yet, if you bring something else up and they raise their eyebrows and move forward in their seat, you may be on to something.
Overall, it’s okay to be timid about fundraising, but just think, what’s the worst that could happen? They say no? Put that in perspective and realize that there’s always going to be someone out there who appreciates the cause you’re fighting for and is willing to donate, so stay optimistic. But most importantly, if you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.