Monday, June 25, 2012

Major Gifts: 5 Tips To Boost Your Success

The strict nonprofit manager's first instinct when staff doesn't meet major gift goals is to fire them. That's not necessarily the right move, according to fundraising expert Laura Fredricks.

In her book "The Ask: How To Ask Anyone for Any Amount for Any Purpose," Fredricks wrote that there are other steps you can take to boost the results of your major gifts campaigns. Rather than give your hard-working staff the ax, she suggested implementing the following five tips:

  • Time Management: They say that time is money, so don't waste it with too many meetings. Try to limit the ones you have to only the essentials. Fredricks also cautions against multitasking. While it sounds good in theory, it is really better to focus on one task at a time.
  • Make Clear and Measurable Goals: Give your staff goals they can actually obtain. Do this by letting them know exactly what you expect and do reviews every few months to check on their progress. Remember that goals don't just have to be measured in dollar signs. You can easily measure success in face-to-face donor contact, meetings, and special event attendance.
  • Be Cross-Functional: Is one of your key fundraisers out of the office? Make sure to teach members of your staff their skills so they can perform their job if needed. Something unexpected always happens, so you need people who can pick up the slack.
  • Risk Management: You don't want to be pessimistic, but you should always have a plan in case the worst happens.Think about events that could hinder your operations (i.e., law changes, natural disasters) and come up with ways to manage those risks.
  • Communicate and Demonstrate Your Staff's Worth: You should treat your staff like a team. All of the players are needed for your program to be a success -- and you should make sure they know that. There is no better way to boost employee morale than by showing that their opinions matter.

No comments: