The Home Run Covers All The Bases And Raises Money for Non-Profits

Are you currently covering all of the bases?

  • Analyzing the potential of a situation
  • Doing what it takes to make it a success
  • Going to bat for everyone involved
  • Bringing awareness in such a way that people WANT to get involved

How about the runners? Do you have a team? A non-profit leader cannot play the field, hit the balls, run the bases and win. There is just no way to be the MVP, the all-star, the captain and all of the players by yourself.

We learned from Napoleon Hill in the last article about how a leader goes above and beyond. This is all great but we don’t want them to burnout. In baseball, we do not want the ball to go into the swamp where no one is able to go. Certainly, no one will dive in.

I recently spoke with a fund raiser about their program and discovered he was also the assistant to the director. He said, “We wear many hats and sometimes that involves taking incoming calls, doing paperwork for programs, and IT.” I nearly fell out of my chair. As a fundraising professional if I had to do IT (Information Technology) I would have hoped it meant Intellectual Training for knowing what to say when someone says, “I only give to non-profits who really need it. You have a ‘ball’ every year.”

Sometimes, a person is thrown out at first base. We neglect to analyze the potential of a situation. A fundraising professional is skilled in raising money. An IT professional is called when a fundraiser cannot get onto the Internet for social networking. Being honest with the true potential of people and programs is a part of analysis, which leads to success.

A person may be good at getting on base although the round to second goes a little wide and the ball, which is grounded perfectly to the outfield gets thrown in. The second baseman has a solid catch. “OUT!!” Running a good program requires running a straighter line, being attentive to what’s happening on the perimeter and being quick to adjust. You don’t want to get into a pickle but if you do…play it out with the intent to be successful.

Third base – go to bat for everyone involved. This means leading with truth. Fidelity to an original or a standard. There is a sincerity in action, character and utterance. This is when people join a team. They see a player pulling for the batter even though he will surpass the third baseman’s batting average if he succeeds. There is sincere support for success because if the batter hits a home run, it is good for every one.

As the ball goes into the outfield everyone holds their breath in the stands. Will it go over the fence or will the player reach up and catch it? The batter is running as the audience is holding steady. The runner tags base as the ball flies over the fence. A child is heading out to find the ball. His mother is okay because she knows it is nowhere near the swamp.

Home base is where the players have gathered to slap hands with the NEW guy who has the highest batting average on the team. People are watching, they are aware, and they want to be involved.

Happy Memorial Day to you and your family. Enjoy ballgames and the winning run!

 

 

 

Driving Change For Positive Directions With Fundraising

Three months is a minimum time frame for implementing change in a fundraising program. Immediately, determine the condition of the program and why the change is necessary. Sometimes we make changes too fast without truly discovering the components of a program, which still work. The working parts are key to success during transition. It doesn’t mean they will remain forever.

Discover:

  1. What is working well in fundraising for the organization?
  2. Where are the immediate challenges?
  3. Who will approve the changes when they are requested?
  4. What is the timeline for the completed project and what is the “goal” for the first three months?
  5. What resources already exist and what will be needed?

Prioritize:

  1. Organize steps for making change
  2. Partner with others
  3. Create a logical sequence of events and determine the best way to keep the people involved informed

Implement:

  1. Bring resources (tools and people) into decision making discussions
  2. Set, review, and address expectations to keep everyone on the same page
  3. Course-correct when necessary

Note: The Leader of the organization must be comfortable with sharing responsibility.

Complete at least one phase of the project within three months and release people from their commitments as soon as possible. They can always say they want to remain involved and then, there’s a discussion to decide what participation looks like. It’s actually the first step in developing an advocate if this person is a good choice: Leader meets with an individual to learn more about them, listens to their ideas, and determines where the organization and individual overlap. In addition, they also share information about the networks where they each belong. This is considered a one to one (“1:1”) networking meeting.

When Fundraising Leaders Have Good Qualities Their Programs SOAR to New Heights

What it takes to be a true Leader, the one people choose to follow, is described in a book by Napoleon Hill. I would agree that a good Leader has the following traits. How do you stand next to this list?

  1. Unwavering courage based upon knowledge of self
  2. Self-control – a person who cannot control themselves cannot persuade others
  3. Keen sense of justice and fairness
  4. Sure of decisions
  5. A planner who works his plan
  6. Does more than what he or she is paid for
  7. Pleasing personality
  8. Sympathetic and understanding, knowing of their follower’s problems
  9. Master of details
  10. Willing to accept full responsibility
  11. Apply cooperative effort and induce followers to do the same

SOAR with Network Fundraising is based on Leaders being people of honor because they respect and appreciate the people helping them to raise money. Many times I’ve heard fundraisers say they have volunteers who do not participate. They do not do what they said they would. Take a look at #1 through #11 and if you can say, with sincere honesty, you are performing at 100%, then you have attracted the wrong person for some reason. It is time to have a discussion with them to find out what their motivation is, and politely thank them for their services if they are not inspired by your mission to do more.

There may be an item or two on the list, which you feel you can improve upon. Fantastic! Recognizing areas of development is always a step in the right direction. Everyday there are new lessons to teach and to learn. Life is ever-changing. Goals and missions course-correct. A good leader is willing to accept responsibility (#10) all of the time and this includes self (#1).

“The man who makes these (eleven factors) the basis of his leadership will find abundant opportunity to lead in any walk of life.” Napoleon Hill, Think And Grow Rich

A good leader attracts, and in the end flies to great heights in a V formation. Think of birds flying in a flock. They work together to soar. The networking arms of people do the same thing.

Good luck to you!

Fundraising Events – Good for the Heart

Amazing people do amazing things. Raising money comes from the heart and in this case, gives to the heart.

This morning I met with the Executive Director for the American Heart Association in Colorado Springs. She is focused on her goal of raising more money than they’ve ever raised before. I asked her to tell me about the events she has planned and it was truly spectacular to hear how she is engaging the networking arms of people. She understands the value this adds to her efforts. SOARing to new heights with the help of others is what I like to say.

Her agency has three main fundraisers, and many other outreach programs. It did my heart good to hear about the free CPR class they did this past weekend. The local office has made it their goal to teach everyone they can how to save a life through CPR.

The Heart & Stroke Walk is coming up in June in Colorado Springs. Details can be found at CSheartwalk.org/

The event, which really grabbed my attention was the “Go Red For Women” campaign coming up in September. The event is a day of education and networking. The importance of networking for fundraising is what I preach – share – discuss. It was wonderful to talk with someone who is seeing the success by including it within their fundraising initiatives.

We can walk and we can talk. I have a headset and the ability to walk at anytime. How about you? Shall we kill two birds with one stone and get on the phone to discuss how to bring networking into your fundraising program? This is between friends. I am not charging anyone for this. There are no strings attached. We learn best from each other and open communication.

Check things out on Facebook: SOARwithnetworkfundraising.com and gaylegross.com/ Meet up with you there. We increase potential when we learn from others.

Give! It’s an Independent Thing

I recently had the opportunity to speak with a director for a non-profit participating in the Indy Give! campaign in Colorado Springs. People who live nearby know about The Independent, which is a free newspaper listing all of the happenings. A must-have sitting on your table when you are choosing what to do this weekend. Indy Give! is their fundraising initiative.

Mission of Indy Give!

1. To encourage those individuals who do not regularly give back to our community to donate time and money, with particular emphasis on getting those in their 20s and 30s to become philanthropists;

2. To educate El Paso and Teller County residents about the vital work undertaken by relatively small, innovative nonprofits operating in and for our community;

3. To provide a Pikes Peak region-centric philanthropic platform that makes giving back to our community extremely easy, enjoyable and effective;

4. To generate applause and increase the fundraising and organizational capacity as well as the long-term viability and visibility of participating nonprofits.

What I have learned is that through participation the return is well worth the effort. Interested non-profits submit an application and pay a fee. Non-profits who are chosen to participate are part of a two month campaign. The fee to be involved more than covers the recognition, marketing, training they receive on the steps for fundraising this way. The non-profit leader I spoke with raised nearly $17,000 with a $600 investment. Everyone who participates is guaranteed to at least raise $1500 to cover their initial costs.
Visit Indygive.com to learn more about how the process works in Colorado Springs. This is an idea you may want to establish in your community OR you may have something similar already happening, which you are not aware of.
The organization receiving the most donations raised nearly $53,000 in 2016 through Indy Give! Many organizations use this style of fundraising exclusively and include their own outreach as part of their cultivation techniques. Something to think about if you are looking for something new.

Engaging People to Help Raise Money

A lot of time we feel we have to fund raise alone. It is our project. We don’t want to add burden to anyone else, after all, he or she is already so busy. Suggestion #1: Let people decide for themselves if they want to be engaged. A true leader once told me, “You do not know someone.” It is very true. We do not know what a person is thinking or feeling unless we ask.

As humans we are meant to socialize. We all desire to feel important, special, and to help others. Birds within a flock are great role models because they step up to help each other when a member of their flock gets tired. Let us learn from them.

Leaders and Followers

Birds have a leader at the head of the V formation and there are many followers, which form the flock. The leader drops back into the flock when they become tired. Another bird takes over the lead when this happens in order to continue the momentum.

A Leader in network fundraising is connected in the community and creates opportunities for people. They see the strengths in others and lift people up by empowering them to use their natural gifts. A Leader cares about the success of people around them.

Birds in a flock head in the same direction, which allows them to be cohesive.

Members of an organization share a common vision, which ultimately drives them to do good work. An organization achieving fundraising success values the people working alongside them. They are kept informed and feel appreciated for what they do.

Have you ever heard of the seven ways to thank someone? I first heard about this from a wonderful colleague when I worked for a non-profit but I don’t have the details specifically from her. This list comes from the Harvard Business Review. I hope you find it to be helpful.

  1. Handwritten thank-you note
  2. Send something fun – we get lots of communication so send something to stand out
  3. Make an introduction for two people so they may build a partnership
  4. Offer to help…and deliver
  5. Circle back at a later date
  6. Send a video note
  7. Make a good old-fashioned phone call

Small, regular acts of kindness can change your life and increase the involvement of people in your program. People are more likely to step up and give you a break from doing all the heavy lifting. They are more likely to become part of your V formation – or flock! They will become part of the group who are willing to SOAR with you.

Raising a Buck and Going Fast – Thoughts on Fundraising

A buck is another name for a dollar in America. It is also one hundred when you are talking speed. You have probably heard someone say, “She had to pay three hundred bucks for the ticket she got while driving a buck-twenty on the highway,” right? This means she paid a $300 fine for going 120 miles per hour. It’s a stretch, I agree. The cops would have to catch her first. ; )

One thing I do know is that you can raise a buck in a fast way when you focus on the process. This part takes separating yourself from everything else you are doing for 90 minutes a day in order to focus on:

  • Resources
  • Outreach
  • A Firm Plan

Resources: Spend time discovering what is already available and what you will need to find. Other people may have more knowledge than you do on the resources to consider. Your goal is to make time to visit with the right people, and make objective decisions on the best direction for moving forward in a productive way. You may have to be proactive and make changes some people are not happy with. Your supervisor is the one to approve these moves. Ask for their permission to blame them if someone gets upset with your changes. NEVER blame anyone without asking for his or her permission first.

Outreach: Discover the channels within your community and base your path on the best strategic moves for achieving the results you want. More power for your buck is what I like to say. “Leads” or referral groups are great places to explore. This is where other people refer your mission to their associates. I am happy to brainstorm outreach opportunities with you – feel free to send an email to iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com and we can set up a time to talk. This is between friends.

A Plan: What does fundraising look like for your organization? You may already have a foundation to build upon and this can be good or bad. It depends on what has already happened in the past. Have people been appreciated for their gifts? Things to consider when developing your plan:

  • How much money by when?
  • Methods for raising money
  • Timeline for each method
  • Participants (Advocates)
  • Tracking
  • Maintaining focus

“Buck” was derived from pioneer times in America when deer (or buck) skins were used as currency. The richly textured and visually stunning animal was valued as cash, which today is not so attractive to imagine since money is dirty and covered with germs. I’m obviously used to looking at deer from a distance.

“The buck stops here” was a phrase used by President Harry S. Truman in speeches and it was meant to encourage people to take responsibility. I pass the buck (fundraising ideas) on to you, in a good way. Now, you have the power to listen to our President’s words of wisdom. Good luck and much success!