Passion is first and foremost when it comes to raising money. Encouraging others to be involved comes from the heart. How you feel about your non-profit will be how others feel when you come into contact with them. Are you engaged because of the mission?
H – have passion
E – everything is worth knowing
A – act according to expectations
R – remember appreciation
T – take advice
Take time to know the details of who you are raising money for and why. I recently went to a meeting where the people engaging my fundraising help were cryptic. There was no way to get engaged when so many details were missing. Feel free to take a walk around the organization and ask questions. Vague answers = false advertising
Step back and think about how people expect you to behave. Remember, people understand your role and if they don’t it is important to explain it to them. You can say upfront, “I’m not here to ask for money” because we generally do not ask until we know a person is ready to give. People expect you to have an agenda. Respect others and state the obvious.
Thanking people for their time, for listening to you, for offering their advice, and for anything else they ever do is necessary. Your job is finding the most meaningful way for them to do it. I assure you, the one thing you can never go wrong with is sending a hand-written note, in blue ink. I’ve been told by strangers it is nice to see “cards” and “notes” coming back when they have seen me writing them out on an airplane. People have the impression it is a special way to be recognized and believe few people do it anymore. Be one of the few.
Ask people what they think and be ready to listen. Taking action may come after you let things sink in. There are some opinions you will let roll off your back and that is okay. Always be ready to adjust and change course as needed. Advice is worth listening to.