The high five is when you’re in agreement on something. It may happen during celebration, or when there’s an idea floating around that’s been accepted. Even animals are trained to do the awesome gesture. It makes people smile!
Smile with me while I talk about Advocates, or the people helping you raise money. They are your volunteers. They share your information with the people they know, about the work you do, within their networks. At the end we will look at the HIGH FIVE, which are the five ways Advocates have said are the best ways for engaging them in your program!
Below are questions I was asked during a national conference call about Advocates a couple of years ago. I do not have the recording and so my answers are from the notes I wrote to prepare for the call. At the time there were 28 active Advocates helping us grow the fundraising program where I was working.
How do you recruit Advocates? They come through our networking events. We make sure to mention the Advocate program, and share the benefits of being involved. Our welcome person is an Advocate and they mention their role. Their excitement helps to engage others!
How do you train Advocates? We provide all the materials they need to be successful. We visit with them over coffee and give them a description of the role, and the time commitment. They receive an Advocate packet, which contains all the information they need to share the mission with others. We also spend three months cultivating the relationship by having them involved in accomplishing tasks.
How do you manage Advocates? We host cultivation events outside of work at least one time each month. We send a weekly email that is fun! It is called the “Tuesday Pickle,” contains (clean) pickle jokes, AND serves as a reminder for people to invite guests to the next networking event. We have another Advocate connect with them to see how they’re doing. Sometimes there’s a mentor assigned. We ask them how they like to be recognized and what’s important to them. We follow through on those. We set expectations, provide tools for success, and they know the end goal. We empower Advocates to help us reach our goal by recognizing their strengths and giving them permission to use them.
Any other tips to share? Yes! Our strongest Advocates put together the following list after being asked, “What traits do WE look for in a person to find the perfect Advocate?”
- A busy person
- Passion about the mission
- A leader
- Relationship Builder – someone who networks
- Willingness to try new things
- Willing to stay in touch and communicate
How do you cultivate the perfect Advocate? You always maintain the mission of the organization and you do a HIGH FIVE!
- Invest in your Advocate and find out what motivates them (This is the “why they do what they do”)
- Develop a culture and get Advocates involved in events
- Show recognition and appreciation – ACKNOWLEDGE
- Camaraderie, inclusion, involvement
Good luck with finding the right group of people to help you move the mission forward. They are there, and they are ready for your high five!
My best to you for a great day!