Like any business, the primary purpose of a fundraiser is to make a profit. Once a campaign has been adopted, how will you put it into action? Once you have chosen to sell car air fresheners or board games, to mount a fundraising online store or a scratchcards campaign, what comes next? Here is where we can learn a lesson or two from successful businesses. A key strength of any business is that its leaders understand how the organization actually operates. Without that knowledge, even the best fundraising ideas will lead to disappointing results.
Being a Leader
It is important that the fundraising leader is a people person. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and this is what makes cooperation desirable. In fact, it makes cooperation necessary! Some of us are good with numbers, others with concepts. Some of us have excellent verbal skills, while others communicate best through art or music. Whoever in your organization assumes leadership (or coordinator) - it should be someone who loves people and gets a kick out of their diversity. It is the group of people in your organization who will mold your fundraising drive into a success or a failure - let them make full use of their strengths! In order to accomplish that, you need a leader who enjoys interacting with others, and can bring out the best in others, allowing their strengths shine.
Building the Team
The 'people person' who coordinates the campaign will have to identify somebody who has a way with numbers. If the ultimate goal is to raise funds, then someone is going to have to know where to spend money: how much needs to be invested to turn the targeted profit? Where is investment wasted? Where is it needed? How much cookie dough does each volunteer need to sell to reach the goal? The person with this practical turn of mind - placed in the role of the accountant - will be essential to the fundraiser's success.
Achieving the goal of the fundraiser requires the leader - or coordinator - to be able to know what is happening at various levels of the operation. The team leader has to be a Jack or Jill of all trades. Is everyone supported? Is everyone happy? Who needs what? Here is where the leader's strength as a people person is needed most.
Solving Problems and Liking It!
So far so good! But what if someone is not happy or isn't able to get the job done? Maybe they find that the job assigned to them is misguided? In this case, the coordinator must put on their thinking cap and solve the problem. Any successful business leader is flexible and adaptable in the face of unforeseen challenges. A people person will identify with somebody in trouble and want to ease the stress.
The leader should never think of themselves above the team, but rather as part of it. Most importantly, they must be willing and able to chip in to replace somebody when necessary. Like any good business leader, he must know all the jobs and identify with everybody on the team. To run your fundraiser like a business, you should prepare yourself to be active at any moment and happy to work when called upon.
Ready to get your fundraiser rolling? You can tap into the knowledge and expertise that Fundraising.com has accumulated - we will even send a consultant to advise and help coordinate your campaign! Give us a call at 1.800.443.5353 - we're SUPER nice!