Transform Your Fundraising Strategies With The Powers Of Persuasion

Successful fundraising strategies must start with the proper preparation. How do you think your local football team would do if they were to turn up for their first game without having prepared properly or worse still, not having done any preparation at all? You can bet they'd find it difficult to win!

This is exactly the situation the vast majority of community fundraisers find themselves in today. They just haven't prepared properly and as a result they get frustrated when they don't succeed. My fundraising strategies used to leave me ill-prepared, that was up until a few years back when I discovered what I was doing wrong.

Woman with stressful expression
We need to remove that fundraising stress

Once my friend (the salesman) explained to me what I was doing wrong (i.e. too much event-focused, not enough people-focused), I decided to follow his advice and learn how to build the relationship between my organization and the local community. What I discovered over the next few years has enabled me to truly transform our fundraising fortunes to the point where we are enjoying unprecedented levels of success.

The highlight of my journey so far has been my discovery of the powers of persuasion. I use these powers as a basis for all of my fundraising strategies, especially the relationship building elements. They make the whole process so simple and most importantly they make it enjoyable and fun. It's a great feeling when you can see these techniques working in practice.

Let's get back to community relationship building. There are three basic stages, which can be repeated over and over again. The first stage is all about creating awareness of your organization within the community. You must pre-sell your organization's benefits in order to lay the foundation for successful relationship building. Your benefits are what you live and die by.

The problem is that the vast majority of community fundraisers don't sell them. On top of that many fundraisers would struggle to list them off the top of their heads. Have a look at the pre-selling your benefits page for a fuller discussion as to the importance of selling you benefits.

The Persuasive Way

Once you've created awareness by pre-selling your benefits, it's time to do some more personal relationship building. The best way to do this is to get people to attend your relationship building events. You'll find it much easier to attract people to these events, now that you've built the awareness, but there are plenty of additional promotional techniques you can use.

On the day of the event you'll need to use all of the relationship building techniques available to you in order to maximize your levels of success. The relationship building events explain these techniques in more detail.

People who have attended one of your relationship building events should be more enthused about your organization and may even be beginning to see it in a new light. This is your chance to cement the relationship even further by implementing your follow-up strategy. You'll have a follow-up strategy for all of the people that attended your events. You'll also apply some additional follow-up techniques to those that you think may be potential volunteers. The event follow-up page will help you get started.

There are two fundamental reasons to build a relationship between your community organization and people from your community. The main reason is that you want the people to support your community organization, particularly your fundraising efforts. The second reason is that you want some of those people to take the next step and volunteer to help out with your fundraising activities. Let's have a look at the second of these now.

The best way to transition someone from a casual helper to a fully fledged volunteer is to take things in small manageable steps. That means beginning with small commitments and gradually growing the relationship to where they are happy to agree to progressively bigger commitments. Generally in the beginning the person is not even consciously aware that they are making any sort of commitment at all. I call this the baby steps principle and it will play a central role in your volunteer recruitment strategy.

Learn more about the role of persuasive fundraising.

Man jumping for joy
Things are looking up for my fundraising

There are many other supporting areas for you to consider when building out the rest of your fundraising strategies, such as:

Corporate Sponsorship
Fundraising Activities
Feasibility Studies
Internet Fundraising

Have a browse through these links to get more ideas for your own fundraising strategies.

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