Qualities of a Good Fundraiser

By | September 29, 2016

pounds-coins-007Recently I was asked… What are the characteristics of people and attributes to look for in a strong fundraising organization. Here are 7 characteristics that are universal for any great fundraiser.

Try rating yourself or your organization’s fundraising culture on a scale of 1 (you do not possess nor practice this trait) to 5 (you have and practiced this trait effortlessly). If you reach a total that is higher than thirty points then you are a superstar as a fundraiser!

Rate the following qualities:

  • Passionate – You share the excitement and joy you feel for your mission. You stop and celebrate all the gifts and the impact they will make. You bring compassion and high energy to every conversation whether it is in person, on the phone, in an e-mail, letters, or on site at events.
  • Integrity – You do what you say you are going to do. You make sure that there is follow through on all requests and offerings to a supporter.  You share facts of effective work and you are transparent about finances and goals.
  • Authenticity – You say thank you and you mean it.  You follow through with actions that support your work. You are an advocate for your mission and an example for other fundraisers and donors to follow.
  • Vigilant – You make an ongoing, concerted effort to build relationships inside and outside of your nonprofit.  You make this a priority for the organization and the leadership team.  You freely share meeting notes with your team and thoughts on next steps for stewardship and follow up. You treat your supporters with respect and appreciation.
  • Extroverted – You need to be friendly. Every week you reach out with at least one phone call to a donor or write a personal note card.  You know that every “ask” and meeting is important. You make sure to reflect a professional image at all times.
  • Systematic – You set goals for a number of meetings (in person), phone conversations and “asks” per month. You have ongoing meetings with staff and a Board of Directors to review accelerators and inhibitors to your nonprofits success.
  • Optimistic – People invest in success and hope.  Make sure to share stories of individuals and the impact of the organization on their lives. When you tug at someone’s heartstrings, they are more than willing to give where funds are needed. They are also willing to tell the story to someone else.

No one ever said that fundraising would be easy. It is one of the most difficult jobs there is. However; if you implement these ideas into your work week you will see great outcomes and you will have the great feeling of knowing that you are part of changing things for the positive.


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