Delegation is a must in fundraising. There is absolutely no way one person can be effective on a large scale when it comes to fundraising ideas. Of course, there is always a few key players and ultimately, one leader. But in the case of being effective, it takes a tribe. For decades nonprofit organizations have more than likely seen new leaders come and go. Directors or presidents are the normal name and are more than likely a reluctant but able body individual who can handle the load. Very seldom is this person not busy. It seems that busy people make the most effective leaders and they tend to raise the most funds. Busy people understand the simple truth that you can’t do it all, but you can do something. My dream is for everyone to have that mentality. Most people are afraid to volunteer because they have no idea what to expect.
Here are a few tips for building your team to be as effective as possible at raising money for your organization.
Team Building Tip #1
Make a list of responsibilities/tasks that need to be accomplished for your organization and send out an email or a post communicating expectations. This makes it clear for potential volunteers to accept responsibility with known intentions. Include all information you have concerning the tasks including date, time, location, specific number of volunteers needed for each task, hours it may take to complete, types of personalities/job training needed, etc. A cattle call (open-ended request with no organization or purpose) has little to no effect on people. Potential volunteers see a vague volunteer request sent to a large group of people and think, “Someone else will step up” or there isn’t enough information provided and they are busy! They aren’t going to ask for additional details.
Team Building Tip #2
Once your team is assembled, set deadlines. Busy people thrive on communication. They have zero desire to vote on a timeline. They want a clear and obvious directive such as, “Thank you so much for volunteering! Here are the dates and times of the event and these are the needed by dates”. Busy people live and die by their calendar so they will inform you from that point how they will make it work. Most busy people will get the task done, but if they can’t, they will recruit their own help and make it happen. When you have recruited correctly, your team of volunteers will make sure you have thought every step through.
Sometimes the very person you need to recruit as the leader is that detail oriented point person. These folks tend to be the all-star of your team, but they are also the ones who do not want to stand in front and direct. This person is happy to make you the frontman and equip you with the tools you need to be effective. In recruiting your team make sure this is the first person you recruit. It’s important to remember that this person is most likely not going to respond to a list. This person needs to be recruited eye-to-eye.
So, whether it’s an event or a fundraising idea, the sky is the limit with the right team. If you feel like you are all alone and trying to make things happen all by yourself, more than likely you are already burnt out and looking for the door. You can choose to run through that door and never look back, or you can walk out that door, turn around, and come back to the room with a new strategy. We hope you choose to turn around and let us help you with your new strategy.