LESSON 10: Go tell people; find new audiences to speak to
Speak up and speak out. Speak to:
• Existing supporters and other people who know your work.
• Friends, families and colleagues… and your trustees and volunteers can talk to their friends and colleagues.
• Audiences you think may be interested in hearing you speak. Think about who these might be, contact them and ask if you can give a short talk on an appropriate occasion. Religious groups, political groups, interest groups, campaigns, conferences, schools, business groups such as Chambers of Commerce and Rotarians, local radio chat shows… there are more out there than you think. The more people who hear about you, the more people you will find who are interested.
• At conferences, make sure that you contribute to the discussion, mentioning your work and its importance. Have plenty of leaflets to hand out. Look at the participants list and see if there are people whom you would like to meet. If there are, go and find them and introduce yourself to them.
•Mobilise your networks on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
LESSON 11: Operate in the real world as well as the virtual world
It’s too easy just to send emails, post tweets and use social networks. These virtual methods of communication are useful for spreading information and ideas, and you will pick up some support. But you will get your real support by picking up the telephone, arranging to meet people, speaking to groups (and answering their questions), etc. Fundraising really happens in the real world. Make sure that you get out into it!
LESSON 12: Put in the time and effort
Fundraising is important. You need the support and the supporters to make things happen. But fundraising is never very easy. You will find that you are turned down quite a lot of the time. This is something you have to cope with. Be persistent, and continue asking. Even go back to people who’ve turned you down; if you think that they ought to be interested and ought to want to give to you, try having another go.
You will need to put in the time too. It’s too easy to do other things that you like doing better, and to relegate fundraising (asking people) to some later time… and then find that you just don’t do it. Make a commitment to spend a day or two each week on getting the message out and asking… and make sure you do this Keep a diary showing the actual time that you spend on your fundraising.
LESSON 13: Get lots of publicity
The media can help spread your message. Try to get coverage in:
• The local press.
• Local radio
• Specialist magazines, newsletters and journals.
• Relevant blogs
If you achieve a success, get some famous person involved, develop a really interesting case study, create a wonderful photo opportunity, or even get a large donation, use the story to try to get publicity for this.
Just like spending time on fundraising, spend time on getting publicity for what you are doing.
LESSON 14: It’s who you are that really matters, not who or what you know
Fundraising is about your attitude and your ambition to make something happen. It is about your personality, and your energy, enthusiasm and sheer bloody-mindedness to see that something really does happen. `it’s about your charm and friendliness in dealing with people.
Once you understand that fundraising is not really about asking for money, but about sharing dreams and inspiring people to feel that something rally can be done… and that they can paly a part in helping make it happen, you may find it easier.
In the end, you need to enjoy asking. If you don’t you are the wrong person… so go and find people to work alongside you who do enjoy doing this.
LESSON 15: Think outside the box; do unusual things in unusual ways
Use your creativity and imagination to find ways of asking and people to ask and to give them the opportunity to support you. They will respond to this and to your enthusiasm.
In the end, you need money to make something happen, so you have to ask for it. Remember that you are giving people the opportunity to do good, and to take pride in the change they have helped create.