Become a better fundraiser by becoming a donor
Any time you have constituents in your work, you’ll do a better job if you can put yourself in their shoes. Working with college students? It helps to think like a college student–or, at least, understand how they think. Similarly, how can you be a good fundraiser if you don’t know what it’s like to be a donor?
I was on the phone with my supervisor last week and he gave me some great fundraising advice–speaking from what he expects and desires from people he supports. I realized that some of my greatest understanding of how to interact with my donors well comes from my interactions (or lack thereof) with people my wife and I support financially.
So, if you don’t already, find someone within or without your organization who is a personal fundraiser and start supporting them. Don’t feel like you can afford it? What if you just gave them $10/month? That’s $10 they didn’t have before, and will be just as effective in entering you into a donor-fundraiser relationship.
Now that you’re on the other side of the coin, how does it feel? What do you wish for, what do you appreciate? I hope that this will give you a chance to support a deserving staffworker, and also to learn more how to love and care for your donors.
Special assignment: What if you sought out someone who has a smaller potential support base than the average staff? Throw in your support for a staff from a non-Christian background, a low-income family, or who doesn’t fall into the normal “Pastor” stereotype–that is, find a woman and/or a person of color. You may also find you have a lot to learn from them and their particular fundraising experiences.