If you are looking to reinvigorate your work and achieve at the next level, we recommend this great read (picked up at the airport like most good books): Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More, by Harvard B-School prof Morten Hansen. It has great insights for fundraisers.
Hansen identifies seven principles that "accounted for a whopping 66 percent" of variation in work performance while also providing "better work-life balance, higher job satisfaction, and less burnout." Who doesn't want that?
Here they are:
This month, in Fundraisers' Monthly, we're getting really real.
We're talking about difficult donors. (booooo!)
Our awesome member, Alex, said:
"Every fundraising training/book/etc. seems to operate on the assumption that all donors are warm, trusting, altruistic teddy bears that are full of love and sunshine."
It's true. There is a lot of sunshine, roses and sickeningly sweet talk in fundraising.
Nancy and I are guilty of this, too. We like to say - when you're generous, you can't be mean - when you're giving, you can't be angry. But that's just not always true.
Sometimes, people - even generous people who are giving away their hard-earned money for a damn good cause - are just plain rude.
And fundraising is 1000% percent a people business, so, here it is, the really real truth about fundraising:
You will absolutely meet and have to deal with a few jerks. (I'm sorry for this and I'm sending you an e-hug right now.)
More than a few people will hang up on you (ah, the joys of cold...
Are you? Going to ask today? It not, what do you need to learn to get there?
One of three things, friends: timing, amount, purpose. Ideally in that order.
Don’t get us wrong! Of course you want to know your donor. Rapport matters, connection matters, respect matters – a lot.
We’re not suggesting you should make an ask upon first meeting (though honestly, sometimes you should!).
But you absolutely should, must – please, we are begging you – be asking yourself, before every meeting, “Am I going to ask...
Have you ever gone to an expensive seminar where they told you to develop your elevator speech? Don't do it!
You guys, we have all been on an elevator. Think about it - the only "speech" anybody likes in there is a question or a compliment. Because showing genuine interest in another person is the only way to really connect, right?
Nobody likes the person who bloviates about her "value proposition." That's boring.
Everyone responds, however, to genuine, infectious enthusiasm. True zeal is hard to resist. It causes people to get curious, to ask you questions, and to be interested in the answers. When you go about fundraising this way, donors thank you for your enthusiasm for your own darned cause!
So don't worry about an elevator speech.
Do think about how to fall more in love with what you do. And be ready with a single, powerful sentence that says - literally, physically - what your org accomplishes. So that when someone asks (because you've connected, and now...