Wondering how to increase your fundraising effectiveness in 2010? Here's an idea: increasing your personal giving...to other organizations (not your own).
Go check out Jeff Brook's blog post "Fundraisers who don't give don't get it." In it, he refers to a post by Seth Godin who says:
... if you work for a non-profit and you don't give money to charity, what exactly are you doing in this job?
To the point, isn't it?
It's really easy to get critical about other organization's fundraising techniques. In fact, it can be easy to get cynical. But as fundraisers, we're not in the business of critics. We're helping people enjoy the experience of giving.
But how can we do that if we're not experiencing that ourselves?
I'm not talking about giving to the organization you work for. That's expected. (And you'd best be doing it.)
I'm talking about other organizations. What nonprofits do you rely on everyday? Public radio? Wikipedia? Or causes your community is reliant on, like a soup kitchen, a food bank, or a homeless shelter? Or perhaps one you're passionate about, social justice, the environment,or political causes?
Choose one. And up your giving.
You may be surprised at how this will help your fundraising. You'll ask with greater confidence. More importantly, you'll remember what we really are offering people. You might even find yourself talking less about giving techniques (tax deductions, stock transfers, payroll deduction) and more about the impact of their giving. Less about the tools and more about the experience.
It reminds me of the church giving campaign I've heard about. It was kicked off with a leader of the congregation giving an inspiring talk about giving to the church. Then he unveiled the campaign's theme "I've upped my giving. Up yours!"
You can imagine the zest with which people mentioned that theme!
So in that spirit, I've just started giving to a new charity. A few days ahead of 2010, I know.
Now I can honestly say: I've upped my giving. Up yours! 🙂