10 Qualities of Successful Fundraising Leaders
Fundraising is necessary for schools, daycares, non-profit organizations, local businesses, and many other types of organizations. Without it, many programs would be without the money needed to cover their expenses.
In the 20 or so years that we’ve been in the fundraising business we’ve learned there are common qualities shared by all successful fundraising leaders.
These qualities are the same regardless of the type of organization. The results of any given fundraiser are, in the beginning, directly related to the group leader.
In order to run successful fundraising campaigns, here are the Top 10 Qualities of a Successful Fundraising Leader:
1 A Fully Invested Individual – If the leader is not 100% committed to the fundraiser, then why should you expect your sellers to fully buy-in? Great leaders choose a product that they are excited about selling.
Being fully invested in your fundraising efforts is not only important to the sellers but to the supporters. If you’re not seen as excited or dedicated to what you’re selling to reach your fundraising goal then your potential donors won’t be excited to support the cause either.
2. Well Connected In The Community – A well-connected leader is known not just in their organization but also in the community – outside of just their friends and family.
They are active across social media platforms.
They are members of professional and sporting organizations.
The more connected a leader is, the more opportunities they have to share and raise more money!
3. Passionate – Great causes inspire passion. Regardless of the type of group, all great fundraising leaders have a great passion for their group and invest their passion, creativity, and time in making the fundraiser a success to reach a shared goal.
Those who aren’t passionate about the cause they are raising funds for will have difficulty inspiring anyone else involved in the organization.
4. Organized– Attention to detail and great data organization is what allows a leader’s investment, passion, and connections to bear fruit.
Conversely, lack of organization often results in poor results.
The more successful your fundraiser becomes the more there will be to keep track of. Organizational skills are important to have to make sure nothing gets mixed up or lost – especially when it comes to donations.
Also be sure to plan ahead, keep track of your plans, and share them with your team.
Keeping a chart or editable calendar with activities and dates is a great idea and simple to do on Google Docs.
Planners and spreadsheets are also both easily accessible and a simple way to begin getting organized and staying on track.
5. Available– Fundraising leaders are often volunteers. Before you volunteer be sure that you have enough time to devote to the campaign.
Your time and energy are some of the most important resources you are providing to your team to help them succeed.
Being available also goes hand-in-hand with being organized. Since free time is so limited these days, someone who is organized with good time management skills would be a perfect fundraising leader.
6. Perseverance – Fundraising is not easy. Each fundraiser will be rejected by supporters and donors at times. A “no” can be difficult to get past, but a leader with perseverance will be able to push past a “no” and continue motivating themselves to keep going.
Fundraising leaders and professionals who set goals are more likely to persevere when things become difficult or when setbacks present themselves.
7. Good Storyteller – Being able to spread the word and deliver the right message in the right way and at the right time can appeal to your donors and supporters on a different level. Being on an emotional level makes them more likely to give money to your organization.
Stories move people to act and create a connection – as human beings, we are wired to listen to stories. Stories create empathy and connect us to one another which is incredibly important for any organization because where there are emotions there are charitable actions.
8. Motivating – As said before, donor rejection can be discouraging for both leaders and sellers. Successful fundraising leaders can motivate their team to overcome the disappointing moments of fundraisers.
Keeping your team eager and willing during the toughest of times will keep them inspired to continue supporting your organization and coming back to help.
9. Interpersonal Skills – Strong interpersonal skills help create and uphold relationships with donors and members of your team. Finding a way to be insistent without being overly aggressive in your approach for donations will help keep relationships with donors for present and future fundraisers.
Written and oral communication skills are not the only parts of strong interpersonal skills. Listening is also very important – it will teach what motivates donors to give and help you apply that to future fundraisers in the future.
10. Determination – Just like with everything else in life, there are going to be good and bad days. Fundraising is no different.
You may not always see donations flowing in. Some days you may have so many you are overwhelmed with everything pouring in. Other days may not be so great.
A successful fundraiser will have the determination to not let days like that put a damper on the team. Instead, they’ll go back to their drawing board to come up with a plan for new ideas.
By recruiting a fundraising leader who has these qualities, your organization will have unique and engaging campaigns.
Whether you are a seasoned fundraiser wanting to learn how to be better or a group trying to find a leader for your organization, having a fundraising leader who has these qualities will help your organization run successful fundraising campaigns.
Have you ever been a fundraising leader? Share tips we may not have mentioned in the comments below!