One of the most important aspects of being able to run a successful non-profit or any other sort of worthy charitable cause is fundraising. No one likes to talk about money. It is one of the unfortunate parts of the business that is necessary if we are to achieve the good work for our communities that we wish to achieve; therefore, it is important. Thankfully, there are some good rules of the etiquette that we can discuss so everyone is on the up-and-up and able to comfortably prosper.
When addressing someone about funding your non-profit, though it may not be implicitly stated, you should be willing to help the donor should they have a worthy cause come along. Think about your kids and your neighbors’ children. You will typically buy the Girl Scout cookies that your neighbor’s daughter is selling–but in return, it’d be nice to think that your neighbor will buy the chocolate bars your child is selling to raise money for the school play. The same rules apply to fundraising. Even if you are not able to contribute financially to your donor’s cause at that moment, be ready to lend a helping hand if at all possible.
It is also prudent to consider the sources you target; maybe avoid asking those who you know are financially strapped at the moment, or those who cannot relate to the cause for which you’re fundraising. Tact in your approach is significant. If it is small funds that you’re needing, a blanket email is okay to send. Larger donations certainly require a more personal touch though; consider asking in person or at least a friendly phone conversation. People like to feel appreciated.
And that brings us to a final point that cannot be stated enough: never forget the power of a “thank you!” Personalizing your thanks, either through a phone call or hand-written card, lets the donor know that you appreciate what they have done–that they have made a genuine difference. It will also keep their disposition positive for when you may need to call again. Follow this advice and you’ll be well on your way to successfully raising funds in no time!