“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.” – Benjamin Franklin
In today’s tough economic climate we must keep our fundraising skills sharp.
Below are a few creative tips that you are very welcome to use.
Start with the end in mind – think about what you want to achieve. Use your imagination to put in as much detail as possible. Believe it has already happened and give thanks.
Our mind does not know the difference between reality and fantasy. If I ask you to imagine taking a big bite from an onion – did you taste it? So, if we believe something will happen then our unconscious mind will search for opportunities to make it happen even whilst we sleep.
Be the Chief Excitement Officer – whether outsourcing your fundraising or managing a team ensure everyone has a clear brief with objectives and deadlines. Do not let go of the task completely it is your role to inject the passion and excitement into the project. You are the champion ensure the right message goes out.
Be creative – utilise the diversity within your team to trigger creative thinking. Pair up people who do not normally work together and set them a challenge. What can you do differently? How can you merge two seemingly disparate strategies to create a winning one? Get the team thinking in pairs then swap the pairs around. Join them up to make groups of four. See how many innovative ideas and strategies are created.
Model Excellence – if a strategy works for others it will work for you. Identify successful strategies employed by other fundraisers and organisations, break the strategy down into its component parts, elicit the sequence and then copy it or modify it to suit your organisation.
Mind Map – use blue tac to cover a wall with plain or reverse side of wallpaper. Write the objective big and bold in the centre then get everyone to contribute. Great for bid writing as each section heading can be marked out on the map and all members of the team can write their thoughts. This strategy works for big picture people and people who like detail.
Watch your language – communicate what you want and not what you don’t want. The mind does not process a negative. If I ask you not to think of George Osbourne – I bet you thought of him first and then tried to forget him? We want to ensure our unconscious mind searches for what we want and not for what we don’t want! Avoid using the word ‘try’ as it is giving you and your team permission to fail. When writing bids or pitching to a potential sponsor or donor pay attention to the words that they use and repeat them back to them. This is one way of gaining rapport and building trust.
Build your network – involve your stakeholders in the organisation. Share your success stories and don’t be afraid to ask for more.
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“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” – Flora Whittemore