It’s true – each of us can make a difference. And that difference is compounded – or leveraged – when we work together. This is true in life and in the life of nonprofit fundraising.
It’s possible that just maybe you feel that your nonprofit is short on the kind of volunteer leadership that can make a difference. Or maybe you feel your leadership is spread thin as they – or you! – are serving multiple nonprofits. You wonder: will we be a priority, or last in line? Perhaps you awake in the night with the realization that you really do have a shortage of talent, skills, and experience amongst your volunteer leadership. If you find yourself in one of these situations, we propose a solution: extend your efforts by asking each campaign leader and/or board member to recruit a fund buddy.
What is a fund buddy? First of all, this is an individual that you recruit to work with you. This is a person you know, not someone you are paired with by someone else. Your fund buddy should be an individual who believes in the mission, values and goals of your organization. Ideally, they have a working knowledge of the organization and its impact. If they don’t, they need the willingness to learn. They need to be able to help you meet your fundraising goal. This means they also need to put in time to work with you. They should be willing to make a gift of their own, and able to make the case and ask for a gift, grant, or investment. They should be open to reaching out to their friends and associates for a gift.
Ideally your fund buddy should be a person you have worked with before, perhaps someone who “owes” you a favor, based on a similar type of activity you engaged in on their behalf. Maybe it is someone who – like you – takes pride in their community and seeks opportunities to be involved and to get others involved and giving. They should be a team player who is not afraid to ask for money or resources; someone with a proven track record; whose word is their bond; who won’t take no for an answer. Did we say dependable? We think you get the picture.
Working with a fund buddy lightens the load and increases the people and resources who can make a difference in your nonprofit’s fundraising. Most organizations grapple with board members who are committed but spread too thin, or uncomfortable with fundraising. This model extends the number of people involved in fundraising and opens the door to creativity, new relationships, and new donors. A fund buddy has less responsibility than a board member – they don’t need to focus on policy, staffing, budgets, and strategic direction. They simply partner with you for a short period of time to raise money for a cause they believe in.
Your fund buddy is someone you enjoy working with and together you can accomplish more than you could on your own.
[Copyright 2022 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Video and phone conferencing services always available. Let us help you grow your fundraising. Call us at (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com.]