Turn Colleagues into Powerful 2018 Fundraisers

all-org team of messengers

We’re springboarding into 2018 fundraising with all of its challenges. Tax bill, anyone?

Joking aside, it may seem like your team’s hard work and limited resources aren’t enough. You know how much you could bring in, if only…

Good news! There is a way to move past this seemingly insurmountable barrier—Launch a team of messengers to drive your 2018 campaigns to a strong finish. Enlist your colleagues and board members to boost your nonprofit’s reach and relationships for little or no cost. The best part? They’re already motivated to help you reach your goals.

Take these three steps to identify, inspire, and launch your giving ambassadors:

1) Focus messengers on a particular campaign element
When it comes to messages, less is more. Define a clear and narrow goal for your team of messengers—It could be talking up your current campaign to friends and family over coffee or Kahlua, or urging their peeps to give the moment a leading gift comes in the door.

A super-specific focus makes it easier for you to train your messengers, and more likely they’ll feel confident and competent in spreading the word to their personal networks.

2) Select your messengers with care
Identify a small group of folks most likely to succeed as your first team of messengers. I recommend you start in-house with selected colleagues for your first time out (it’s a learning opportunity for all of you—add in board members and other supporters down the line). Select colleagues with a public-facing staff role, robust network (social media network, in-person relationships, or both), and/or the personality to be an effective messenger. You can mix and match these traits to recruit a powerhouse team of fundraisers, but passion has to be a common denominator.

3) Ask for their help and tell them what they’ll get in return
When you ask your people to be messengers, explain how they’ll make a real difference in driving donations this year and beyond. Then, give them a step-by-step description of what you want them to do.

Most importantly, stress the WIIFM (what’s in it for me or what they’re going to get out of it personally). WIIFM may be the opportunity to do something outside of their till-now job descriptions, honing their speaking and fundraising skills, or doing everything they can to ensure you move your mission forward.

These first messengers are your “guinea pigs.” Be straight about that, thanking them in advance for joining you in productive experimentation. Keep the total number manageable—far better to succeed on a small scale now and build from there.

Take these three steps NOW to build your in-house team of fundraising ambassadors. They’ll boost your reach and results. Trust me; it’s going to be a productive 2018!

More tips and techniques for launching your team of ambassadors:

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Nancy Schwartz on December 19, 2017 in All-Org Marketing Team | 1 comment
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