Successful fundraising is all about connections—connecting donors with the mission; sharing stories about how donors’ gifts directly impact the mission. Successful organizations share stories about their needs, the benefits and an example of how donations make a difference in fulfilling the mission. The really savvy fundraisers will follow up with key stakeholders as to the direct impact their gifts provided to the organization. We featured our stories in our thank you letters.
It’s a professional fundraiser’s greatest nightmare. You’re standing in front of a group of 200 people at your fundraising auction and no one is bidding on anything. This actually happened to me. If we had held the auction at a funeral, it would have been livelier and just as productive.
What could be worse than planning an outdoor gala in Florida with its unpredictable afternoon rains, swarming mosquitos and humidity heavy enough to melt coifs in seconds? “Our auctioneer is drunk,” my assistant said.
Orlando-based Wade and Barbara West are co-owners of the American Fundraising Association, a nonprofit organization specializing in fundraising auctions. I sat down with the Wests, former television news anchors who have more than 1,800 fundraising auctions under their belt, to hear their thoughts about common mistakes made at fundraising auctions.
With the right approach, you can break through the noise, achieve your fundraising goals and strengthen ties to your core audience.