What would you do if you knew you would not fail in an epic fashion? Probably raise support for your favorite mission, right? Unfortunately, there are some missteps that are common on the fundraising journey. In this episode of the Good to Growth Podcast, Katie talks to fundraising expert Jack Alotto, MA, CFRE about three of the most common “epic fails” in fundraising.
Epic Fail #1: Not realizing what you’re actually doing.
You’re cause selling! That’s right! While fundraising is about relationship building, vision casting, and even a bit of advocacy, it is the act of selling a cause. Jack explains how the first epic failure is failing to realize that you need to sell the cause you’re representing. The Fundraising Academy (where Jack teaches) built a complete curriculum around the art of cause selling, and mastery of it can amplify any fundraising career. Jack offers some helpful pointers on developing the skills to sell your cause.
Epic Fail #2: Not asking for referrals.
Working from the inside out, Jack recommends starting with your board of directors for referrals. He boldly states that “the board’s role in fundraising is inescapable!” They’re also (hopefully) your most qualified referral sources. After all, they already believe in your mission and have values that align with it. Jack suggests building off their patronage by praising their support and asking them to connect you with similar individuals. Calling out what you appreciate about your board of directors and asking them who of their peers is similar is not only flattering, but it can also be highly effective in terms of social engagement of your donors.
Epic Fail #3: Go listen to the episode!
Jack’s third area of caution is one we’ve all experienced. Give it a listen!