Seven Qualities of a Successful Fundraiser

Dr Saumya Arora About Dr Saumya Arora

Dr. Saumya Arora is a development professional with cross-disciplinary experience in project management, resource mobilization, donor relationship management, community mobilization and project execution at the field level. She is currently working towards building fundraising and resource mobilization capacity of community-based organizations, apart from developing functional linkages with donors across the world.

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In this era of globalization and digitization of everything, methods and ways of fundraising are also transforming from conventional to very innovative and creative ones. A successful fundraiser needs to be dynamic, innovative and creative to get into the swing of fundraising. A dynamic and effective fundraiser is an asset for the organization. If you have a fundraiser in your organization, or you are planning to hire one, it will be worthwhile to ensure s/he has the following attributes. If you are into fundraising, here is a check-list of what can make you a successful fundraiser:

  1. Passion, confidence and creativity:

You believe in the cause you are supporting, or are raising funds for. So, you ‘ask’ confidently as you believe how your donor’s money can transform lives. You are creative and constantly willing to learn about new ways of connecting with people, asking what you need and why.

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  1. Story-telling craft:

You know that people love hearing beautiful stories of transformation in the lives of people, rather than just problems they face. While it is important to explain the cause, it is actually the hope of ‘bringing about the change’ that makes a donor tick.

  1. You know what to ask for and for what:

You understand the cause and the work of your organization completely. You are aware what resources are required, and for what purposes. If it is not just money and you need other resources as well, like expertise, you are well-aware of the plans and strategies. You can answer the donor’s queries about how you are going to make use of the resources you ask for.

  1. Humility and honesty:

You are humble while sharing the work and successes of your organization, and also acknowledge the efforts of the entire team that is making it possible. Honesty is one quality you vouch for, and are not afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I will get back to you about this’ in case of any doubts. You know it is better to be honest rather than misrepresenting facts or providing wrong information.

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  1. You understand the donor:

You undertake meticulous research about the donors you are approaching, and understand their requirements, portfolio, and business values too. Prior to approaching a donor, you conduct a detailed planning exercise with mapping of potential donors, and then approach them. You also know how to make a business case for your proposal, while making it meet their expectations and fitting into their business ideologies.

  1. Belief in networking:

Being into fundraising is a 360 degrees engagement, and it entails reaching out to people who matter, and building good and strategic relationships with them. You understand the importance of networking and maintain regular and meaningful communication with donors and prospective donors too.

  1. You’re a go-getter:

You set goals for yourself and your team, with focus on end results. While you know that it is not just your efforts which will bring in the funds but many other factors also come into play, you acknowledge the fact that fundraising is a skill to be acquired, and you diligently work towards mastering it!

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