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Leveraging Leadership for Social Fundraising Success

You can be a fundraiser AND everyone is a philanthropist! With the nonprofit culture changing, so is fundraising. The number of fundraising programs have increased over the past few years; product fundraising, events, annual funds, major gifts, grants, corporate giving, employee giving programs, foundation relations, estate planning, the list goes on. Are you wondering how you make your organization stand out? One approach is to develop a culture of philanthropy. This means that you will work on building a collaboration of emerging community leaders/volunteers who will join forces and work towards putting resources together for the public good.

Fundraising is much more than asking for a check that will support your organization’s mission. Corporations, Foundations, and individuals alike are rethinking their giving procedures and priorities. In fact, many companies are beginning to think about their philanthropy program as a way to benefit their employees and their needs. Foundations are seeking collaborative approaches to serve more grass-roots organizations, and individuals are getting more involved through social media, volunteering, blogs, giving circles, petitions, and activism.

Corporations, foundations, and individuals all have one thing in common – they want a relationship with your organization and its mission. So, how do you promote authentic engagement opportunities at your organization?

Here are a few simple ideas you may consider:

  • BE REAL - Be more transparent and relational;

  • TRAIN - Offer emerging leadership training to your volunteer groups and to your staff;

  • UNDERSTAND – Understand your value proposition;

  • ASK - Ask your emerging leaders/volunteers to promote the organizational mission through social media stories, giving circles, and other campaigns and be sure to create an easy way for anyone to support the organization in various ways;

  • GET OUT THERE - Any opportunity you can share a story about the impact of your organization, do it! Tweet about it, post pics on Facebook, Instagram, and create your organization’s story on Snap Chat and present at every meeting you can get to;

  • CREATE A WIN-WIN - If you are engaging companies, offer ways for their employees to get involved or think about how to create opportunities for internships and/or leadership training at their company.

By: Michelle Cole, MA and Lisa Lopez, MPA

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