Early in my career a mentor taught me something I never forgot: You’re not being strategic unless you diversify your sources of revenue! Even though you may be sitting pretty right now, with a preponderance of funding coming from one or two major sources that seem dependable, you can’t assume this will always be the case. It’s…Details
I could just say (1) prepare, (2) prepare, (3) prepare, (4) prepare, (5) prepare, and (6) prepare.
Did I mention that you really need to prepare?
Preparation is the meta-message of Shark Tank’s “Mr. Wonderful,” Kevin O’Leary, to would-be entrepreneurs seeking to get spots – and funding – on the television show.
In “How to Present the Perfect Pitch: From the Shark Tank to the Boardroom” he offers 10 strategies to help you ace a fundraising pitch. Whether you’re seeking venture capital or a philanthropic gift, many of the principles are the same.
I’ve selected six strategies I find perfectly aligned with what it takes to make a successful nonprofit ask. I’ve also suggested some action tips. Take them to heart, and you’re sure to make your next in-person fundraising presentation a winner.
Oh, and there’s one more important thing, says O’Leary:
“The number-one rule is to make your pitch incredibly dynamic.”
Let’s do it!Details
When my daughter-in-law was interviewing for a job, she asked me for some advice. Here is what I found myself telling her:
Don’t focus on your needs. Focus on the employer’s needs.
Why are they hiring?
What problems do they need you to solve?
Which of your skills are they particularly looking for?
Can you describe to them how you might use these skills to help them?
Can you give a specific example, perhaps by telling a story, showing exactly how you’ll help them?
Are you clear what their values are?
CAN YOU DESCRIBE HOW YOU AND YOUR WOULD-BE EMPLOYER (DONOR) SHARE THESE VALUES?
I realized this is the exact same advice I give to fundraisers!
Meet your donors’ needs.
This is the heart of all effective fundraising, and the following should be your daily mantra.
“Today I will meet my donor’s need by…”
In fact, if you really want to become effective at your job, you will adopt this mantra for your interactions with co-workers as well.
“Today I will meet my colleague’s need by…”
This shift in your stance and approach may not seem like a lot, but it’s actually a game changer. By beginning with putting yourself in the shoes of another, you automatically open yourself to giving and receiving gifts. And I often say if you want gifts you must give them.