Effective Development Professionals: 3 Basic Truths

By Charity Fundraising - April 30th, 2014

Since non-profits are so diverse in their strategies, tactics, and development needs, the term ‘non-profit’ is sometimes seems like the only thing organizations in this industry have in common. Every non-profit is different. Therefore, every non-profit has different capabilities and strengths as well as different needs and weaknesses.

A successful non-profit, however, has been seen to have specific core traits at the foundation of their organization. Here are the three basic truths that are at the roots of every effective development professional’s organization. These professionals understand:

1) Personal Interaction with Donors and Prospects is crucial.
Using the telephone as a primary fundraising tool sets highly effective fundraisers apart. In this technology-driven world, organizations loose personal interaction and genuine relationships with their donors by emailing instead of calling. A non-profit cannot survive without its donors. Successful fundraisers understand the importance donors have on the health and stability of the organization. Phone calls provide personal contact directly and quickly with the most vital proponent of the non-profit. Switching from projects, email, voicemail, and social media throughout the day, office workers can drastically loose productivity and efficacy.

2) A Strong Team equates to a Strong Organization.
So, strengthen your team! Internal personnel are the backbone of any non-profit. A strong internal structure, also, is the single best way in broadening your network and reaching more donors. Since they are already committed to the cause, asking current donors, volunteers, board members and friends for referrals at least once per year. Holding the most influence, non-profit’s board of directors is a major source of development support for the organization. Thus, successful development professionals work hard to strengthen and add to their board of directors.

3) A Successful Organization Must Maintain Multiple Revenue Streams.
When a non-profit relies on too few revenue streams, the loss of on stream can send the organization into complete havoc. Development Professionals understand that diversifying revenue streams helps stabilize and strengthen an organization. That is not to say that prioritizing revenue streams is key. Highly effective fundraisers do not overlook the law of opportunity cost, spending time and energy focused on specific activities that result in the highest rewards for their non-profit. Always diversifying and testing new things does not inhibit fundraisers from keeping what works and cutting the rest.

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