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Fundraising secrets, tips & hints

Fundraising Idea of the Month:
Lessons and Strategies

by Doug Nash


Even successful people make mistakes and have to endure learning curves. What makes them successful is that they learn from their mistakes and seem to be able to shorten the learning curves.

The biggest mistake people make is not learning from their mistakes. The second biggest mistake is not to learn from others mistakes. This was told to me long ago. It has taken me a long time to understand the wisdom in these words.

Fundraising is not just like a business - it is a business. Business can not just be financially rewarding it can be rewarding in many ways that has nothing to do with finances. Business can be fun and fundraising must have a large fun element.

To help you along I have compiled a short list of one liners that carry messages and information not readily evident on first reading but is there if you are willing to be open to it. These are lessons and strategies learned from some very successful people who have taken the time to write them down so people like you and me can learn from them. Each one-liner could be expanded into a chapter of a book. However to do so would probably dilute it's impact and relevance to the reader. Better to keep it short so you can have the satisfaction of realizing all their facets like a well cut diamond.

  1. ALWAYS PLAN AS IF YOU KNOW YOU WILL SUCCEED
  2. HIRE SMART PEOPLE THAT YOU LIKE
  3. DON'T CHANGE YOUR STRATEGY BASED ON WHIMS
  4. BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR MISSION - EASY TO LOOSE DIRECTION
  5. BE FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ADAPT
  6. HAVE FUN AND BE CREATIVE
  7. PICK YOUR TEAM WITH AN EYE TO MAXIMISING THE DIVERSITY OF THEIR SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
  8. LET CRITICISM FALL INTO A BASKET CALLED MARKET RESEARCH NOT PERSONAL
  9. HELP YOUR WORKERS NAVIGATE THE ROLLERCOASTER OF TRYING SOMETHING NEW
  10. NEVER TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER
  11. STAY FOCUSED
  12. STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF AND YOUR FOUNDING MOTIVATION
  13. PEOPLE DECISIONS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ONES YOU WILL MAKE
  14. START WITH ONE BIG IMPORTANT IDEA, ONE THAT YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT AND PEOPLE BELIEVE IN
  15. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE TEAM
  16. BALANCE IN EVERYTHING YOU DO
  17. LEARN HOW TO THINK FAST AND MAKE DECISIONS FAST
  18. HAVE PATIENCE TO FIND AND HIRE THE RIGHT  PERSON
  19. PLANS DON'T MAKE SUCCESS, EXECUTION DOES
  20. IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO TRY SOMETHING NEW
  21. HIRE SMART PEOPLE
  22. EXECUTE. EXECUTE. EXECUTE.
  23. DO NOT BLINDLY BELIEVE THE EXPERTS
  24. TRUST YOURSELF
  25. LISTEN TO YOUR END USERS
  26. NEVER GIVE UP NO MATTER HOW HARD
  27. TAKE IT SERIOUSLY BUT NOT TOO SERIOUSLY
  28. SEE THE OPPORTUNITY NOT THE OBSTACLES
  29. DON'T GO IT ALONE
  30. LISTEN TO YOUR SUPPLIERS
  31. DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY
  32. GET THE BLESSING OF YOUR SPOUSE OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER BEFORE YOU PLUNGE IN
  33. EXPECT A ROLLERCOASTER
  34. SHARE THE SUCCESS, CREDIT AND PLAUDITS GENEROUSLY- THERE SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE
  35. IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT THE MONEY
  36. DON'T BE AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES
  37. COLLABORATIVE DECISION MAKING IS CRITICAL
  38. EXECUTION IS HARDER THAN DISCOVERING THE OPPORTUNITY
  39. THE ARE MANY TYPES OF INVESTOR
  40. GREAT PEOPLE ARE THE SCARCEST AND MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE
  41. IT'S LONELY
  42. PEOPLE MAKE IT ALL WORTHWHILE
  43. DON'T GET TOO EMOTIONAL ABOUT EQUITY
  44. IT IS EASIER TO SELL PAINKILLERS THAN VITAMINS
  45. ALLOW PEOPLE TO GROW
  46. IF YOU HAVE SAVINGS, CONSIDER INVESTING SOME OF THEM INTO YOUR ORGANISATION, EQUIPMENT AND PEOPLE
  47. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PROGRAMS AVAILABLE TO YOU, TAKE TIME TO FIND THEM IE FOR WOMEN
  48. BE CAREFUL THAT THE BENEFITS AND PERKS YOU MAKE AVAILABLE WILL NOT COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU
  49. LOOK FOR INNOVATIVE WAYS TO DISTRIBUTE YOUR MESSAGE, SERVICES AND BENEFITS
  50. RECRUIT  INSIDERS IN AREAS YOU HAVE TROUBLE IN IE MEDIA
  51. WORK WITH EXPERIENCED PERSONNEL
  52. REACH OUT TO OTHER LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
  53. DEVELOP A UNIQUENESS - SERVICE, FUNDRAISER  OR METHOD
  54. TAP INTO YOUR EXISTING RELATIONSHIPS - WHO DO YOU KNOW THAT CAN HELP
  55. DON'T AUTOMATICALLY ASSUME COMPETITORS CAN'T BE PARTNERS OR CUSTOMERS
  56. IF YOU HAVE A WEBSITE, THINK LOCAL AS WELL AS GLOBAL
  57. AT TIMES YOU WILL NEED TO  REINVENT THE BUSINESS AS YOU GO
  58. PICK YOUR AUDIENCE CAREFULLY
  59. LEVERAGE THE STRENGTHS OF YOUR PARTNERS
  60. DON'T RULE OUT HELPERS WHO DON'T IMMEDIATELY HAVE THE SKILLS YOU WANT
  61. BE A PEOPLE PERSON AND MASTER NET WORKER
  62. LEARN HOW TO TELL A GOOD STORY
  63. HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF AND LEARN AS YOU GO
  64. SITE PERFORMANCE IS THE KEY
  65. SPEND CAREFULLY
  66. REPUTATION IS PRICELESS
  67. BEFORE YOU PRESENT GET FEEDBACK
  68. EXPAND YOUR REVENUE SOURCE FROM ONE TO MULTIPLE
  69. UNDERSTAND THAT LIFE ISN'T ALWAYS FAIR
  70. LOOK FOR IDEAS THAT ARE SCALABLE AND HAVE LOW OVERHEADS
  71. PAY ATTENTION TO TRENDS
  72. SOLICIT CUSTOMER FEEDBACK AND RESPOND TO IT 
  73. YOU DON'T NEED AN MBA TO MAKE IT
  74. SEE THE OPPORTUNITY NOT THE OBSTACLES
  75. BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR SKILLS AND ABILITIES
  76. PROBLEMS AND FRUSTRATIONS CAN LEAD TO REALLY GOOD IDEAS
  77. TARGET YOUR PROMOTIONS
  78. WHEN IT COMES TO CUSTOMER SERVICE, THE LITTLE THINGS REALLY COUNT
  79. CONVEY YOUR ORGANISATIONS IMAGE AND MESSAGE AT EVERY OPPORTUNIT
  80. ANALYSE YOUR CUSTOMER SEGMENTS AND FINE TUNE YOUR ACTIONS TO FOCUS ON THE MOST PROFITABLE
  81. FOCUS ON PEOPLE RETENTION
  82. CONSIDER THE BENEFITS OF OUTSOURCING
  83. IF YOU CAN'T BE UNIQUE BE BETTER- MUCH BETTER
  84. WHEN YOU SEE A MARKET OPPORTUNITY MOVE QUICKLY
  85. REASSURE CUSTOMERS AND HELPERS EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
  86. DON'T GIVE UP ON A IDEA EVEN IF YOU REALISE IT IS AHEAD OF ITS TIME
  87. NURTURE AN ORGANISATIONS CULTURE FROM THE START
  88. KEEP A LOOKOUT FOR MISSED OPPORTUNITIES
  89. KEEP A LOOKOUT FOR NEW OPPORTUNITIES
  90. BE A SPONGE
  91. FOCUS ON THE LONG TERM


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About the Author:

Doug Nash lives in Logan City in Queensland, Australia. He has graciously consented to share a fundraising idea with us every month. Although many of the ideas aren't new, each of them has a unique flair that comes from being developed and refined half a world away from ours. Visit his web site at http://www.home.gil.com.au/~dnash/ for more fundraising ideas.



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