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Fundraising Idea of the Month:
Killer Communications

by Doug Nash

All organisations, no matter what their nature, succeed or fail mainly due to their ability to communicate. If they fail to let you know that they exist, why they exist and how you will benefit from their existence then their future may not be a rosy one nor very profitable. There are certain fundamental laws on what makes a successful organisation and this is one of them.

Consider the fact that advertising companies generate billions, yes billions!, of dollars each year the world over. As I have said elsewhere, if it is critical for a large commercial organisation to spend money and time on a specific action or point then it is a safe bet that your organisation would benefit from similar actions. Don't think I am simply talking about advertising here, sorry but there is a lot more to it than that. Communications cover the following areas:

  • conversations
  • speeches
  • email
  • newsletters
  • letters to the editor
  • manuals from a library
  • minutes of meetings
  • letters
Good communications do not involve nor need to cost a huge amount of money or cash. All in the above list are free. You do of course have the ability to ask others to do this on your behalf and at times that is a sensible action to take but this will always cost in one way or another. One giant advantage you have in these modern times is the plethora of books, videos and forums to help you develop your communication skills and structures at a relatively small investment and lets not forget the many advantages of the internet.

If you can not successfully get your message across to your staff and volunteers than how can they successfully communicate with the general public? How can you possibly succeed if you project a jumbled, amateurish and unappealing message. Ask yourself- what was your reaction to the last time you had such an experience with just such an organisation or individual?

There are two main areas of communication to consider, internal and external. You must be able to deliver your message equally well to those inside your organisation and to the area of the public that you wish to deal with. If you do one well and the other poorly then your success will be limited if not short-lived. You must develop your personal, verbal and written skills and expect that those in your organisation will do likewise. If you can't get your message across to your workers and volunteers, how can you motivate them or keep them focused on your what your organisation is trying to achieve?

In regards to the external communications, how can you expect to gain support for your cause or sell raffle tickets if you don't have a clear message and a method of delivery? Poor communications skills and strategies lead to frustration, poor results and high worker turnover.

You do not need to launch a huge program to improve your communications skills. Just make it a priority to be aware of this point as you go about your everyday business. A simple but effective idea is to have posters around where you go saying "Good communications are the key". This will place it in the forefront of everyone's' mind where it should be. If you use computers, have someone place this message in the screensaver. As you can see it can be very simple and cost-free.

Ask yourself constantly "Are they hearing what I am saying and do they understand?"

How you go about it is up to you, your circumstances are unique and no-one knows them like you do. Just remember the sooner you start the sooner you will see the results.

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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 for more fundraising ideas.

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