How to become a great fundraiser
Updated: Aug 11
I am definitely biased, but fundraising is one of the greatest professions.
As a fundraiser, you take people on an incredible journey, guiding them through how to use their time, talent, and treasure to make a difference in the world. Done right; fundraising is magical. It enriches donors' lives, brings much-needed services to beneficiaries, and feels great for the fundraiser.
However, it takes considerable knowledge and skill to do fundraising well. So how do people learn how to fundraise effectively?
Well, this month, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr Beth Breeze, a professional fundraiser turned academic who has dedicated her career to studying fundraisers and philanthropists and sharing those insights with those of us at the coal face of fundraising.
You can also listen to the episode on Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/episode/72jW7WYRASfoAjuTLvenBE?si=57deb3968f33443a
The interview is one you definitely want to watch. However, the main takeaways are:
There is a rapidly growing body of knowledge on fundraising and philanthropy. While this is great, it can be overwhelming, so start with curated resources like www.sofii.org or Beth’s The Fundraising Reader and The Philanthropy Reader.
Ultimately, fundraising is something that you DO. Like swimming, it cannot be learned in books or in the classroom. You have to dive in and give it a go.
A good fundraiser is a good listener. You want to get the person you're asking to talk as much as possible to find out what they want from their philanthropy and their experience of the charity.
Practice makes perfect. Whether with a colleague, a loved one, a friend, a mentor or just in front of the mirror, practice, practice, practice.
Find something that you love to do. Passion will give you the energy to read books, watch videos, listen to podcasts, and attend courses.
It takes someone three years to write a book. In far less time, you can learn from their knowledge and experience.
You do not have to read every page of every book. Carefully read the introduction and conclusion and then skim through what is helpful in the rest of the book.
Stay curious! Curiosity will drive you to listen to your donors. It will also energise you to learn more about your work.
We hope you enjoy this episode, and do let us know your thoughts.