One of the most important decisions you will make as you embark on any fundraising effort is the recruitment and selection of volunteer leadership.
One of my recent client campaigns had identified a potential campaign chair who was very successful in the marketplace. He had huge work responsibilities and an even a bigger calendar. We knew that he was the right one to lead the campaign. We were certain that if he stepped forward others would too and that his leadership giving would set the pace for all other gifts to the campaign.
However, the consensus of staff and other volunteers was that he was too busy for our campaign. Too busy to make time for this cause. Too busy for us to ask.
I convinced the staff and volunteers to let HIM make the decision whether or not he was “too busy” to serve. Much to the group’s surprise he agreed to serve as chair of the campaign. Others got involved because of him and significant gifts were made because of his giving. The campaign was an early success, due in big part to the selection of the right leader.
Recently I had the opportunity to share a meal with this great leader. We reminisced a bit about the success of the campaign and all of the good that will come from our collective efforts for years to come. At the end of the meal he locked eyes with me and said, “thank you for the privilege of serving as the campaign chair. The campaign came at a time when I needed it more than you know. It provided me with some needed purpose and an opportunity to do something beyond myself and work responsibilities.”
What we might see as work or added responsibilities, our volunteers and campaigners see as a privilege. This is noble work. This is life-changing work for the volunteers, donors and recipients of our collective generosity.
Manage, encourage and inspire your volunteers toward this privilege of purpose.
Leadership is everything.