"Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant"
This month, the Donor By Design Group is challenging you to take action, moving from resolutions to results. Today’s topic? Build a winning team.
I recently spent some time with a non-profit CEO who spoke about the importance of volunteers to an organization. He said that of all the things someone can give you — time, talent or treasure — time is the one thing that cannot be replenished.
One of the more interesting trends we’ve noticed in capital campaigns is a shift in leadership structure. Instead of individual chairs, we’re commonly seeing co-chairs, tri-chairs, honorary chairs and more. While this may seem like a suspect idea at first – if everyone is in charge, no one is in charge – it turns out to work really well in this critical volunteer capacity.
One of our core beliefs is that you’re only as strong as the team you surround yourself with. That’s true for the Donor By Design team, and we see it over and over again in the staff and volunteer teams we work with.
I recently visited with the staff of a local nonprofit organization.
We were reviewing their 2014 campaign and discussing strategies for 2015. As usual, we talked about renewals and new prospects. We also talked about where executives’ and board members’ time is best spent. How do we cultivate our closer friends now to have the right to ask for an annual major gift in a few months? This question is critical to enhancing the major gifts portion of any annual campaign, and will also be a cultivation step for future capital giving for these annual donors.
But one executive put it perfectly when identifying what’s good use of her time right now. Simply put, she said “don’t water the rocks!”
What does it mean to “not water the rocks”?
Those of you who have followed my blogs or have attended a presentation I’ve given know that one of my favorite fundraising axioms is Leadership is Everything.
Part of any fundraising campaign involves the solicitation of gifts from board and staff. Sometimes we call this the “family campaign.” It often comes at the beginning of an annual effort or during the “quiet phase” of a capital campaign.
As I travel around the country working with clients, I always emphasize the importance of finding the right volunteer leaders for your fundraising endeavors. These are usually outgoing “ring leaders” whom others rally around. They have a huge impact on campaign success.