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Fundraising is a Team Effort

No doubt you get many emails every day. However, today, you receive a random email from someone at a foundation asking to meet with you about your organization. Wonder if it's official? Ignore the email thinking it's spam? Would your respond?

This actually happened to me at a nonprofit I led. I chose to reply to the email. What have I go to lose, right? I'm glad I did. The email led to a phone conversation which led to a meeting with the founders of the foundation. They were interested in touring our programs and learning more about them. They also wanted to learn about our finances and how the organization operated.

The meeting was set. I looped in my Director of Programs for the first part of the tour. We all met at one of our facilities. The tour went well, and the founders asked a lot of meaningful questions. I knew my Director of Programs was passionate about the work and very good at her job. She lived in that world and could share success stories and challenges. It made sense to include her in the conversation.

The second half of the meeting included my Director of Operations who was good with numbers and had been with the organization longer than me. He provided historical context and stability with the length of time he’d been there. We all shared lunch together and continued the conversation.

In the end, the founders made a $30,000 gift to the organization over two years. We continued to steward the relationship and received an extra $5,000 at our annual gala.

Unexpected opportunities will arise and you need to be ready.

It makes sense to include the right people in the right conversations. Fundraising is a team effort and should involve staff, board and volunteers when appropriate.

Afterall, strong healthy organizations lead with a culture of philanthropy.

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