Communicating Within Your Fundraiser

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Organizing a fundraiser has a lot of moving parts and requires planning and cooperation from your staff. One of the most important areas of a fundraiser is communication. Without planning and having an understanding of who you will be communicating with you will run the risk of having to do a lot more work than necessary to know what is going on.

One of the first things to do before starting your fundraiser is create a plan. According to Christina Relacion, a contributer to the Cathexis Partners blog, you'll want to "write down every step you will need to complete for the campaign" from launch to promotion and finishing with a wrap-up. Having more visibility on the fundraiser can help you assign roles for staff and volunteer members for each step. This will also help make sure that staff and volunteers know what messages to stick to as well as what they are expected to do.

Extra planning will also help determine defined messages for your target out-of-house audiences: donors and sponsors. Relacion recommends keeping a communications calendar to help visualize your messages on a timeline and help keep conflicting information from spreading.

Planning will help a lot in the bigger picture of your fundraiser but you will also want to focus on interpersonal communication. Maintaining an understanding, says Neel Burton M.D., is important for "mak[ing] sure that [a] concept has been understood". This goes for role expectations for staff and volunteers along with understanding what a sponsor will or cannot provide. Using clear and plain language will help you inform the other party without any extra complexity that may distract from the point.

Being clear about what your aim is for your fundraiser can help you in many ways. Knowing who and what role people will have within your fundraiser will help you communicate with them better. Defined messages can keep your out-of-house communications more focused. Maintaining understanding with direct and concise speaking helps to combat any assumptions.

“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Sources:

How to Create a Communications Plan for Your Nonprofit Organization’s Next Fundraising Campaign - Christina Relacion, Aug 1, 2017

The 10 Golden Rules of Communication - Neel Burton M.D., Jul 6, 2012



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