Over the course of the last month, I’ve had an opportunity to talk about the role fundraising coaches play in the event fundraising space at a new client engagement and at Run Walk Ride. If you’re a faithful reader of mine, you know this is a topic I hold near and dear to my heart.

Having gotten my start in the event fundraising world as a fundraising coach, I consider it an honor to be able to oversee and lead our passionate and dedicated fundraising coaching team here at Event 360. They are the very best at what they do for lots of reasons. But what I believe sets our team apart, and what you can aim to integrate into your organization, is that we operate under one fundamental belief: Every reactive contact is an opportunity to offer proactive fundraising support.

My colleague Paula pointed this out last year during another client engagement and it’s a theme that I’ve seen ring true as I’ve paid more attention to it. Regardless of why someone picks up the phone or sends an email, we capitalize on having that constituent’s attention for just a little bit and swoop in to move the conversation into fundraising.

Someone may call and ask about event logistics- where to be and when to be there. Our response is usually something like this, “The event will get started at 7:30 a.m., but we recommend giving yourself plenty of time to account for many people coming and going. While I have you on the line, I wanted to take this opportunity to ask how your fundraising is coming along. I’ve seen you’ve already raised $400. Congratulations! Tell me what you’re doing and how I can help you keep going.”

In this day and age where connecting with people 1:1 gets a little trickier with how busy we all are, it’s important that your organization looks for these opportunities to influence the behavior you want to see in your event fundraising participants by steering the conversation in that direction.

Here are three behaviors your organization can integrate into any conversation to support a culture of fundraising:

  1. Acknowledgement: Take the time to acknowledge the commitment each constituent is making by participating in your event, and, as appropriate, their continued involvement with your organization.
  2. Gratitude: Never miss an opportunity to say thank you. For dollars raised. For loyalty to your event and organization. For being committed to your mission. Just say thank you. It goes a long way!
  3. Support: Always end each conversation by telling your constituents who they can reach out to for help with any questions they may have- especially when it comes to fundraising. Your constituents need to know that the commitment they make is matched by the support your organization offers.

Whether there’s an established resource to act as the role of a “fundraising coach”, be sure anyone who’s providing support on your front lines know how crucial their role is simply by asking about fundraising at every chance they interact with your constituents. I promise you’ll be better for it in the long run!

“Fast Fundraising Tips” blog posts are featured monthly. A passionate advocate of event fundraising and customer service, Molly Fast has been working as an event fundraiser since 2002. As the daughter of a 13-year breast cancer survivor, cancer has hit very close to home and Molly has dedicated herself to helping others see their potential in making this world a better place. At Event 360, Molly combines her love of customer service with event fundraising. When she’s not taking photos in Santa Monica, where she lives with her husband and their black lab Clancy, Molly can be found wandering around Ireland. You can find Molly on Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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