Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. Venus citizenship makes us better and justifies an entire month dedicated to us…..among the rest of our greatness. 🙂
In honor of Women’s History Month, I will be highlighting a few women who have put their handprint in the world of charity, philanthropy and fundraising.
To kick things off, thought I’d start with the woman I know best: Me. 🙂 Allow me to share some ‘know how’ that has helped me along the way. Hopefully it will help you too.
I’m a woman, hear me roar!!!
Tip #1: Be Grateful!
Man, do you know how far “thank you” goes? When people give financially (especially when they don’t otherwise have it) and businesses donate their resources, they aren’t doing it because they need to, they are doing it to support YOU. As fundraisers it can be difficult to exhibit how much we really appreciate our donors. The least you can do is send a note of thanks. Check out Vistaprint. They have the cutest design ideas for personalized thank you cards and note cards- AND they are hella affordable! (If your budget allows, little trinkets such as key chains, magnets or mini notepads can go a long way too.)
We should also always be cultivating our relationships- especially when we don’t need anything. A call to say hello or maybe invite your donors out for a drink. No matter what you do to say thank you, saying it (plus a smile) goes a long way.
Tip #2: Say Yes to “No”
I know, I know in the civic world all things should begin and end with ‘yes’. However, there are times when certain people, places and things just don’t fit into the mission and goals of your project or campaign. “No” may be harsh to say flat out….so try this: “We really appreciate your kindness and thank you for thinking of us. However, we are unable to meet the expectations of your offer for this project. We will keep your information in our database and look forward to working with you. “<—That says ‘no’ in a nice way and still keeps the door open.
You just may not want your project being sponsored by *ahem* The Boom-Boom Room.
Tip #3: Don’t Over Extend Yourself
I have a personal rule in this stage of my life: I am only on one Board at a time.
Why? Because it’s A LOT of work! Lol.
While serving on a board of directors has it’s level of prestige, your time management should take precedence. Sometimes as civic leaders we take for granted the level of dedication it really takes to be effective to our organizations. Board work requires time. Time means outreach to donors, meetings, conference calls, emails to fellow board members, at the least. While on Board A, we’re also in grad school, managing that project at work, trying to plan your bff’s 30th bday surprise party, having Sunday brunch with the gals, kicking it with the Boo, making time to see the ‘rents….and did I mention you have a financial commitment for EACH Board as well?
That said, your professional and personal commitments should determine your genuine level of availability to commitment to a non-profit’s Board. At the end of the day the success of the organization is a reflection of you. Be fair to yourself and fair to your organization.
Well, that will do it for now.
…..Next time I’ll be sharing insight from Jodi Brockington. Jodi introduced me to this world of giving and I couldn’t be happier to share her wealth of knowledge! Get ready!!!