Thwack was the sound that a clutch of paper pledges made when proudly slapped onto the desk of my manager.
Between 2005 and 2008 - my peak fundraising years, thwack was my favourite sound. Sadly, this noise can no longer be heard as its successor would make a crack performing the same task and you’d owe your company $500 to fix the screen.
The thwack was the sound that triggered the most joy in my life, closely followed by the ‘yes’ of a new donor and the ‘thanks’ of my fundraisers.
A thwack meant that your entire team had smashed the results. As an f2f fundraiser you were warmed by the personal victory and as a team leader you were elated by the spirit and skill of those you’d trained. The thwack was my crack.
I used to rate these years as the best of my fundraising career – that is, until I worked charity side for a couple of years. It turns out that, as successful as I was throughout my career, I probably should have learned a few things before stepping foot on the streets to sign up my first donors – so here are a few of them:
Honest and timely communication with my charity client is the most profitable commodity.
T-shirts and jackets cost a lot of money and need to be returned – all of them.
Working in a location that the client was not advised of can be a serious issue that negatively impacts stakeholders.
The pitch cards and materials provided are the right tools for the job. As a fundraiser you can feed back preferences but have no right to make edits or create new ones.
My pay was not directly correlated with the success of the campaign.
Not all ‘quality-focussed’ approaches trained to you by your manager are ‘quality-focussed’.
What attrition is and how I can positively impact it – further than not telling people to cancel after a month.
Making up a pitch based upon the ideas of the fundraiser rather than the work of the charity is not a sustainable way to run a campaign.
I hope this informs your fundraising and helps and/or helps you manage your suppliers.