[ Guiding Principles ]
1. No two organizations are alike. Each has its own history, mission, successes, failures and personalities – all of which form its unique culture. Understanding and respecting that culture is critical to providing sound advice that can lead to real success. Customized consulting based on the particular needs and expectations of each organization is invariably the most effective course of action.
2. The three critical and absolutely indispensable players in the fundraising process are the CEO, the Board Chair (or other board representative) and Development Director. When these three players collaborate and are in synch about the development plan, their roles in that plan and the fundraising tasks at hand, fundraising success is most likely – and often unstoppable. Ensuring that this “three legged stool” is standing strong is essential.
3. Organizational change and committing to a “new way” is hard work. Accepting criticism – even constructive criticism – and realizing the way things have always been done is no longer working can be really challenging. This is especially true when it comes to fundraising and asking for money. Building trust and encouraging clients with utmost respect and sensitivity is always the best way forward.
4. The case for support is the unsung hero of fundraising success. It answers a donor’s fundamental question, Why should I give? Working with organizations to articulate – clearly, succinctly and compellingly – what they do, why they should be funded and what difference they can make is one of the most important exercises in the fundraising process.
Ann has been my fundraising mentor and coach for years through several positions and organizations, starting when I was in my formative years as a development professional. I tremendously value her honesty, insight, advice, can do spirit and savvy smarts about fundraising. It's in her spirit and bones. There’s not a fundraising problem that she hasn’t dealt with in her long career and I greatly appreciate her wisdom and wealth of experience.