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Why you need to be the chief fundraiser for your nonprofit

Charlie Paparelli is president of High Tech Ministries, angel investor and blogger. He recently had a blog post about startups, that is relevant to nonprofits as well. The following is my selection and edit of key points relevant to why the Executive Director needs to be the chief fundraiser. From Charlie’s post: Here are three reasons you, as an Executive Director, must do your own fundraising.
  1. Fundraising clarifies your vision.
  2. Fundraising sharpens your strategy.
  3. Fundraising builds key investor relationships.
The more investors you get in front of, the harder you work on your message. Raising money starts with talking to those you know and eventually leads to those you don’t know. These strangers don’t have the same tolerance as your friends when listening to your pitch. If it takes too long to describe the problem your company solves, you’ll see these strangers check out. This causes you to refine your pitch. Eventually, you’ll be able to describe your vision in a way that people understand immediately. This can only come by continually getting in front of people and seeing how they react firsthand. The Executive Director can’t coach someone to do this. They must do it. Donors see lots of presentations. They have seen what works and what doesn’t work. Their objections to your business plan are rooted in experience. When you hear doubts or concerns about your strategy, you need to listen and learn. The process of pitching your investment opportunity will help you build a better strategy. You cannot outsource donor relationship building. Donors invest in you. Not people who work for you. You are the Executive Director. If you don’t think I am important enough to contact personally, then I’m not interested in hearing about your nonprofit. Simple as that. Sign up for Charlie’s semiweekly blog posts here: http://paparelli.com/