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"Jill’s enthusiasm and easy-to-understand presentation gave me the confidence to move forward in the grant writing aspect of development… [more]"

–  Julie Fahrbach
    Goodwill Industries of NW Ohio

Fundraising To ask or not to ask…that's really NOT the question!

Jill Pranger, ACFRE, on change…or not
“Neither the old nor the new are 'right'. Remember what was good, consider
what might be good, and find the mix that will result in better yet!”

Your most precious asset...a brief quiz!

As a fundraising professional, your most precious asset is:
1.  the endowment fund;
2.  your CEO;
3.  the annual fund;
4.  your volunteers.

Your regularly recognize the valuable work of your volunteers by:
1.  calling to thank them for their commitment to the organization;
2.  presenting them with small "tokens" of appreciation at a Board or committee meeting;
3.  hand writing a thank you note and sending it to their home;
4.  all of the above.

In addition, you recognize the importance of your volunteers by:
1.  remembering to say, "Happy Birthday" at the Board meeting closest to their special day;
2.  asking about their family, business, or vacation;
3.  remembering their answer to #2...and asking them about it next time you see them;
4.  all of the above.

And finally, you always remember that your volunteers:
1.  have the best interest of the organization at heart;
2.  have experience and expertise that might be useful in your work together;
3.  are giving a wonderful gift...themselves;
4.  all of the above.

If you chose number four in each case, give yourself a pat on the back.

We all know that volunteers are critical to our success, but do we truly respect this and act on it?  How can we best encourage our volunteers in their work with us?

First, by recognizing that we are partners with our volunteers...each bringing experience, knowledge, and passion to our work.

Second, by recognizing that volunteers don't have to work with us.  There are many, many other organizations they can choose to work with and there are many, many other activities with which they can fill their time.

Third, by recognizing the "above and beyond" commitment of our is critical that we understand the depth of their desire to help.

And finally, by recognizing that we can learn something from each of our volunteers every time we interact with them.  This might be the best gift we can give to them!

So, the next time you see a volunteer, thank them personally for all they bring to your organization and for all you have learned from them.  This will be a most welcome conversation and strong motivator for you both.  Also, don't forget to ask about their kids!