David Katz, International Director of Ohr Torah Stone, took a few minutes from his busy schedule to meet with the Fellows last week. His topic was a much-anticipated one amongst some of the fellows as they were thirsty to hear his opinions/perspectives on fundraising—something that his organization has been very successful at.
He told us first and foremost, to get over a fear of rejection. It’s not personal, and we cannot take it personally. Furthermore, a ‘no’ today does not mean a ‘no’ forever, and they could still become a potential donor in the future—keep them in the loop!
He also said that it is essential to take the time to do serious research on the foundations or donors before meeting and before even asking. Make sure you know what you’re talking about, and who are the people whose time you are taking. When you get the meeting, plan on another one. Look around the space to pick up clues to make a personal connection. The more you can understand and enter into the world of the donor, the more likely you are to succeed. One tactic is to come from the other direction. Look at similar organizations and see who is giving to them.
Not only do we need to know the donor well, as silly as it may sound, we need to know ourselves very well. In other words, we must be 100% sure and clear why we are seeking funds and in what amount of time we can show specific results. Think clearly and carefully before each meeting with a potential donor, and review from our side and the specifics about this donor.
Fundraising is about relationships. Keep it that way! Nurture the friendship that is there. Stay in contact like you would with any friend: email, phone calls, favors, check-ins, etc. Most important is to maintain connection after they have given. Not only hakarat hatov, but understand that the “thank you” is the beginning of the next round of donations.
See you all at Launch Night on 28 June! RSVP Here: http://www.threshold.org.il/threshold-launch-night-rsvp/