Thank you Meri-Margaret! At bbcon, I was sharing my new view on peer to peer fundraising with Meri-Margaret a friend and former colleague. We had a fun time discussing this topic, so here goes let me know your thoughts. I don’t think we have a fundraising problem, I think we have a marketing problem.
Now, I know what you’re thinking isn’t fundraising and marketing the same thing? Absolutely, unequivocally NO! Fundraising and marketing are two different disciplines.
Think about fundraising for a minute: What does it take to be a good fundraiser? What skills does a fundraiser need? What qualities are important for a fundraiser to possess? I posed this question to the twitter-verse and here are some of the responses I received: patience, commitment, passion, ability to listen and ability to ask without apologizing. Some that come to my mind are drive, motivation, determination and outgoing.
Next question: What qualities are important for a great marketer? How about: Analytical, researcher, creative and willingness to push the envelope or try new things.
Do you see the difference between fundraisers and marketers?
Here’s the problem in the P2P world; we combine fundraising and marketing. It’s time we start separating these activities. Of course budgets are tight and you may not have the luxury to have both a fundraiser and marketer on staff… and that’s okay. You can do both – the way to accomplish this is by first recognizing when you need to be a fundraiser and secondly knowing when you need to think like a marketer.
When am I a fundraiser? You’re a fundraiser when you’re recruiting new participants, developing a cultivation plan for your participants and attending your participant’s events – basically when you’re connecting with your participants in any offline activity.
When am I a marketer? You’re a marketer when you’re working on your communication plan – a creative and an analytical mind are required. Your goal as a marketer is to deliver the right message to the right group of people. Normally I would give an example here, but I’m not going to do it. Why… because I want you to attend my P2P boot camp session on Wednesday Nov. 6th! We’re spending the whole session tackling P2P marketing.
As professional fundraiser you make the greatest impact offline and as a marketer you can make the greatest impact online. The other day I saw the new Bank of America commercial. I think it does a great job telling the story of today’s world. We do activities online so we can live our lives offline. Check out the video here: Bank of America Best Friend
Are you wondering about the party planner part? Back in the day we used to say we’re fundraisers not party planners. Meaning our goal is raise money and not plan a party. The reality of life as a peer to peer fundraising manager or director is that you are in fact a: fundraiser, marketer and party planner. Sometimes you need to think about building relationships (fundraiser), getting people to take action (marketer) and creating a fabulous experience (party planner). The challenge is recognizing which hat your need to where when.
One step in the right direction is to attend Peer to Peer Fundraising Boot Camp! We’ll be discussing these concepts and hopefully you walk away with a few nuggets to help you reach your goals.