leveraging program staff

Your program staff can be an invaluable resource to fundraising efforts. The more opportunities you give them to spend time with donor prospects, the better those prospects will understand your mission.

Here are three ways to get your program staff more involved with fundraising:

1. Make an introduction to those most engaged in the heart of the mission

If your donors are directly involved in the mission through volunteerism, then chances are your program staff might know more about your donors than you. Ask your program staff to go through your list of prospects to identify those who are most passionate about the mission. Program staff can be wary of every volunteer being solicited for a gift (even if it’s a good idea), so this gives an opportunity to share their opinion. They’ll likely keep an open eye for donor prospects in the future, too.

2. Help segment your list by interest/identity

The Agitator has been offering several ideas around data segmentation recently. They suggest that the most effective way to segment is not necessarily the traditional RFM, but by their identity – what they care about most. Ask your program staff to categorize the three main programs you offer and identify which constituents fit most clearly into each bucket. Now you have three segments and can appeal to them based on the particular items they care most about.

3. Involve them in office tours

You may be a great storytelling fundraiser, but your program staff likely have more stories of direct impact because they’re on the ones with the boots on the ground. They probably have a handful of program recipients who they can train to join them in an office tour. The main thing here is to realize that program staff may have more direct resources at their disposal to help facilitate a heart-wrenching office tour. Plus, this is a great way for program recipients to give back to the mission through their storytelling.

So don’t let your program staff only sit in the program silo! Even if they’re a bit uncomfortable at first, participating in these activities will deepen their passion for the mission – and your organization’s relationship with donors.

How else have you used program staff in fundraising efforts? Let me know in the comments below!

Rodney Frederick

Rodney Frederick

Senior Account Executive at Bloomerang
Rodney Frederick is a Senior Account Executive at Bloomerang. Previously, he was Chief Program Officer at Starfish Initiative where he helped double the number of program participants while reducing annual programming costs by 32%.