One definition of a champion is a person who fights or argues for a cause or on behalf of someone else. Finding a volunteer champion for your growing organization should be one of your top priorities. This is a person who is willing to pick up the phone and call someone to introduce you. . .who is not afraid to ask his/her friends or community leaders for a commitment. . .and even drop everything to come to help you for a solicitation, meeting or a function.
Last week I had a meeting with a major benefactor to an institution that is starting a $100+ million capital campaign. We had a great conversation about the work of this institution and what it means to him to be involved in the fundraising framework. I told him that we were trying to meet with someone but weren’t having much luck, and without asking him if he would help, he paused and picked up his phone. He called this person on their cell phone and told them that it was important they meet with me and that he would be joining us at the meeting. He then told me when they need something he is willing to drop everything and help out if it will advance their mission.
Granted this is rare. Some of our most successful campaigns have had champions (leaders) willing to go the extra mile to step up and make things happen. Who do you have on your board, advisory council, volunteers or friends who are willing to help further your mission in terms of time and money? In relationships we look for people who will make us a priority.
Who is making your organization a priority? Have you identified any potential champions for your growing organization who will invest in your success and help you find other people who will do so as well? In one of our more recent campaigns we found a $10 million donor who became the chair of the campaign. Five years prior he didn’t know about this growing organization but through cultivation and inquiry he made that charity a priority.
The only thing that makes life possible
is permanent, intolerable uncertainty;
not knowing what comes next.”
Written by: Paul D’Alessandro
Founder and Chairman