Fundraising meetings can be productive, inspiring affairs or they can be colossal wastes of time. Anyone who has been to or even held any type of meeting knows that meetings can go either way. The goal is to make your next fundraising meeting as productive as possible. (More info about planning and taxes.)
How To Begin Your Fundraising Meeting
Begin your meeting on time. If you want others to take your meeting seriously then you have to set the tone. A sense of decorum should be maintained throughout the meeting. While you may wish to have a meeting that is friendly and informal you still have to maintain order, otherwise the meeting could easily turn into unproductive chatter.
Start off with a recap of what happened in the previous meeting as well as any other relevant past information. Welcome everyone to the meeting and give a quick overview of the meeting topics. This should be brief.
Know the course that the meeting will take. People will not believe that you can handle running a fundraiser if you cannot handle running a meeting. Use your fundraiser meeting as a forum for demonstrating your leadership skills.
Keeping Your Meeting Focused
Keeping your meeting focused is one of the most important parts of running a successful meeting. You want to know exactly what you are going to talk about and how much time is allowed for the discussion of each topic. Everyone has been to a meeting that seems to go on forever. Set the pace and you’ll be able to accomplish your goals and keep those in attendance interested. Keeping your meetings focused will make the attendees feel like they’re a part of a productive cause and they’ll be more likely to attend future meetings.
Be prepared for the meeting. The quality and efficiency of the meeting will be a direct result of your preparedness or lack thereof. Create a simple, focused agenda that is no longer than one page.
The more topics you cover in the course of a single meeting, the less focused you can be on any of those individual topics. This is why you want to narrow your focus to a few pressing topics. Other more minor concerns can be handled at another meeting or outside of the meeting setting.
Remember Your Audience
Many – if not all – of those in attendance at your fundraiser meeting will be volunteers. They have the option of coming to each fundraiser meeting and supporting the cause or not doing so. Meetings that are run well help to instill within volunteers a sense of purpose. If they do not feel like anything is being accomplished, then why would they continue to come back for subsequent meetings?
Planning your next fundraiser meeting is imperative to its success and the success of the fundraiser. Give your meeting form and purpose so that everyone will be able to follow it up with decisive actions. These meetings are where your fundraiser will take shape. Take them as seriously as you do the actual fundraiser.