The goal of this article is to motivate you to think about motivation. The most brilliant Fundraising ideas can produce disappointing results if people are not motivated to implement them. There will be no plan of action in what follows, but rather our thoughts intended to provoke your thoughts.
To motivate is to stimulate an interest in somebody to do something. In the best of worlds, the motivated person is enthusiastic, meaning that the motivation comes from within. So, one way to motivate a group might be to begin a fundraising drive with an informal meeting – more like a party – during which people discuss how their group benefited from past campaigns.
If the volunteers will be in the position to benefit as a consequence of the current fundraiser, then they will come to own the fundraiser as their own, and not see it as an imposition from some authority. The goal is to make sure that everyone involved understands why they are raising funds. Best, they must want to do it. To choose it!
Get people to take on jobs that suit them
What are the unique talents of each of the people brought together for the fundraiser? Are they being put to the best use? If volunteers are being asked to sell, then consider pairing those volunteers who are natural salespeople with others who are shy or reserved. If they are working towards the same goal, they may be able to help each other and help the fundraiser at the same time. Consider the possibility that the group adopts the goal that all of its members end the fundraiser stronger than they began it. It may help focus positive attention on the group.
Make sure everyone understands
No one who is unclear about the technical aspects of the fundraiser can be motivated. How does the campaign work? What are you selling? To be sure that everyone understands, have the actual volunteers explain the campaign to the other members of the group. The group then judges whether the explanation is correct or not. Then, keep everyone apprised about the progress of the campaign. Is the target within sight?
The importance of recognition
Recognizing people for their work is an important way to ensure that people feel personally connected to the group. But consider the effect of thanking people for their work. It is possible that, in thanking people, you may be placing yourself in the role of the authority. Is that what you want?
If the goal of the fundraiser is to get the volunteers to accept that they are the beneficiaries of the campaign, that the campaign belongs to them and that the proceeds will accrue to them, then it is possible that a more meaningful recognition could come from within the group.
In other words, should the members of the group thank each other, rather than be thanked by a leader? There is no universal answer to this question. Rather, the answer depends on the atmosphere you want to create.
Taking this line of thought further; the money raised is only one of the goals of a fundraiser. More important is the camaraderie that is created when people are brought together for the cause. In reality, all fundraisers are ultimately about the cause and about the communities that are brought together in a sense of fellowship to achieve it. If your fundraiser accomplished that, it succeeded.
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