Street fundraising requires a dedicated team of trained professionals who understand your NGO’S cause and are able to persuade potential donors on your behalf. At DDII, our street or face to face fundraisers undergo an intensive on the job training sessions that include mock classroom, role play and before they meet our supporters. However, there’s nothing better than practical experience for a fundraising professional to be more effective.
Here are six tips to nurture effective face to face fundraisers:
Knowing Who to Approach
Street fundraising is all about making observations about your prospect on the fly. A prospect’s intent to donate can often be determined by their appearance or the things they carry. For example, a person in formal clothes and carrying a laptop bag will most certainly be employed, which means they can be approached. Street fundraisers also mostly approach those above 25 years of age.
Confidence is Key
Stopping a complete stranger on the street amidst the chaotic frenzy of everyday life can be daunting and often come across as an intrusion in their daily lives. Therefore, approaching a prospect with confidence, eye contact and a warm smile is the key to breaking the ice. Be polite, enthusiastic and well-versed in every aspect of your cause so you’re ready to answer anything thrown your way.
Speaking Without Words
Body language is one of the most important parts of street fundraising that can determine whether you get to present or not. Always approach a prospect from the front and maintain a friendly demeanour and appropriate distance while talking. Avoid crossing your arms or pointing at the prospect – which can appear as negative. Present your cause in a clear voice that is neither too loud nor feeble.
10-Seconds to Sell
Marketing professionals thrive on the idea of an elevator pitch – a 10-second summary of your product or service. Time is vital, especially in street fundraising. You only have a few minutes to convey your non-profit’s cause and invite action from a potential donor. State your message precisely, while keeping the conversation open-ended. Ask leading questions and understand the prospect’s view on your cause.
Listen and Learn
Remember that a successful conversion depends on a good conversation. Asking open-ended questions about their passions and interests allows you to gain insights into your prospect’s views and align the conversation with their responses. Strangers often open up when they notice that you’re paying them complete attention. Once you have gauged their interests you can present them with relevant personal reasons to donate towards your cause.
Paint it Positive
Not every person you speak to will have the time or interest to hear you out. Stay positive and look for opportunities instead. Place yourself in your prospect’s shoes and try to understand what is stopping them from making donations to your NGO. If they are too busy to talk, ask if you can call at a later time. If they refuse, smile and thank them for their time while reminding them how to reach out if they change their mind.
Face to face fundraising demands personal time and money from your prospect, making it ripe for rejection. It is undoubtedly a tough job but it’s also a key fundraising strategy for NGOs. With the right approach and attitude, any fundraiser can successfully convert prospects to donors.