Coaching is now part of American culture. On a personal level there are coaches to help us improve our nutrition, lose weight, and set goals. Coaches add value in our professional lives as executive coaches, business coaches, sales coaches and more. It is not a luxury but a necessity. We believe it is especially important in the area of fundraising. Here’s why.
A fundraising coach can provide guidance, directions, suggestions and professional development for people at all levels within an organization or institution who have a responsibility for fundraising. Sometimes that person is the executive director. This can be the case when a person is new in this role and has strong content knowledge; is a former board member; or a well known community member, for example. In these cases – and others – he or she may not have deep experience in the area of fundraising, even though he or she will ultimately be responsible for fundraising and for hiring, managing and retaining a fundraising team.
In this case, a coach can work closely with the executive director to help set goals; provide guidance in hiring fundraising staff; and most importantly communicate what he or she as the executive director needs to do an a daily basis in order to ensure the organization’s ﬁnancial health.
Likewise, coaching can assist vice presidents, development directors and those new to the career. They can provide specific guidance on implementing strategies, managing volunteers, and engaging board members. Coaching is also ideal for board members, especially those who serve as chair of the board or chair of the development committee.
Here are a few things you can gain from working with a fundraising coach. You can learn about fundraising and management trends you may not be aware of. A coach can help you with general and specific problem solving. You can learn techniques for managing your fund development team, and increase your understanding of best practices. Your organization may have job descriptions for everyone, but what are the roles and responsibilities for board members? How are these communicated? What are the metrics? Who decides these? Working with a coach can help you and your organization address these issues.
No one has to know you are working with a coach. Your coach is an ally who helps you and your organization grow to the next level. You don’t have to tell anyone – you just need to be smart enough to ask for help.
Copyright 2017 – Mel and Pearl Shaw
[Mel and Pearl Shaw are authors of four books on fundraising available on Amazon.com. For help growing your fundraising visit saadandshaw.com or call (901) 522-8727.]