OK we’ve all had them, even if we don’t admit it often. Those days when nothing much is going on, when there is no deadline, no celebration and if you are honest not too much that is motivating you either. But we fundraisers are all about generating, right? So here are seven actions you can take that can turn that uninspiring day into one that is the catalyst for something amazing…
1. FIND SOME NEW STORIES
Every fundraiser needs a bank of stories. Get off your chair and go and talk to people. Other staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and supporters. The best stories come from genuine conversations, not staged interviews. I’ve never forgotten the bereaved Mum who volunteered in the hospice where her daughter died. She told me she cleans 42 toilets every day before I start work.
2. SEEK OUT SOME INSPIRATION
That brilliant event you noticed… Call the person who organised it and ask if you can meet for a half an hour. Go prepared to share some of your successes and failures and see what you learn.You’ll probably need to wait for a diary slot but start the inspiration today.
3. SEE LIFE FROM A PARTICIPANT’S PERSPECTIVE
Sign up for a charity event. It doesn’t matter what – a run, a trek or a fire walk – even a bake sale. It could be your charity’s event or another charity you believe in but see what you glean from being the other side of the desk and push yourself at the same time. Everyone I know who has done a charity trek has come back a changed person.
4. TELL SOMEONE HOW GREAT THEY ARE
In a world where we fire off a quick email, and talk to people via Facebook, the days of receiving post are almost gone. Actually meeting up is a rare luxury. Make someone’s day. Send them a handwritten note or better still drop in and tell them why you are glad they are in your life. I once had to give a two minute talk about someone who’d influenced me. I wrote about my former drama teacher. Instead of chucking it away after I’d delivered it, I sent it to her. We hadn’t spoken for years but it rekindled the relationship and she treasured my letter until she died.
5. GET OUT OF THE OFFICE
In Chris Ward’s great little book you’ll find all the evidence you need to pack up your tablet and head for Costa. Talk to people, ok some don’t welcome an interruption but you’ll notice people who don’t mind a quick ‘Do you come here often?’. You’ll be amazed at who you meet … your next volunteer, a new donor, someone you click with – they will all be in there at some point.
6. GRAB YOUR PHONE AND BECOME A FILM MAKER
Make some content – Have you got a notice Board with great thank you cards on it? Do the gardens at your hospice look great? Can you get the ok to film a session with beneficiaries? Are you able to interview a scientist? Could you film the fundraising team playing netball? whatever it is it will be great content for social media and maybe useful in many other ways too.
7. RING YOUR FAVOURITE DONOR
There’s nothing like chatting to someone who cares about your charity and is a proud supporter to make your day. Tell them your latest news, thank them for their support, share a story and make their day too!