Bottom line: Relationships, relationships, relationships!
Run a political campaign.
- The “candidate” is your organization.
- Create a volunteer group to organize receptions in homes and other “friend-raising” events.
- Continually present your case before civic and community organizations.
- Don’t ask for money (initially); encourage joining membership or a mailing list.
Meet one-on-one with key civic leaders and potential donors.
- Don’t ask for money (initially); ask for “counsel.”
- Keep them informed about your progress with personalized updates.
- Some may become willing to serve on your board or advisory group; if not, consider family members.
Get to know your community leaders and elected officials.
- Don’t ask for money (initially); ask how you can support their community efforts.
- Establish synergies with civic goals and initiatives.
Partner with and support community-based organizations.
- Develop free/low-cost programs with partner organizations in communities where need is greatest.
- Make your board, advisors, and staff inclusive and reflect your community.
- Join local professional organizations and civic groups.
- Use board and advisor relationships to increase your circle of contacts.
- Participate in and attend local civic and cultural events.
Build credibility through successes of increasing magnitude.
- Publicize them through traditional and social media.
- Produce annual reports highlighting progress and finances.
- Recruit an ad agency pro-bono to raise your organization’s exposure and image.
At the same time, continue to:
- Enhance your organization’s programs and impact
- Build staff and volunteer morale and support
- Strengthen and diversify your board
- Balance the budget.
Over time, support (financial, political, community) will follow!
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”