20 questions every fundraiser must be able to answer
Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on Sasha Dichter’s blog on January 25, 2012.
(subtitle: this is why I can’t for the life of me understand how “fundraiser” became synonymous with “not totally integrated with the core work of the organization”)
- What are your top three priorities right now?
- Where will the organization be in 5 years?
- What’s your annual operating budget? Walk me through it.
- What does success look like for the organization?
- How will my donation make an impact?
- How much do you spend on overhead?
- What’s your long-term vision for sustainability?
- How much cash do you have on hand? Is it too much or too little?
- What is your organization’s theory of change?
- What are your biggest challenges?
- How much cumulative funding has your organization raised since inception?
- Help me understand social impact and how you measure it?
- What else can I do to help you – I want to give more than money?
- Who are your competitors and how do you compare to them?
- Can I meet your CEO?
- How much did you grant/fund last year? How and why did that differ from prior years?
- If I support you, I’d like your organization to do ___________ [this project/in this geography/with these partners]. Will you?
- How can our organizations work together?
- Why are you passionate about this work?
- [ADD YOURS HERE]
[UPDATE: thanks to a copy-paste slip-up, two of the items on the list were the same. So #20 is now blank so you can add your "best question" in the comments section!]
Sasha leads Acumen Fund’s Business Development team, which is responsible for raising capital for Acumen Fund globally and for creating an engaged, vibrant, and connected community of Acumen Fund Partners and supporters around the world. Read his blog at http://sashadichter.wordpress.com/ and follow him on Twitter @sashadichter