Did President Barack Obama pick all his cabinet members in one day? Did he pick people who share the same political beliefs as he does on all issues?
No. Obama took his time and picked people he felt bring specific experience, skills and connections needed to help lead our country and make decisions that will change the conditions of our individual and collective lives. He picked people with a commitment and dedication to service.
And, he picked his strongest competitor for the presidency– Senator Hillary Clinton – to serve as Secretary of State. He extended beyond his “comfort zone” and called on individuals with diverse perspectives including Republicans.
Could you do that? Is your commitment to the organizations you are involved with strong enough that you are willing to work shoulder-to-shoulder with people you don’t agree with?
The patience, deliberation and cultivation that President Obama deployed in picking his cabinet members and chief advisors is a model to be emulated when creating a fundraising team.
President Obama had plenty of pressure on him to make his picks quickly. “The sky is falling, the sky is falling” has been the refrain echoed across this country for the past four months. But Obama stayed his course taking the time he felt he needed to build his team.
We suggest you consider our new President’s decision making process as you pull together your fundraising team. We understand that most organizations are nervous about their fundraising prospects. This makes a strong fundraising team all the more important. You need a team of committed and competent individuals with diverse skills and connections who are willing to extend themselves on your organization’s behalf. Take your time. A team that is quickly pulled together may not necessarily include individuals who can help you achieve your goals.
As you pull together your team include people who:
- Know people you don’t know
- Are experienced with fundraising
- Give to your organization or similar ones
- Are experienced in marketing or sales
- Know business people who could provide in-kind services
- Are connected to people who can influence gifts and grants
Include those who may be critical of your organization but are also committed to your mission. Invite those who are not over-extended helping others with their fundraising. Young people are too often over-looked. Follow Obama’s campaign lead and encourage their participation and creativity.
© copyright 2009 Mel and Pearl Shaw.