February 19, 2011

7 Habits of Highly Successful Champion Fund Raisers

“Out of our beliefs are born deeds; out of our deeds we form habits; out of our habits grows our character; and on our character we build our destiny.”

The words sponsorship and contributing have taken its toll on many members of our associations. Members who are among the 10% to 20% of those who continually “open their wallets” need the remaining members to start, or be more consistent, in the fund raising arena. It has always been an undertaking to raise funds for what ever the event may be and to convince people to take part financially has been the ongoing challenge.

Our Federation utilizes volunteer members to fund raise and only a handful have been truly successful. To understand their habits you have to get into their heads and hearts. These members are true champions of our industry.

Here are 7 habits of our industry champions:

  1. Change description – sponsorships and contributions are no longer meaningful descriptions of what you are asking. An investment in the building industry is what you are asking for and that is what the new description should be. A “sponsorship” at an HBA golf outing really is an investment in the financial stability of that particular HBA. Sponsorship implies to the vast majority of sponsors that business will follow by their purchase of a sign on the Long Drive Hole. Only members can explain to fellow members that by investing in the HBA your company name is marked as a supporter of the home building industry. The dollars from your investment are utilized towards legal action, public relations and any other initiative that needs funding. Your investment helps the builder continue to build which means your investment gives you the opportunity for business growth. Champions are always looking for and engaging investors.

  1. “Skin in the game” – How can you ask anyone to invest if you haven’t invested. The phrase “skin in the game” has been around for a long time and with good reason. Any amount is an investment and by you investing that means you believe in the cause. Champions believe and they back it up by investing.

  1. Mentoring – When we leave this world to go to the next what good have we accomplished by not sharing our knowledge with others. What is a mentor?  Someone whose hindsight can become others foresight. Tell them and they forget, teach them and they will remember. Most importantly, involve them and they will learn. True champions will always look to help others who are willing and involve them.

  1. Self dependent – We all know people who talk a great game but at the end of the day they rely on others do shoulder the work load, others meaning HBA staff. Champions depend on their actions and don’t wait for others to start. I’m not saying be impatient, elevate yourself above the team effort or “go off the reservation” I’m saying a champion will make sure that they are truly engaged in the effort and will not shy away from work.

  1. Thought provoking – Just because something was successful doesn’t mean you stop thinking. The wheel was extremely successful especially when they made it round. However, while the purpose of the wheel has never changed, it constantly was being improved. The purpose of fund raising within the HBA has never changed but if we don’t constantly seek better ways to improve fund raising we are left with an old wooden wheel. Champions are always evaluating current methods and looking at other ways to help the investment process grow.

  1. Not seeking glory – Everyone likes an “atta boy” every now and then but the champion fund raiser doesn’t commit time and dollars to the cause for a plaque or a mention at a board meeting. The true champion does it because they believe in the home building industry and because their careers are affected by what happens to and from within our industry. Champions have heart, passion.

  1. Never stop learning – Champions are always up to date on industry issues. They don’t blindly ask for investments; they ask because they have knowledge. Champions are always asking “why” and “how” and understand the “what” in our industry better than most. Champions are consistently welcoming knowledge.

There you have it, the 7 highly successful habits of champion fund raisers. We all owe a massive debt of gratitude for their never ending passion. But they are not looking for gratitude they are looking towards the day when the 10% to 20% numbers are the ones for those who are NOT investing. It’s not a goal; it’s a continued journey that needs to be traveled. Good thing the wheel was invented.

Submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP
2011 NAHB Associate Members Committee Chairman

1 comment:

Dianne D. Beaton said...

Mike, what a great post! This is something that I will share with my fellow members in NH to assist them in understand the "investment" in their future and the future of the HBA!