February 10, 2016
“If you could have any superhero powers, what would you choose?” I always like asking kids this question, as their answers are so interesting. “I’d be a shapeshifter, and that way I could be anything and do anything,” was one great answer I encountered recently.
This got me thinking. If I could have any superhero powers in a fundraising team, what would they be?
Well, I’d start with someone supremely able to digest data, spot trends, and look into the future. All great fundraising must be built on great data. It helps us prioritise our time, set stretching and ambitious targets, communicate appropriately, ask for the right amounts at the right time in the right way, and plan for the future. My data superhero/guru would do all this and have a great sense of humour at the same time. He or she would know that the data takes us only so far, and then we must reach out and talk to our supporters.
Next, I would find someone with supercharged listening and rapport-building skills to go out and talk to our supporters. They would listen and learn and ask searching questions. They would build great understanding of what makes our supporters ‘tick’ and be able to help us plan long-term relationship-building strategies.
Alongside my super-listener, I would bring in an amazing storyteller. Someone who can sprinkle magic into our case for support – explain how our work will change the world, and why we are the best organisation to deliver it. The story would help supporters to see how they can make a difference with us – how their support has impact and is truly inspirational.
Into my team, I would bring someone with networking powers. They would be able to find a path to anyone we wanted to reach, and would be able to bring people together to hear our story. They would have a magic address book, and through each page, they could find a route to people who want to hear our story. Their invitations would be sprinkled with magic dust and be irresistible to all who received them. Everyone would want to come to their parties.
So, what a team! Any missing powers? Well I might add in a super project planner – someone who can always spot the missing detail, see the potential issue, make sure the plan unfolds smoothly. They would work in partnership with our data guru and provide intelligence to drive us forward.
I would also have a fearless warrior whose determination to make a difference in the world would keep us all pushing on. Their vision of a better future would inspire us all to act and keep acting. They would lead us forward with energy and be bold in their actions.
What about super-asking powers? Well, the team would naturally be geared towards asking. Our fearless warrior would lead us onwards to change the world, our storyteller would inspire us and help us share our story, our data guru would inform us and focus our energies, our super-listener would help us build powerful relationships, our networker would get us to the right people, and our project manager would keep us all on track. The ask would be inspiring, timely, appropriate, impactful, personal, and quite irresistible.
Wow! When do we film the movie?
-Susie Hills, Managing Director