The “Lean” Fundraising Model: How to Raise Major Dollars with few staff

Jim Rees

Like most of us, Jim Rees tumbled into fundraising unexpectedly. Unusually, Jim embraced his fundraising duties with gusto! At a time when video cameras were not an everyday item, he courageously jumped in front of the camera to practice his fundraising presentation and he and his wife reviewed his performance.

With that much drive and determination, it’s no surprise that he has been able to engage volunteers widely and persuade top donors to open up their networks to achieve campaign goals.

You’ll have to listen to the podcast for more about his success with volunteers and what role prospect research played, but I will share one quote from Jim that every front-line fundraiser needs to understand and embrace in order to achieve success.

“In fundraising you have to deal with a lot of failure. But it’s okay. It’s part of the strategy. And you have to approach people honestly and ask them for support and be grateful for them even if they are not able to help you.”

When I asked Jim about resources to share, he surprised me again. He indicated that although technical and industry learning is important, he recommends that fundraisers include resources that inspire them. For example, one of his colleagues reads the Bible every day. Staying inspired and energized is important for fundraising success.

Resources Mentioned