Understanding the Different Styles of Fundraisers

Week 4 of 100 Donors in 90 Days is a conversation with Andrea Kihlstedt. Her ideas focused on using board members’ strengths to identify ways to make each individual person comfortable with making an ask. Imagine if you could really figure out how to get each and every board member to participate by understanding the different styles of fundraisers.

Most staff and board chairs would be hard pressed to provide individual tutorials to each board member, but you can use Ms. Kihlstedt’s four categories, Rainmaker, Go-Getter, Mission Controller and Kindred Spirit to create four paths by which almost everyone will find their comfort zone. She suggested using a designated part of your time set aside for 100 Donors in 90 Days to determine categories (In fact, she said while referring to gaining the 100 new donors, “You have to be very intentional in the way you work at it. It won’t happen by itself. You need a little time and a little effort every day to do that.“)

I would take her idea one step further.

While she has concluded that any person might be a combination of two categories, you can focus on their primary personality trait and provide lists of four different ways to approach donors (based on those categories). These lists could include options like an event at home for a Kindred Spirit or a room filled with new prospects for a Go-Getter. Then, let each person self-identify – making your understanding of your board and future assignments more productive.

When ideas of strategic partnerships between the different categories were touched upon I could also see how pairing an extrovert with a detail-oriented person would create better results. But the key to ensuring you use this methodology to help you achieve the 100 new donors will be in accepting, and encouraging the board to accept, that everyone works differently and realizing that you can get annoyed by that fact, or use it to your advantage. The choice is yours.