5 steps to keep your fundraising team motivated

Howard Lake | 12 May 2020 | Blogs

Fundraising at the moment is hard but has never been more essential. Your fundraising team might be feeling anxious, discouraged or isolated. You can help them stay engaged and motivated by taking these five steps.

1. Be available

Woman at laptop on a desk
Establish regular check-in calls to ensure your team members don’t feel isolated. Use video calls and virtual meetings, not emails, to build a real connection. When you do have to focus on a piece of work, show this on your calendar, but let people know you are available before and afterwards for any questions. Help your team members stay connected with the cause.
Remind them of the impact of their fundraising work. Or can they do anything directly to support frontline work? Remember to treat them as individuals. We are all having different responses to the current situation. Try to tap into their individual motivations. A boost in morale or tapping into their sense of purpose might work for some, whilst others may appreciate a listening ear more.

2. Establish expectations

Laptop, phone and notebook on a desk
Some of your team might have a lot more work to do, some might have to change their priorities, others might be moving roles
entirely. Help them set short and medium-term goals. What can they achieve this week or this month? What can wait? Link this work to your team’s long-term goals. Your overarching purpose hasn’t changed and shouldn’t be forgotten.
If your team member is now balancing home working with caring responsibilities, ensure they are being realistic and setting themselves a manageable workload. This is a marathon not a sprint, and we all need to avoid burn-out.

3. Encourage creativity

Ask your team to create new ideas on how to engage supporters, how to thank supporters, how to share the impact of their donations and also how to check out if the supporters themselves are ok.
In virtual team meetings create an environment where everybody feels they can make suggestions. Some of the ideas might really work – we all know the benefits of strengthening relationships and that supporters will respond if we ask them nicely. By involving the team, you are showing they are needed and the creative process itself boosts motivation and ownership.

4. Manage anxieties

Woman looking out of a window
Your team members could have very real concerns about your organisation, your team, the work or their role. If allowed to build these quiet anxieties can become real stressors. Share as much information and facts as you can verbally with your team. You might be under a lot of pressure, but make sure you don’t pass on your stressors.
Be open to your team member’s concerns. Help them distinguish what we know from what we don’t, what we can control and what we can’t. Being open and focusing on facts will ensure people feel trusted and valued.

5. Give praise

Happy woman sitting at a desk with a laptop
Praise and recognition are even more important during times of challenge. Verbally thank people for their hard work, their ideas or the results they are creating. Or send positive feedback through an email they can re-read and keep. Or ask your manager to thank your team member. This will not only raise their visibility but also show they are valued by the wider organisation.
To address the challenges we are facing now, we really need our teams to be motivated. But it is understandable that motivation will dip. Following the steps above will enable you to help people feel engaged and appreciated and have the motivation to stay focussed and continue to move forward.
On 4th June The Management Centre is running its online learning session on ‘Building resilience and regaining motivation during challenge and change‘.
Charlotte Scott
Charlotte Scott is a Director of The Management Centre (=mc) and specialises in the development of teams, leadership and strategy. She has over 20 years’ experience working in the non-profit sector. Before joining =mc she worked for Plan International and World Animal Protection leading a global team. Her =mc customers include many well-known organisations such as Macmillan, Mind, CRUK, WWF, Royal Shakespeare Company and Save the Children International.
Jules Bellingham
Jules Bellingham is a Senior Partner Consultant at The Management Centre (=mc). She specialises in fundraising, presentation skills and leadership development. She spent nine years working in the commercial world before becoming Deputy Director of Fundraising & Marketing at one of the UK’s largest children’s charities, Action for Children. Her =mc customers include Marie Curie, Prince’s Trust, Greenpeace and Care International.

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