Fundraising meetings – the good, the bad and the ugly
Successful meetings are central to the fundraising toolkit, from campaign Steering Group meetings to face to face approaches. Don’t allow poor preparation, lack of focus or domineering personalities to hijack your fundraising meetings. Whether it’s virtual (on zoom/MS team etc) or a face-to-face meeting, here are our tips on what to consider:
1. Thorough preparation – don’t wing it, do your research and define your plan
2. Confidence – project confidence in what you are presenting and seeking
3. Clear agenda and objectives – ensure everyone knows why you are meeting and for what purpose. If it’s a regular meeting terms of reference provide a structure.
4. Good existing relationships – maintain contact and ensure people feel involved and valued
5. Pre-briefing key people – make sure you’ve talked the Chairperson/influential players through your approach and they are on board
6. Timings – ensure you and the Chairperson have timings for the agenda items, or, if the meeting is less formal, a sense of how long to spend on each section. Don’t run out of time before the decision making.
7. Good minuting – capture key points and decisions, make sure everyone knows what they have signed up to do and by when.
Bad and the Ugly
1. Beware the ambush – meetings can all too easily be hijacked by people with hidden agendas. If necessary, step in to ‘park’ the issue for outside the meeting and steer discussions back to the agenda
2. Misinformed controller – the person controlling the meeting may not have all the information or the correct interpretation. You may need to sensitively step in to explain and correct the situation
3. Confrontation – remain calm, and take action. You may be able to diffuse tensions or need to suggest the matter is resolved outside the meeting.
4. Personalities dominations over reason – present the facts and seek to build consensus. If personalities are consistently problematic then you can seek to brief a friendly ally to balance things out, or look to move on the personality to a different role.