How You Can Be the Iron Man of Fundraisers

Tony Stark
12.08.2011By

Ever feel the like chips are down? Don’t you wish you were a super hero so you can save the day? You, too, can be Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man–at least for your fundraiser–and turn it around.

Here’s how:

1) Make It Personal

Do you think Tony Stark fights arch villains because it’s professional? Hell, no. It’s personal. It’s about his father’s legacy, it’s about protecting his name, or his invention, or the woman he cares about. He fights to the death because he has to, it’s personal.

You have make your fundraiser personal, and give a damn. Fight, tell personal stories, show people why you care, and that you actually give a damn! People want to know that you care about your cause, that there is real authenticity (see PayPal for Nonprofits Research), that you are willing to go to any length. And if you cared the last thing you would do would be let your fundraiser die on the vine.

2) Admit You’re Wrong

Tony Stark lets his ego get in the way all of the time. Invariably, he has to make some dramatic course correction and see things a new way.

Your fundraiser doesn’t need such a dramatic arc, but regardless, if something isn’t working, change direction or approach, make it simpler, add photos, create a video, tell a different story. Don’t just accept that something isn’t working. Instead, take a deep diagnostic look at your fundraiser, own your mistakes, and change course mid-direction. No one remembers the struggle, they only remember that you won!

3) Trust Your Friends

In the end Tony Stark desperately needs his friends like Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes. Though they may disagree, in the end, Rhodey always comes and fights with Iron Man, helping to save the day.

Your fundraiser doesn’t have to rely on you alone. Ask your friends to help. If you are a nonprofit, get your most ardent supporters on board, and out there fundraising for you. When a fundraiser has more voices and more friends asking on your behalf, it capitalizes on that critical grassroots factor: peer-to-peer trust. Ask for help.

What tips would you add to save the fundraiser day?