Leadership is on our minds as we move into the summer months. We're rolling out our Summer Internship program, which will bring a new generation of passionate fundraisers to join our team. To ensure that our new fundraisers have the best support possible, we need great leaders!
Want to lead a team with us? Want to know how? I'll break it down for you.
Entry Level Fundraiser: Learn
When you start at DialogueDirect, you start entry level. In addition to training and developing their teams, Team Leaders and Site Representatives also have to lead in the field by setting an example. As such, every one of our leaders learns how to be a fundraiser first.
As a fundraiser, your focus should be on yourself, and the development of your core skill set:
Work Ethic: Work hard, right up until the buzzer. Work hard when you face adversity. Work hard outside of your comfort zone. Had a great day? Push yourself to talk to another donor! Having a bad day? Take 10, shake it off, and get back in the game!
Attitude: Rejection is a part of working face to face with donors. Staying positive and optimistic in the face of those "no's" will lead you to more "yes!"
Skill: Charity knowledge, pitch structure, use of body language, and focus all fall into this category. We'll cover these aspects in more detail in a future post, but knowing the technical aspects of your pitch when you get into conversations with donors will help you grow faster. Communication skills can always improve; always work to develop them!
If you tend to your skill set and focus on consistency, you'll quickly hit your first metric for advancement. We look for strong, consistent performance first. If you hit one week of 12 donors, followed by another week of 12 donors, you'll take the next step and become a Site Representative.
Site Representative: Grow
As a Site Representative, you'll learn to build and lead your own team. This will push you to improve your core skills, and develop your leadership skills as well. You've proven that you're an all-star fundraiser: can you duplicate your skill set in a trainee?
Growth: As you solidify your core skills, you'll further develop your secondary skills as well. Expanding your knowledge of our charity partners is a great start. New fundraisers will often know the basics, but may not know the answers to more specific donor questions. Know the charity partner you represent inside and out so that you can handle donor questions with confidence and help trainees learn too.
Training: Now that you're a leader, training new fundraisers is your primary role. You'll work with your trainee to develop their core skills and build their confidence. The key to being successful in this role is understanding how your trainee learns, and adapting your training methods accordingly. Want to learn more about training different kinds of people? Check our Marc Accetta blog series here.
Motivation: You've given your trainee the skills, but are they driven to fulfill their potential? Encouraging your trainee, building their confidence, pushing them past their boundaries, and having fun while doing it is a key element of developing your leadership. Understand what motivates your trainee and they will go farther than they would just based on the development of their skills.
If you follow these guidelines and focus on your trainees, your team will grow and you'll have two fundraisers on your team. That makes you a Team Leader!
Team Leader: Develop
Team Leaders train new fundraisers and recruit new donors, just like Site Representatives, but the scope of their responsibility is larger. They're responsible for their own success, the success of their team, and they will work with their City Coordinator to ensure the success of the campaign as well.
Lead: A great day starts with a great morning, and we look to our Team Leaders to set the tone, and the pace, for a successful day of fundraising. As a Team Leader, you'll take the initiative to get fundraisers revved up and ready to work during our morning meetings. You'll set goals with the team, develop skills with trainees, and educate the campaign on our charity partners.
Strategize: Campaigns need to consider their overall goals, in addition to more pressing, weekly ones. How can we better support our partners, grow steadily, raise the bar on our performance, while making room for our fundraisers to flourish? You'll answer these questions with your fellow leaders and City Coordinator, taking ownership of your part in campaign development.
Develop: Finally, you'll help train other trainers. You know how to build someone into a fantastic fundraiser, now, you will develop leadership skills and train the next generation of leaders for your campaign. Without leaders, campaigns don't have the support required to train, so build your trainees into fellow leaders, who can build more leaders, and so on!
When you have two Team Leaders under your belt, and one of your Team Leaders has trained a Team Leader of their own (a "second generation" team leader), then you've shown you have what it takes to be a Campaign Manager!
That's how you grow at DialogueDirect. The question is: do you have what it takes?
Find out if you have the skill, work ethic, attitude, and leadership necessary to lead a team of awesome fundraisers! DialogueDirect Careers Page