We are a non-profit platform with a growing community soul. > http://mashstories.com/ < We help the talented writers to get their voices heard. We need a fundraiser, but we don't know what sort of qualities differentiate a good fundraiser from an ordinary one.
As someone who has founded and fundraised for a social venture, I can tell you that the fundraiser must be the CEO or President. Fundraising for a non-profit is all about building a relationship with your donor base, and the donation is often as much because the donor likes the person & people as much as they like the work being done by the Foundation.
One of the most difficult paradoxes of raising for a non-profit web platform is that the more someone becomes excited by the potential of the platform, the more that they would prefer to invest cash for equity than simply donate and looking back on it, I think that would have simplified things for my social enterprise and would have been able to attract far more capital.
The other avenue that you can explore is to build in tipping or crowdfunding for your operation directly into the online experience but that will only be a viable source of funds with significant traffic and thus, the operating capital required to grow the business requires proactive outreach to supporters.
Happy to speak with you about this in more detail in a call.
I completely agree with Tom. Most donors, at the end, want to connect with the founder(s). Especially early on.
But, I will say if you are looking to hire, I would recommend you ask potential candidates how much funding they have previously secured (themselves), what is the size of their network, the type/quality of connections they have (check LinkedIn). Also, it depends on if you want a growth hacker (small gifts online) or a major gift officer. Usually, those are/can be two different people. Major gifts is all about relationships and grants, social is all about conversions and engagement. Hope that's helpful!! Good luck.
PS: This is my fav fundraising book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0470505532/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
A good fundraiser is a good networker. They're able to charismatically convey the vision of your organization to potential donors/investors. You should sense a lot of charisma and energy in your interviews with a potential fundraisers. A good fundraiser must also have an impeccable reputation for honesty and transparency so your company's reputation isn't tarnished. The person should a strong, extensive existing network among individuals who would make ideal candidates as donors/investors for your enterprise. Finally, the best fundraisers are usually the founder/CEO of the company raising funds since they should be unmatched in their passion for the entity they're raising funds for. I'm happy to hop on a call if I can help any further.
A little late on this, but I think I have somethings to add to the conversation.
As a former fundraiser, the number one way to tell if someone is great from someone who is ordinary is to look at their past success. Every fundraiser has a different style, but what sets great ones apart from ordinary ones are the ones that know what works for them, and not just following what others say works. The great ones will be able to tell you why they are are great, and can replicate success in multiple organizations (which is normal in the fundraising world).
That said, there are models out there that can help build success. But those are more organizational models (building a donor development cycle, x# of prospects will generate x# of donors etc). However, even the best fundraisers can't raise a dime if the organization does not know what they are raising money for and why (a case statement).
Also, to build on what Tom said, fundraising is a team effort. There is relationship building at every level, both with the fundraiser and the donor, and facilitating the relationship between leadership and the donor. Founders, CEOs, ED and Board Members need to be involved in all stages and must reserve a portion of their time to this important function.