I’ve been in the fundraising business for more than 30 years, so I know a good bit about raising money. And it’s easy to think that I’ve got important stuff to say.
But it turns out that when I’m training, though people come because they think I have something to tell them, what they really want is a chance to apply what they already know to fundraising.
People Learn from What They Say, Not What You Say
While I do know a lot about fundraising, everyone in my trainings knows a lot of relevant information, too.
My job as a trainer is not to share my wealth of knowledge (though a tidbit here are there is always welcome).
My job is to figure out what people already know and help them apply that to fundraising.
When you are a trainer,
- You’re a guide, not a lecturer.
- You’re a designer of group interaction, not an imparter of truths.
- You’re a colleague, not a professor.
The Building Blocks of Effective Board Training
People who want to learn about fundraising have a great many applicable skills.
- They know how to talk to people.
- They know how to organize tasks and plan complex processes.
- They know what it feels like to give gifts and to be generous.
- They know lots about their organizations.
And those skills are the building blocks of fundraising that you can work with as a trainer.
The Less I Say, The More They Learn
The very best feedback I get for my trainings is when I’ve said very little and the participants have talked a lot.
Natalie, a Development Director of a school whose board I recently worked with, said in a follow-up email, “Andrea, it was a great night. Everyone loved it.”
Why were they so excited? Because I helped them apply what they already know to fundraising. I simply designed experiences for the group that draw out what they already knew.
Does it Make You Anxious to Face a Group?
That said, it can be intimidating to face a group and NOT be the expert.
What will you do? How will you fill the time?
Our new book answers those questions…
- Pick some exercises that fit together.
- Copy them.
- Use them for your training.
Believe me, it works.
You’ll have fun. They’ll have fun. And they’ll tell you afterwards what an inspiration you were — especially when you say very little at all. 🙂