I am often asked, “What is the most important element of successful fundraising?” The answer is simple: Leadership. The “easiest campaigns” (I am not sure there is such a thing as an easy fundraising campaign!) we have directed over the years have occurred in communities where there is strong, committed, passionate corporate leadership. Does that surprise you?
You may ask, “What about the elected officials and the public sector leadership?” Local elected officials are responsible for maintaining their community’s status quo.
- Do we have adequate water and power?
- Is the infrastructure satisfactory to support current and future growth?
- Do we have what people need to live and work in our community?
Their concerns, appropriately, are focused on the present. Good elected officials are superior managers rather than true leaders. They know how to manage their assets and get more from less each year.
The real leaders in every town and city are the leaders of business and industry…the men and women who are visionary…who can see their community not for what it is…but for what it can become. More often than not, they have the entrepreneurial spirit to conceive, demand and achieve the change that will lead to progress and make a difference in people’s lives.
When First Community Development seeks a leader for one of our fundraising campaigns, we ask a successful business leader.