I had the opportunity to talk to a qualified fellow fundraiser named Jay Frost. I found him on Twitter @GordonJayFrost and was very interested in the work he does, so I began following him and really enjoyed reading his tweets. He also has a company which you can find more information on and he provides information on fundraising by training speaking as well as inviting and advising both companies and organizations. I got in contact with Jay, and he was extremely accommodating in answering a few questions I had, but what I did not know was that he would change my perspective on fundraising forever.
Jay graduated in 1984 and went into the film business in LA, and realized that wasn’t for him. He then stumbled into a job at the National Art prep school and managed about $2 million admin grants and was responsible for changing people lives. He saw the impact of dollars on the organization, and that when you have money you can do great things, but if you don’t then you fail. He no longer wanted to deny people of opportunities to do great things, so he realized that he should know what it is like to be on the other side. Taking this step lead him to many new experiences and opportunities that changed his life forever.
He got involved in social media to see what others are doing and how they apply their worth, and he wanted to do something that he could add value to. He told me that it is a challenge when people start an organization because they feel really invested and it’s hard to welcome new people, but you have to share the power and take risks because the only way to raise money is to let people help you. That being said, it’s important to first build partnerships with mutual interest, and let people help you mutually. Jay identifies the opportunity to get to know people personally, as well to work together to make a difference and believes that if you really want something, you have to dive into it and believe that you can help take the organization one step further.
He believes major gifts are the biggest avenue to success and they are the better way to go instead of planning an event, because it is not as expensive and time-consuming. He stressed the importance of developing cultivating and established relationships, and told me that places that raise big money are those who talk to the person and listen to come up with something together . I learned that the hottest thing in fundraising (crowd funding) is social media, because a lot more people come together to raise money and spread the word. Jay also told to take more risks-no risk no reward-and that it is okay and sometimes even more beneficial to make mistakes, because that’s the way you will make more things happen.
“Follow your passion, find the thing you want to do the most that you love, and don’t hesitate.”-Jay Frost