A sought after fundraising speaker and thought leader, Rachel Muir founded her own nonprofit, Girlstart, with just $500 and a credit card. A winner of Oprah Winfrey’s Use Your Life award, Rachel is a three-time finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, was named “Outstanding Fundraising Executive of the Year” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and one of Fast Company Magazine’s “Fast 50 Champions of Innovation.” She has been featured on Oprah, CNN, and The Today Show; and leads retreats and online, classroom and custom training to transform people into confident, successful fundraisers.
We caught up with Rachel for a few preview questions prior to her Masterclass Webinar “How to Upgrade Donors and Boost Revenue with Donor Surveys” with Network for Good.
Network For Good: At 26 you founded Girlstart, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls in math, science, engineering and technology; and have gone on to lead a successful fundraising consulting practice, and manage major gift portfolios for some of the country’s largest and most successful nonprofits. What attracts you to fundraising?
RM: What’s NOT to love about fundraising? I think we have THE BEST jobs in the world as fundraisers because on top of making the world a better place we get to develop meaningful relationships with other people and learn how they want to make the world a better place, be significant, and then bring them opportunities to do just that. I know there are people out there afraid of fundraising but I’d tell anyone who feels a hint of fear about it that they’ve likely forgotten how amazing it feels to give. People get scared of making the ask and they forget how GREAT it feels to give. Giving is the neurological equivalent of WINNING THE LOTTERY! If you have forgotten how great it feels to give, go and give right now—your money, even your time. The #1 thing I never tire of is helping nonprofits give their donors deeply satisfying and rewarding experiences to feel delighted and satisfied that their gift made an impact.
Network For Good: In Network for Good’s upcoming webinar, you’ll be leading a masterclass on donor surveys and how they can boost revenue. In your expertise, what have you discovered about surveys that have surprised you?
RM: The most surprising thing to me about surveys is how frequently they are used in the for-profit world and how rarely they are used in the nonprofit sector. It’s a missed opportunity.
Network For Good: You’ll go into more depth on this in the webinar, but what’s one-way surveys can grow a nonprofit’s major gift pipeline?
RM: One of the greatest gifts we can give our donors is the gift of feeling known by us. A good survey done well helps you achieve that.
Network For Good: And one for fun…complete this sentence: Fundraising is_________
RM: A quest for empathy.
Register today for a deeper dive into how to grow your major donor pool with Network for Good’s Masterclass Webinar, “How to Upgrade Donors and Boost Revenue with Donor Surveys.”