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3 ways to raise your visibility

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You’ve read the articles. You’ve joined local non-profit groups. You write checks. So how do you raise your visibility?

Get people to make the connection with your business? Get in front of wealthy people? You need people to understand exactly what it is you do … and get known for it.

How to get known for what you do

You want to give back. You also want to position yourself to get business. According to a Manhattan financial advisor, the best approach is “get close to the money.”

If group members make the connection that you work in the financial services business and you help handle the organization’s money, they come to the conclusion you are trustworthy. This has two drawbacks, however. First there’s the problem of getting the word out so people make that connection. Plus, some firms place restrictions on advisors directly handling a non-profit’s funds in their personal time. 

Here are three approaches you can follow:

1. Membership:

Join or run the membership committee. You are now the gatekeeper. New members joining the group come through you. Over time you know everyone. Your success is easy to measure because increasing membership is a sign of the organization’s success. Foundations and government agencies approached for grants want to know how many people their dollars will help.

Members pay dues. Dues equal revenue. Presto! You are now on the revenue side of the equation. The movers and shakers are interested.

Strategy: They say charity begins at home. Ramp up membership by hosting a show-and-tell evening at your home. Invite all of your friends. Let them know you belong and hope they will want to join, too. Provide drinks and appetizers. Get someone from the non-profit’s professional staff to talk for 10 minutes. Put out a crystal bowl with a couple of checks in it. 

Outcome: Several friends will join. The staff person will report back. Those in charge will be amazed. They will want this done by others. You will show them how.

2. Fundraising:

Get onto the development committee. You want people with money as clients. People who donate to charities have money to give away. There’s a good match there. Many members can find ways to spend money. As an agent or advisor, you know how to ask people for money. That’s a rare skill.

Strategy: Find out who they want to approach for money. Call them up and see them personally. It’s easier getting in front of someone on behalf of a charity vs. approaching them to talk investments or insurance. Explain you are giving, and ask if they will join you.

It’s amazing how many people who ask don’t actually give themselves. Attend the charity event together. Sit with them. Bond with them. This is your opportunity to identify common interests.

Outcome: The donor has a good time. They like you. You’ve found interests in common. This provides the opportunity to see them again. Once you’ve learned about their serious issues, you might be positioned to be part of the solution.

3. Event Planning:

Most groups do galas, so join that committee. Big events are major fundraisers. It involves a lot of committee work, providing exposure to the higher ups. Big events involve big visibility, sometimes even media coverage. 

Strategy: They often feature live and silent auctions. These items need to be solicited from … wealthy donors! Become part of the solicitation team. Make it your mission to get them to attend and watch their donated item raise big bucks. They will be pleased.

Outcome: As in the fundraising example, you’ve learned about them. You’ve found shared interests. This leads to a friendship. When the time comes and they have a problem they share, you might be part of the solution.

You volunteer for all the right reasons. Business can flow your way while you are doing well. 

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