Keep it simple.
That’s the mantra a Hays entrepreneur is sharing with her clients — nonprofits in need of help raising funds.
Dawn Gabel, a longtime Hays resident who has worked in the private and nonprofit sectors, has been working as a home-based fundraising consultant for about a year, but recently took that step a bit further, launching her consulting business, You Got This Fundraising, with a website, podcast and office space in the Hadley Center that was originally the chapel of the former hospital.
When she started, Gabel thought she would gain clients from urban areas of the region, but quickly focused her efforts on rural clients, mostly from northwest Kansas.
“I said to myself, ‘What do I see that the industry’s really needing that I’m hearing from these clients?’
“I hear that they’re overwhelmed. They have programming that they’re providing, and they have to do the fundraising. And they’re usually a small shop and they can’t put their hands around the idea of hiring a pro just to do that,” she said.
People in charge of nonprofits often have a background in social services, but not in fundraising and marketing, Gabel said.
That’s where she comes in.
Gabel has worked in marketing and fundraising for Smoky Hills Public Television, owned a direct mail and printing business where half the clients were nonprofits, was director of blood services for the American Red Cross, director of the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, and worked in hospitals and real estate.
Starting her own business merged her business side with her passion for nonprofits, she said.
She especially likens fundraising to real estate sales.
“They are both about relationship and passion,” she said.
“We don’t buy a new house really for a structure, because we could live in 500 square feet. Why do we buy bigger homes? We have a vision for ourselves. We have a vision for our lives.
“When you are helping people invest their money in a nonprofit, you’re doing the same thing. You’re asking them ‘What is your vision for the world, for your community?’”
Because nonprofits help better their communities or regions and help drive quality of life elements important for economic development, Gabel is happy to provide some of her expertise for free through her website, www.dawngabel.com, her Facebook page for You Got This and a podcast.
A question that is often posed to entrepreneurs is “What is your why,” to help them identify their purpose in starting a business.
“My ‘why’ is to increase the impact that these small nonprofits have. If I get to increase their impact, the world is a better place,” she said.
Gabel’s podcast debuted Wednesday and a new episode will be available each Wednesday. It can be found on her website and the Podbean Podcast app.