Posted by & filed under Corporate/Sponsorship.

Last week we looked at the first head of the hydra that can be corporate sponsorship in our sector. This week, we’ll look at vanquishing those other two heads, and set you on course to be a hero in your organization of Herculean status.

The second head I was up against was the most daunting……the valuation. Now this is the head that’s tough to conquer, and that can be time consuming in the short run. The starting point will be to list out all the different events/initiatives/campaigns you’d like sponsorship for, we’ll call them “properties”. Then what you’ll do is build out an “inventory” which is a collection of all of the opportunities (or “assets”) that you have to sponsor: These can be everything from speaking time, to a logo on a program, to an e-blast. You’ll do this for each of your properties, no cheating and just creating one single one. You’ll then take these assets and group them into custom packages for your potential sponsors. How do you know what to put in these packages? Ask your sponsor! I’ll guarantee you two things: One, if you ask your sponsors what they want in their package, and if you’ve done your homework beforehand that this is a property they want to sponsor (don’t know this yet? Check out this blog post to learn more about audience data and how to collect it) , they will tell you exactly what they want in their package; Second, if you customize your package, and don’t give people a pre-set basket of assets you’ll be able to bring in even more sponsorship dollars, and have even happier sponsors. But wait! What about how much to charge my sponsor? Great question, you’re on fire today! We’ll get to that right now. All you need to do is look at what similar properties are charging based on your audience! If your audience, as was in my case, post-secondary university students, then look to some of the student newspapers and magazines! If it’s social media, run an Ad campaign. If it’s a speaking opportunity, look at how much other events charge for a speaking spot at leadership conferences. When you’ve done your research, and looked around, you’ll see how quickly the dollars start to add up for your event. Have more questions about the inventory building and valuation? Check out this great webinar for more in-depth information. Still want more details on valuations? Check out this great guide for even more info

The third head I did battle is getting my office on board, especially my bosses. Now I’ll admit…. this is a tough nut to crack, I can almost feel the eyes rolling in the back of an ED/Fundraiser’s head. In our resource-constrained environment we don’t get a lot of chances to mess up, or even to experiment, to see what might possibly work if something else is a sure-fire thing. So, this is what I suggest as an approach. The first is to have a conversation with your boss and let them know there is this new way of doing things……we all know how this normally goes, I feel the eyes rolling again. The second thing to do then is to start small. Try some of the above techniques with a few sponsorship prospects, and let the results speak for themselves, showing that you’re landing more meetings and getting more replies than you were before. The final step is to actually involve your boss in the process. I did this at my own work, and did so in a smoke screen of “I’d really like a second, more senior person at the table to help me” Sure enough, my boss trusted my judgement from thereafter seeing the positive response from sponsors. You can do the same thing with your board, and in fact it will likely motivate them to go out and talk about sponsorship more with their contacts. Want some more examples of getting your board involved in sponsorship? Here are 7 ways to get your board involved.

So, from one small shop warrior to another I say this: YOU CAN DO IT! You can beat the three-headed Hydra, and slay that beast of corporate sponsorship. And to you, the victor, will go the spoils!

Missed Part One: Small Shop Sponsorship – The Three-Headed Hydra? You can read it here.
About the Author

Christian Robillard, Sponsorship Consultant

Christian’s expertise is firmly within the event and cause sponsorship space. Christian helps our clients identify sellable assets, determine the value of their opportunities, and, most importantly, implement strategies that work.

In addition to his work with The Sponsorship Collective, Christian is completing his masters degree in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership at Carleton University, with a focus on corporate social responsibility and corporate giving, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and fundraising.

Christian is the founder of the AFP Collegiate Carleton Chapter in Ottawa.

Follow Christian on Twitter and LinkedIn

Posted by & filed under Corporate/Sponsorship.

This two-part blog post series goes out to my warrior-friends in the non-profits and charities who identify as “small shops”. These organizations are typically under $500,000 in yearly revenue, and cringe at the thought of taking on additional tasks that will stretch their already scarce resources. Well, I’m here to help you succeed in obtaining corporate sponsorship for your next event, campaign or initiative…all while having to invest very little time or resources to make it happen….at least at first. How do I know this? Because I did it myself! I recently made the jump from a small shop, with a $0 sponsorship budget, but before I left over a year later I had raised over $130,000 in unrestricted revenues. All of these funds were also all renewable, and went right into funding work our organization was doing. All the while I only worked part time (15 hours/week or less) so believe me when I say I understand and sympathise with that under-resourced and over-worked struggle we all understand too well.

For me, sponsorship at first was a bit like a three-headed hydra from ancient Greek mythology: A fearsome creature that seemed to sprout two more heads each time you defeated one. So, to help you slay the beast for good that can be corporate sponsorship I’m going to give you the 3 biggest heads you’ll need to slay to be successful, and how to make sure these heads don’t grow back. These are the same heads I had the hardest time in my early days, and that I came into conflict with when I first started/continue to even today. I’ll also share my stories of how these heads were successfully slain. Follow these battle-tested methods and I promise you’ll see results in the coming weeks and months: let the battle begin!

The first head I had to fight to overcome is the sponsorship package. Going into this battle I thought this head would surely do me in: I didn’t have a fancy package, or anything really, nor did I have a fancy list of companies to reach out to. Yet despite popular belief you do not need a fancy package, sent to as many inboxes as possible, to slay this head. Ultimately the sponsorship package is not the starting point, but it’s an outcome. The sponsorship package doesn’t sell your sponsors on your opportunity…YOU DO! So, stop typing up that package right now and save yourself the work. Now that you’ve got some spare time you can continue reading about my battle with this head of the hydra. So how do you win this battle then if you don’t send your sponsors a fancy, multi-tier sponsorship package? The answer is…. just an email. What goes into this email you say? As little as possible: No details about the event, no gold-silver-bronze levels, no titles in your email signature, no asks of any kind, simply a request to pick their brain about a project you’re working on and a proposed date and time for a meeting. With this mighty tool, I guarantee you’ll see your number of meetings confirmed jump considerably. Tried this and still having trouble? Want to know where to go from there? Use these helpful tips to lead you to sponsorship success, and further help you in this battle against head number one. Wondering who you can reach out to as potential sponsors? Well, let me help you find 394 warm prospects to reach out to…you’re welcome. How do I know this technique works, you ask? Another great question……because I tried it and lived to tell the tale. In working with some of our staff who were planning a gala for our international students in Canada they came to me for a sponsorship package to approach businesses to sponsor the event. I told them flat out that they wouldn’t need one, and to simply reach out to them via the email example I provided above, and to let me know when what they said. Well they went over my head and made one anyways…. I weep for the wasted time. I ended up taking it and locking it in my drawer. I then proceeded to coach them on how to use this email template and a tool called the sponsorship pipeline to get more sponsorship (which you can learn more about below). The success spoke for itself and they never tried to use a sponsorship package again.

As for those other two heads……you’ll have to wait until next time and see how the story ends.

Read Part 2: Small Shop Sponsorship – The Three-Headed Hydra next Wednesday!

About the Author

Christian Robillard, Sponsorship Consultant

Christian’s expertise is firmly within the event and cause sponsorship space. Christian helps our clients identify sellable assets, determine the value of their opportunities, and, most importantly, implement strategies that work.

In addition to his work with The Sponsorship Collective, Christian is completing his masters degree in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership at Carleton University, with a focus on corporate social responsibility and corporate giving, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and fundraising.

Christian is the founder of the AFP Collegiate Carleton Chapter in Ottawa.

Follow Christian on Twitter and LinkedIn

Posted by & filed under Announcement.

Do you enjoy volunteering with the AFP?
Do you enjoy leading a passionate team?
Do you love the excitement of planning a large event?

The Professional Development Chair Nominating Committee, made up of past AFP event Chairs, start the process to review applicants for the 2019 positions. Taking on a chair position is a great opportunity to put your leadership, organization and creative skills into practice.  We want to know if you would be interested in being considered for one of these positions:

Not sure if this position is right for you? See what our past Chairs had to say about their experiences:

From Fundraising Day Chair, 2017 – Matt Shaw, CFRE

Let’s get right to it: AFP has recently announced its call for Chair applications for Congress and Fundraising Day 2019. If you are a committed fundraiser and have ever wanted to take a serious volunteer role within our chapter, I urge you to apply.

My experience as chair of Fundraising Day was to be continuously in awe of the range of our profession, and by extent, our membership.

While we are united in a shared endeavour and supported by a growing body of knowledge and practice, our profession is also a personal choice. What results is a community that shares a vision, but has an infinite number of ideas and opinions about how to get there. That makes it a seriously inspiring if noisy group, and, to return to our Fundraising Day theme this past year, creates the fertile ground for new ideas to take root.

We are the better for the unique perspectives of those who make up our membership. I hope we see more and more of those voices and those ideas become engaged in AFP and make us a stronger voice for those we serve.

 

From Congress Chair, 2016 – Allison Bone

When I attended my first Congress in 2006, I never would have imagined that I would be serving as the Chair for this incredible event a decade later. When I took on the role, I did so knowing that it would push me both personally and professionally and boy – was I right! Acting as Chair comes with a considerable investment of time and effort, but it’s an investment that returns a myriad of professional and personal rewards.

We all know how helpful and fulfilling it is to be able to discuss an idea with colleagues, gain new perspectives from others and come to a better understanding of what you want to achieve. Imagine that on a scale multiplied by a hundred and you get what Congress is all about. We are incredibly blessed to work in a sector where so many are willing to share their ideas, successes and failures for the betterment of our communities, our organizations and our careers. To volunteer alongside colleagues who also believe in the potential of knowledge sharing is second to none.

As Chair, you are given the opportunity to contribute to a platform for ideas and insights that have unlimited potential for growth. You help to bring people together and give them a chance to connect with new ideas, with each other and re-connect with their own passion. Who wouldn’t want to play a role in making that happen?

 

All candidates are asked to indicate their interest by completing the application form, to be submitted by August 25th, for consideration.  Previous experience on an AFP committee is an asset.

We are looking for aspiring leaders who want a new challenge, who want to contribute to their sector and who want to work with a great team! Please return the application form and resume to Cynthia Quigley by August 25, 2017, along with your resume for consideration for one or more positions advertised above.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask either Mark Trask, VP Professional Development, or Cynthia Quigley at the Chapter office 416-941-9212 or at cquigley@afptoronto.org.

Posted by & filed under Announcement, Fundraising.

“You’re a fundraiser, go schmooze.”

Yuck, what a word, schmooze. Emphasis on the “ooze.”

Talk to our profession’s best and you’ll often find yourself in the argument: Is fundraising is a science or an art? Are major-gift-asks the territory of the alpha-hunter, VP for Advancement who charms the donor and ethically influences philanthropic intention around alignment with the latest campaign? OR are we talking about a prospect research data-driven process where donor behaviour will be matched with campaign needs and the right person asks at the right time using the right medium?

The answer is usually different from shop to shop.

It is also the answer to a frustrating assumption about the profession of fundraising; that this is an extrovert’s game because is it really all about schmoozing or strategic networking?

After the ground-breaking book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking,” author Susan Cain found herself at the forefront of what is now a revolution of the thinking-class. She has become the patron saint of the strategic-minded professional who dreads the noise and nausea of special events.

But this is not the full story.

As fundraisers, we are called to be introvert thinkers for strategy and research, then switch to extrovert mode to host golf tournaments, speak at staff gatherings and survive the whirlwind that is special events all in the same day. Who can do this? Enter best-selling author Daniel Pink and his book “To Sell is Human,” where he discusses the rise of the “Ambivert.”

And that’s where most of us live. Somewhere in the middle.

Extroverts get energy from people, crowds and chaos. For the classic extrovert, the challenge is to harness that energy like wind in a sail and build discipline to slow down: to think in the storm, listen, focus and try to engage more strategically to have more predictable repeatable outcomes.

Introverts are exhausted by special events, but they don’t hate them; it’s just an effort to attend. For an introvert, the key to survival is energy management, not trying to do it all and be it all. Know that you’ll need to build up reserves to make it through that exhausting gauntlet, but also you need a cool-down period or even breaks to make it through. Courage is required, but to the bold go powerful rewards.

For new fundraisers, the basic art of working the room (in person and now virtually) has been a decades- long teaching theme for Susan Roane, one of the most published authors in North America on the topic of networking. She has preached self-discovery and a personalized approach to building your plan of attack based on where you fall on the introvert/ambivert/extrovert spectrum. Millions have followed her advice and thrived as a result.

Don’t “fake it ‘til you make it.” Discover your strength and build your donor engagement and networking skills from a strong foundation of who you really are. Remember, one of the greatest strengths of the AFP chapter community is the many opportunities to network face- to- face and not just build your skills, but watch, model and be mentored by leaders in our sector.

Join us August 24th for a national webinar on “Fundraising for Introverts” where we will talk about how to discover your personal strengths, how to take them to work and how to use them to advance your mission, fundraising skills and career.

About Paul Nazareth

Paul Nazareth is vice president for community engagement with CanadaHelps.org, Canada’s leading charity that brings together charities and donors as they give online. He speaks at AFP chapters across Canada; visits hundreds of charities and meets thousands of fundraisers each year. Paul teaches the planned giving course with the Georgian College postgraduate fundraising program, is an instructor with the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, is chair of the Humber College Postgraduate Fundraising Program Advisory Committee and is a passionate advocate of the power of networking in our work and lives.

Follow Paul on Linkedin or on Twitter.

Original publication by AFP IHQ

Posted by & filed under Donor Centric.

Donor centric fundraising is all the rage. It makes a great deal of sense. Know who your donors are and why they are motivated to support a charity; ensure their gifts are allocated as requested; do the appropriate stewardship to show the charity understands their giving goals with supporting information. The final piece is the donor’s interest in how the charity runs. Is it efficient? Does it use its time and resources effectively? Is it able to meet its funding goals and are donor dollars well used?

We think this sounds wonderful until we look into how the charity is functioning at a more in depth level. Experience has shown us that many charities use their donor management system for receipting and usually this is tasked to a single individual. Fund development staff is often several steps away from any meaningful interaction with the data other than report requests.

This begs the question, how does a charity employ a donor centric approach to working with its donors under these conditions? A further observation has to do with staff turnover and the effect on information retention, pertaining to interactions with donors which would be used for future fundraising and stewardship support.

Running a charity begins at the top. It is incumbent on senior management to employ a methodology that ensures the best possible care of all types of information a charity needs to support a donor centric approach to its valued donors. People can and do give their money anywhere they choose to, so what is the best way to influence donors and ensure their interest remains strongly attached to a specific charity? What would you like donors to know about how the charity functions in support of both its goals and those who support them?

Let’s begin with the Knowledge Driven Charity.  First and foremost it will address the capture of important data. Standards exist which include everything from how to search to ensure a donor record is new to prevent duplication, to how the information is recorded to give maximum benefit to the donor and a fundraising team. Next is the gift and where it is positioned to show donor support. Values like ‘designated’ in the fund field provide little information, so how can the data recorded by appeal or campaign, be entered for maximum effect? This pertains not only to the charity but for the donor as well.

How charity staff work is equally important to a Knowledge Driven Charity. Taking too long to perform a task, being unable to access reports, not knowing how to pull a reasonable export, these are a result of training or the lack thereof. The idea training is expensive is a misconception. What is expensive is guessing how things work and making poor decisions on how to achieve work with charity data.

The Knowledge Driven Charity documents a non-profits’ best practices, describing for staff how to perform jobs recorded in easy to follow and maintain, point form. There is skilled labour in this marketplace so why let these skills leave without an appropriate capture. The time saved by staff and the recognition gained those by those who share their knowledge is of great value to an organization whether for profit or not.

Here’s an example. An engineer firm sent out field managers to check certain aspects of their jobs. One such manager had a check list. He used this list before every trip to ensure he had all the right tools to do whatever was necessary. The other field operatives did not and subsequently wasted company time with trips back and forth to the office to pick up what they forgot. The solution was simple, the check list was now a company resource and the expectation was that all field managers used it to ensure no more unneeded trips, wasted time and more importantly unneeded cost. In the world of a charity, this might be a word processing skill or who to create a report or how to properly build an in memory campaign. Time is expensive and when it is wasted there is a consequence which impacts productive actions sidelined by waste.

Naysayers will tell you a knowledge approach would be difficult to implement, hard to maintain, too costly for a charity to consider. Our position is that it is not difficult because staff members become the champions of an improved workplace as stress is reduced and productivity soars. A culture of Plan First is the rally cry. Time is freed up and accountability sets in as ones actions will affect another. ‘Too costly’ is what the charity is currently experiencing through costs associated with busy time.

Write these new methods into the documents that define the charity. Include in all job descriptions specific requirements with consequences to address any laxness that undermines the team.

Implement the Knowledge Driven Charity. Identify the charity’s commitment and share it with donors and funders. Be prepared for the Reaction and for the Results!


About Sharron Batsch

Sharron Batsch is the developer of @EASE Fund Development Software and the author of From Chaos to Control, Build a High Performance Team Using Knowledge Management.

She has worked with for-profit companies, shared her IT knowledge teaching at technical schools and universities. The last 25 years has focused on the non-profit community as a software specialist, consultant, volunteer fundraiser and event chair. She works with @EASE clients specializing in how they can build their wealth through the management of their information and knowledge.

Follow Sharron on Twitter and LinkedIn

 

Posted by & filed under Fundraising Day.

Boards tend to prefer overseeing fundraising to raising funds themselves. One of the biggest challenges fundraising executives face is getting board members to help raise money. What’s missing is a specific role in a well-defined process that integrates board members comfortably into the fundraising team.

That role is one that Malcolm Gladwell, author of the best-seller The Tipping Point, terms the connector.

The Connector Role

This is a more narrowly defined, less time-intensive, but more valuable approach to volunteer involvement in fundraising than trying to get board members to solicit gifts.  It is one with great appeal to those who don’t want to attend a lot of meetings or be involved in asking for money. Connectors work in partnership with staff in a process-based major gifts model.

Staff members rarely run in the same social or business circles as wealthy potential donors, but the members of a strong board do. Such board members can connect the development staff with high-potential prospects.

Making this powerful approach work depends on assigning roles as Connectors, Mavens and Closers loosely based on roles identified by Gladwell in his book. The responsibilities of each team member are aligned with the strengths of each in the team-based fundraising effort.

Connectors identify prospects and make introductions that bring potential prospects into the process.

Mavens are the experts who offer credentials and provide knowledge that builds prospect confidence in the organization and credibility for the case.

Closers are responsible for the culmination. Often the Closer role is filled by development professionals, but volunteers who are oriented to asking for gifts can play a role, too, if they wish.

This completes the five-part Steve Reed’s series on Fundraising Performance Improvement. Want to read more? Check out:

Part 1: An Introduction to Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)
Part 2: Six Imperatives in Applying Lean Six Sigma Principles to Fundraising (FPI)
Part 3: Breakthrough Cases in Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)
Part 4: The Power of Process in Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)

Steve Reed lead the session R-04: Hope is Not a Strategy: New Approaches to Fundraising Based on Performance Improvement Principles at AFP Toronto’s Fundraising Day on June 8. He unpacked FPI based on blend of learnings from five organizations, including two in Canada, with fundraising staffs ranging from one FTE to nearly 50.

About Steve Reed

Steve Reed offers 30 years of experience in business development, executive search, fundraising, marketing, performance improvement and strategic planning. His work creating innovation and ideation processes, coupled with 20 years of experience as a fundraising consultant, led to a pioneering application of six sigma and lean principles in fundraising. Reed has planned and directed well over $100 million in campaigns. He has completed executive search assignments, moderated hundreds of consumer focus groups and facilitated numerous board and staff retreats and workshops. His professional memberships reflect a diversity of interests. He holds accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, is a member of the Counselors Academy, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and its Chicago Chapter, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and the American Marketing Association. Follow Steve Reed on LinkedIn.

Posted by & filed under Congress.

Last Thursday, eight future speaking stars stepped into the spotlight in the inaugural installment of the Speakers Discovery Series.

The Speakers Discovery Series was an idea that has been brewing in my mind for quite some time. I have been a member of the AFP Toronto Congress Education Committee for the last two years before becoming Chair this year. Each year I would have people say to me, “How do I get to speak at Congress? I apply, and I am turned down over and over.”

When I looked at the reasons why many of these applications were being declined, I realized it was their lack of AFP based speaking experience. But how could they get experience if they couldn’t get accepted? There just wasn’t a clear path, and it was deterring new speakers which in turn meant that Congress was continuing to choose from the same pool of speakers. Finally, the idea came to me – why not replicate something that is already working to help create new and interesting speakers for other sectors? Being an avid podcast listener, I thought about The Moth or Risk – real people, telling real stories that connect with the audience. The plan was born!

Posted by & filed under Fundraising Day.

Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI) builds capacity by leveraging the work of fundraising staff, board members and volunteers in a new approach to major gifts that enables exponential increases in fundraising performance.

Making solicitation a process

The process combines the principles of fundraising relationship management with Lean Six Sigma thinking. It embeds relationship building strategies from initial contact through progressive stages. It is designed for a team-based environment and provides an easily implemented, step-by-step process through which the work of the development team is channeled and accelerated.

It is part of a circular, larger end-to-end development process that includes pipeline development and stewardship. It is named the “Core Process” because it is at the heart or core of the organization’s fundraising effort—responsible for 80 percent or more of the total amount raised annually, if deployed correctly.

Stage-Gates in the Core Process

A key element is the application of stage-gate theory from the world of commercial product development. Stage gates in product development are a way of limiting investment risk by focusing on a progressively smaller number of the most promising new products as they move through development stages.

Each of the four fundraising stage gates is a permission-based, opt-in process. While the formal solicitation occurs in the fourth stage, the intent of the process is to make solicitation a process, not a single event.

Check out the AFP Toronto Blog next Wednesday for Part 5 of Steve Reed’s series on Fundraising Performance Improvement.

Next: The Role of Boards in Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)

Previous: Breakthrough Cases in Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)

Steve Reed lead the session R-04: Hope is Not a Strategy: New Approaches to Fundraising Based on Performance Improvement Principles at AFP Toronto’s Fundraising Day on June 8. He unpacked FPI based on blend of learnings from five organizations, including two in Canada, with fundraising staffs ranging from one FTE to nearly 50.

About Steve Reed

Steve Reed offers 30 years of experience in business development, executive search, fundraising, marketing, performance improvement and strategic planning. His work creating innovation and ideation processes, coupled with 20 years of experience as a fundraising consultant, led to a pioneering application of six sigma and lean principles in fundraising. Reed has planned and directed well over $100 million in campaigns. He has completed executive search assignments, moderated hundreds of consumer focus groups and facilitated numerous board and staff retreats and workshops. His professional memberships reflect a diversity of interests. He holds accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, is a member of the Counselors Academy, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and its Chicago Chapter, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and the American Marketing Association. Follow Steve Reed on LinkedIn.

Posted by & filed under Fundraising Day.

Just focusing a process improvement effort on major gifts will result in a significant increase—if done right. But sustained performance improvement that doubles or triples the amount raised annually does require a focus on all of The Four C’s that are the pillars of high-performance fundraising.

Capacity: A process-based, metric-measured structure and operations that multiply the effectiveness of the people involved.

Case: A compelling, attention-getting, donor-centric reason to give that is oriented to today’s investor philanthropists;

Constituency: An effective structure that brings the right composition of board members, campaign volunteers and institutional and community partners to the fundraising process; and,

Culture: A performance-oriented organizational culture for philanthropy that embraces process, measures and metrics, while recognizing the opportunities.

Creating a Breakthrough Case

A fundraising case for support based on the ongoing good works of the organization is sufficient for annual fund solicitations and special events, but will not inspire the excitement necessary to attract sizeable major gifts. The same is true at a different level in the case of the typical capital campaign, which will attract major gifts, but only from the beneficiary’s own constituency.
A breakthrough case for support is one that dramatically differentiates the beneficiary institution in the marketplace in a way that makes achievement of significant performance improvement targets possible by attracting new donors at major gift levels.

The best way to get a major gift case developed is as part of a process that includes input from the potential large donors. The beauty of such an approach is that for the same nickel, it provides support to the case development process while developing relationships with potential donors. It recognizes that donors give for their reasons, not ours.

Check out the AFP Toronto Blog next Wednesday for Part 4 of Steve Reed’s series on Fundraising Performance Improvement.

Next: The Power of Process in Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)

Previous: Six Imperatives in Applying Lean Six Sigma Principles to Fundraising (FPI)

Steve Reed lead the session R-04: Hope is Not a Strategy: New Approaches to Fundraising Based on Performance Improvement Principles at AFP Toronto’s Fundraising Day on June 8. He unpacked FPI based on blend of learnings from five organizations, including two in Canada, with fundraising staffs ranging from one FTE to nearly 50.

About Steve Reed

Steve Reed offers 30 years of experience in business development, executive search, fundraising, marketing, performance improvement and strategic planning. His work creating innovation and ideation processes, coupled with 20 years of experience as a fundraising consultant, led to a pioneering application of six sigma and lean principles in fundraising. Reed has planned and directed well over $100 million in campaigns. He has completed executive search assignments, moderated hundreds of consumer focus groups and facilitated numerous board and staff retreats and workshops. His professional memberships reflect a diversity of interests. He holds accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, is a member of the Counselors Academy, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and its Chicago Chapter, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and the American Marketing Association. Follow Steve Reed on LinkedIn.

Posted by & filed under Fundraising Day.

Both art and science are needed to elevate fundraising performance. Applied together, the art and science of fundraising will help you forge stronger donor relationships.

The following are six imperatives in applying Lean Six Sigma principles for more effective fundraising.

  1. Focus on high-return activities

Focus on the mix of fundraising strategies that will significantly increase your ROI. A mark of a high-performing operation is a revenue mix of about 80% of total dollars coming from major gifts.

  1. Eliminate out-of-bounds process variance

Create a baseline development process and ingrain it in your culture. If you have a dozen gift officers—or if you are the only one—you will have one consistent way your organization goes about acquiring major gifts. You can then continuously improve that one way.

  1. Set key critical-to-quality process measures

Set key critical-to-quality process measures, with emphasis on cycle time. Establish a system for alerting you when a particular measure isn’t being met.

  1. Create abundant flow into the process

Use board members or volunteers as connectors because staff generally doesn’t move in circles where potential major gift donors are found. But don’t ask connectors to solicit gifts.

  1. Use high-cost, scarce resources to do only high-value work

Good development officers are truly a scarce resource. They should focus on cultivating prospects, not on making database entries or other routine tasks.

  1. Measure early, measure often

Use measures that help you see at key points whether you are on track for a positive outcome. Not only will you get what you measure, you will build a reliable forecasting system.

Next: Creating a Breakthrough Case for Support.

Previous: An Introduction to Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)

Check out the AFP Toronto Blog next Wednesday for Part 3 of Steve Reed’s series on Fundraising Performance Improvement.

Steve Reed lead the session R-04: Hope is Not a Strategy: New Approaches to Fundraising Based on Performance Improvement Principles at AFP Toronto’s Fundraising Day on June 8. He unpacked FPI based on blend of learnings from five organizations, including two in Canada, with fundraising staffs ranging from one FTE to nearly 50.

About Steve Reed

Steve Reed offers 30 years of experience in business development, executive search, fundraising, marketing, performance improvement and strategic planning. His work creating innovation and ideation processes, coupled with 20 years of experience as a fundraising consultant, led to a pioneering application of six sigma and lean principles in fundraising. Reed has planned and directed well over $100 million in campaigns. He has completed executive search assignments, moderated hundreds of consumer focus groups and facilitated numerous board and staff retreats and workshops. His professional memberships reflect a diversity of interests. He holds accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, is a member of the Counselors Academy, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and its Chicago Chapter, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and the American Marketing Association. Follow Steve Reed on LinkedIn.