by Lois Shaw, amplifi
Charities and nonprofits are facing a changing political and cultural landscape, funding competition, and greater expectations of accountability from funders. Social media, smart devices and mobile networks make available instant updates and real time awareness of their issues, causes and products. Their challenge: to stay on top of this shifting foundation while fulfilling their purpose as an organization and meeting the needs of their community.
How can they achieve success?
On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Toronto Chapter brought together a stellar panel of leaders to explore the unique features of the community and offer some solid tips and tools that would benefit any organization.
The presenters included:
- Bruce Langstaff, Philanthropist and Chair, Major Gifts, Mackenzie Health Foundation
- Karyn Toon, Director of Corporate Relations, Allstate Canada
- David Tsubouchi, Partner, Fogler, Rubinoff LLP and Chairman, Triple Eye Infrastructure Corporation
- Daniele Zanotti, CEO, United Way York Region
As challenging as it is to summarize the wisdom of these individuals into a concise package, here are 5 key points that emerged from the discussions.
- Be human. Approach any ‘ask’ with candor, humility, honesty and transparency. Let the potential donor know that you understand how important they are. If they have contributed in the past, let them know how their gift was used and invite them to the next level of involvement. They may be one of your future champions.
- Do your homework. Know your statistics and be able to provide solid information on how past donations have made a difference to your organization and the community. Have a strong narrative that you can share with passion and commitment. Your level of engagement speaks volumes.
- Know your community. Find a way to engage residents in their community, and with your organization. Know your politicians and make it easy for them to be the strong local supporters they are. They want to ‘do good’ on their home turf.
- Engage the for-profit world. Corporations love well-presented data, so make sure you have done your homework, have your statistics aligned, know how the company earns it’s money, and how your organization aligns with the corporation’s core business. Research brand and corporate values. Know when the corporation’s fiscal year is and remember that their budgets are done 3–4 months prior to that date. Be sure to contact them early, help them solve a problem, and make it local.
- Always say THANK YOU.