Emma Lewzey, CFRE, Senior Major Gifts Officer, St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation
If you work in a small or mid-size shop, there is a clear path to stability and sustainability for your organization. You need to focus on the right donors: individual donors. Now, don’t get me wrong – corporate gifts, special events, and foundation grants can all play an important role in a balanced and diversified fundraising program.
The reality is that individual donors give the vast majority of philanthropic gifts – here in Canada, the latest available stats show that 71% of donations come from individuals, followed by foundations at 16%, and corporations at 11%. If you are like most small to mid-size organizations you and/or your team are probably spread pretty thin – you’re wearing multiple hats, and have a diverse range of responsibilities in your portfolio. And chances are, you’re not spending 71% of your fundraising time and resources focusing on individuals. Read more »
Claire Kerr, Director of Digital Philanthropy, Artez Interactive
Many nonprofit organizations are closely measuring online activity across their websites and donation forms… And with good reason! Tools like Google Analytics can be more useful than user surveys when we want accurate information about what our donors and supporters are really doing online.
When diving into your own numbers, have you noticed the difference between web traffic from laptops or PCs, and mobile traffic from smartphones and tablets? At Artez Interactive, we track fundraising activity for millions of visitors to charity and nonprofit donation pages every year. We’ve noticed that for most organizations, the peak time of day for online donations is between 9am – 11am.
What’s driving this pattern? A few things! Donors are responding to email solicitations in their inboxes and logging onto social sites like Facebook at the start of the day; often while at work. It makes sense that charities and nonprofits would see a spike in donations during this period. Read more »
Alan Clayton, Director, Clayton Burnett Ltd.
If it doesn’t, I’m leaving.
Human emotions are complicated and infinite in their variety and combinations. I was asked recently by a journalist ‘Does guilt have a place in fundraising?’ I asked her, ‘please define guilt.’ When she failed to do so, I politely declined the interview. Of course guilt has a place in fundraising as does every emotion that anyone is capable of experiencing and transmitting.
‘Guilt’ is only a hair’s breadth away from ‘pity,’ which in itself is only a razor’s width away from ‘compassion.’ Only a judgmental fool would try and define the difference and preach to us which of our emotions is acceptable and which is not. What I feel as guilt, you may feel as compassion and someone else may feel as religious duty. We are all right.
For fundraising to succeed, and for donors to have the experience of it they deserve, a gamut of emotions is involved. The donor journey is a repeating loop of:
• ‘Reward’ emotion.
• ‘Need’ emotion.
• (rational pause to check out the facts.)
The power of the need emotion is the cause of much controversy, of course. It’s a debate we should have widely in our sector. I look forward to it. Read more »
Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE, Principal, Joyaux Associates
Toronto colleague Cathy Mann says: “I think fundraising is the canary in the coal mine for the organization.”
If fundraising isn’t going well, what does that say? Maybe the fundraiser doesn’t know the body of knowledge. Maybe the chief executive doesn’t listen to the fundraiser. Maybe the board and its members are lost in space when it comes to fund development. Maybe the quality of your program isn’t what it used to be.
Most fundraising problems are not really fundraising problems. They are problems elsewhere in the institution. But those problems elsewhere do impact fundraising. For example, unhelpful board members are a recruitment and performance problem. And sometimes a chicken problem… because the organization won’t fire lousy board members. Read more »
Bernie Colterman, Managing Partner
Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing
As the competition for philanthropic dollars increases, more and more nonprofit organizations are looking at sponsorship as an alternate revenue source to more traditional fundraising methods. However, the transition to the marketing-based approach that is required for sponsorship-driven revenue is not easy for many organizations because it requires a mind-set that is radically different from traditional models. Some of these challenges include:
- Working with large numbers of stakeholders who do not understand sponsorship and how it is different from the philanthropic environment;
- Establishing “fair market value” for organizational assets;
- Unrealistic expectations of what revenue can be expected (and when) from various opportunities;
- Limited internal expertise to market and deliver the program; and,
- A “business-oriented” culture that is typically not in line with the entrepreneurial approach required to market, negotiate and deliver on sponsorship agreements. Read more »
Trevor Zimmer, CFRE
Major Gifts Communications Specialist,
The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
A $250M donation is a pretty big deal, especially for a small college like Centre College, in Danville, Ky. They recently made a lot of waves for this donation, but unfortunately it was for the wrong reason. Apparently the donation was contingent on a “significant capital market event”, that being $3.4 billion loan deal involving a large privately held company that provides software and services to car dealers. When the deal did not happen the gift that was promised, faded away.
The problem is, the College had made the gift public already. One lesson here is that perhaps it is better to hold off on making announcements on large gifts until they are actually in the bank. Of course we trust donors and their pledges, but often the financial markets rule, and those are things that cannot be trusted. I wonder if someone at the College lobbied to not announce it, and was overruled by a higher up? Read more »
Judith Nichols, Ph.D., CFRE
Author, Consultant, New Directions in Philanthropy
Looking for new donors? Trying to hold on to the donors you have? Understanding who’s in your donor pool – or who should be – is the first step to growing a larger, more loyal group of supporters.
Fundraisers are beginning to recognize the need to market differently to audiences with different backgrounds using demographics and psychographics to uncover similarities and differences among potential donors:
– Demographics: Demographics are sets of characteristics about people that relate to their behavior as consumers. Age, sex, race, marital status, education and income are used most frequently.
– Psychographics: These are measures of attitudes, values or lifestyles. They are the entire constellation of a person’s attitudes, beliefs, opinions, hopes, fears, prejudices, needs, desires and aspirations that, taken together, govern how he/she behaves. This, in turn, finds holistic expression in a lifestyle. Read more »
Ann Rosenfield, MBA, CFRE
Executive Director, The WoodGreen Foundation
Pssst! Small shop fundraisers. Want to hear a secret? While you and I can list 101 disadvantages to being in a small shop, there are HUGE and I do mean HUGE advantages to being small.
So disadvantage reason #96 is I have to run all my own tax receipts and stuff the envelopes personally. But that is also a HUGE advantage for several reasons. Thanks to the relatively small volume of gifts:
- I can actually hand sign all of the tax receipts
- I know the name of pretty much every single donor to my organization
- I easily affix live postage stamps to all tax receipts Read more »
Tony Elischer, FinstF (Cert)
Managing Director, THINK Consulting Solutions
I have been coming to the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter Congress now for over seventeen years and continue to prioritise my invitations in my speaking and travel schedules, but why?
I clearly recall meeting a leading American fundraiser many years ago who declared that “America had basically invented philanthropy and fundraising”. “Excuse me”, I thought, “Shouldn’t we recognise that philanthropy is pretty universal and perhaps has a little more ownership, if not history, in Europe?” On the fundraising call I think I must concede as America did pretty much invent the foundations of what we now know as professional fundraising.
When I started in fundraising, over thirty years ago, I was told to look to America for cutting edge fundraising practice, innovation and inspiration. This I did as an enthusiastic young fundraiser and I learnt a lot. However, since those days the world has changed and now we look around the world to different reference points for insights, learnings and inspiration. So what do we look to Canada for? I hear you ask. Read more »