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 »
Malinda DenBok, Online Community Coordinator
The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
So I bumped into Paula Attfield recently and was quite excited as we had not met yet. As a new-comer to the AFP Congress Planning Team I thought it was a great time to ask her my many questions and she kindly obliged.
What was one of your most memorable Congress?
My most memorable Congress was in 1999. At the time I was on the volunteer committee and I was probably 30 months pregnant… well more like 8.5 months. So I just remember waddling around the various sessions and it was probably fairly hilarious to watch.
Why is this year’s theme Accelerating Change?
Now more than ever, we’re being asked to succeed in a rapidly-changing and complex environment. It’s easy to feel left behind, or to find it difficult to navigate through increasing amounts of ever-changing information – messages hit us from all sides, email, television, advertisements, online and through the media. Read more »
Online Community Coordinator, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation
Are you a traveller? This AFP destination may surprise you.
So I’m not suggesting a conference is exactly like a vacation, but after seeing TBEX (The Travel Bloggers Exchange) all over twitter last week it struck me how much conferences can actually be a lot like travelling. Although different from a vacation, they share some of the same benefits:
You leave inspired.
Being out of the office with a change of scenery often causes a change of thinking. My creativity tends to get ramped up because I’m inspired by what is around me. Read more »
SUSAN STOREY, CFRE
PRESIDENT, AFP GREATER TORONTO CHAPTER
As the new Chapter President for AFP Greater Toronto Chapter, it is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with such an outstanding organization. The start of a new year is always a time to reflect on our achievements and the impact we’ve made and to set goals for the year ahead.
Our sector delivers incredible value – as fundraisers, AFP members understand the essential role you have in providing proof of the value of donor support. But collectively, we must continue to focus on defining and illustrating impact – donors, volunteers, government and the general public are expecting it. This isn’t something that rests solely on the back of fundraising professionals, but we can and must do more to broker the dialogue.
As a professional Association, AFP has the same accountability – to define and measure our organization’s impact through the value we bring to you, our members. With that in mind, 2013 will be the year of our Member – we hope to engage you in new ways, expand our reach, and exceed your expectations. Most of all we will seek to define and communicate our impact even more effectively in the coming year.
The year 2012 was one of significant development and change within AFP. We introduced new membership categories to provide affordable opportunities to fundraisers at the early stages of their career and to ensure that cost was not a barrier for small nonprofits to access the resources of our Association. AFP continued to advance relations with government and was called upon frequently to provide perspective and expertise to media and partner organizations. We built out our educational offerings with new creative approaches such as the Fundraising Theatre at Congress and our second D3 conference for senior level leaders. And through the tireless efforts of outstanding volunteers, our Chapter is an international leader in its commitment to understanding fundraising, philanthropy and volunteerism across diverse populations.
AFP is an organization that is evolving. As Chapter President, I welcome your perspective, enthusiasm and advice. I hope to hear from often with your ideas, observations, challenges, solutions and successes.
On behalf of the Board and staff of AFP Greater Toronto Chapter, I wish you an outstanding 2013!
ALICE FERRIS, CFRE, ACFRE
Partner, GoalBusters Consulting
Social media is not the best tool to solicit a gift. There. I said it. So what’s all the fuss about? Social media is a very good tool for cultivation and stewardship. It has been said that social networking has created the largest cocktail party in the world and you can interact with any number of people without an invitation!
Here are some quick tips on what to do with your online presence:
- Plan your content. You don’t want all your messages to be about selling something or about you—the majority of your posts should be information that establishes you as an expert in your sector. Your posts should also, on a regular basis, include references from other content sources so you don’t sound like you just talk about yourself. Read more »
President, 145 Live Solutions
Leonard Cohen once wrote that to be a fundraiser isn’t a vocation–it’s a verdict.
Guilty… as charged.
Yet any fundraiser worth his or her gender-specific salt knows very well that fundraising isn’t remotely about a life sentence to the raising of funds. Fundraising, rightly understood, is about transformation. Transforming people to transform people. Transforming people to transform the environment. Transforming people to care for animals. Read more »
Chief Mind, Ahern Communications Ink.
Elevator Speech? Ride to Nowhere. It’s the wrong answer to a great question.
You know the premise. You’re on an elevator with someone else. And in the course of a short ride, you explain your nonprofit’s work so well that you convince your listener to embrace your cause.
To steal a line from Aaron Sorkin, “What could possibly go wrong?”
Well, for one thing, the conceit suggests an attentive audience. I.e., the other person shuts up and listens. Read more »