David Love, Godfather of Good, Agents of Good
Once upon a time, there was a boy named David. He was a restless soul who was not happy when he looked out at his world. What bothered him most was that the natural world, which sustains all life on earth, was under siege.
So David decided to change his world. He found an organization devoted to restoring the natural world and he asked people to support the work of this fine organization.
Soon, money began to come to the organization but it wasn’t enough. So David thought, “Maybe people would give more to the mission of the organization than to the organization itself.”
Sure enough, more money came but it was still not enough. David was puzzled. What could he do next?
Then one day, he looked in the mirror and said, “I give to many good causes. But it’s not because of the organization or even the mission. It’s because what they do reflects my personal values. What if I put the donor at the centre?”
David raised much more money and he is still doing it today. It’s still not enough, but one day – we all will live happily ever after.
David has been raising money for 43 years. He is a pioneer in putting donors first in fundraising for the environment. After retiring as the Executive Director of The Living City Foundation in 2013, David now works part-time at Agents of Good. Over the years, David has worked for WWF Canada, Stephen Thomas, Amnesty International and many environmental organizations. David Love will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from AFP Greater Toronto Chapter at Congress 2013.
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 »
Business Development Officer, Harbourfront Centre
It might be just me but I don’t think there are enough hours in the day. As professionals the expectation is that you always deliver your best at work. Ensuring you’re on the top of your game means understanding that the nonprofit sector is increasingly influenced by outside trends. Fundraising is touched and affected by economic, social, technological and political trends in our home country, and increasingly, worldwide. To perform to the best of your ability in the office you need to be aware of what is going on outside of it. So, how do you do it?
Take the time to learn outside the office. Sign up for a webinar once a month. Subscribe to a variety of blogs that focus on different elements of society. Google Currents or Flipboard are great news feed tools to use. They both aggregate news, blogs and websites you’re interested in. Helpful tip, theverge.com is a great site for tech posts.
Attend Congress! Learning in the moment with a live speaker! Don’t forget to make notes while you read and learn, your brain can only remember so much. Read more »