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 »
ANDREA McMANUS, CFRE
President, The Development Group
With so many campaigns on the go, with both individually and cumulatively larger goal amounts to say nothing of the demand for volunteer leadership, we are increasingly hearing from our donors ‘Why aren’t you working together?” A fair question and one that should make us pause and ask ourselves “Right, why aren’t we?”
Calgary is a city with a 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness and, it is one of the few such plans in North America that is actually working! All three levels of governments have made significant contributions and for the first time over 150 agencies that work in various homeless-related areas, from poverty to addictions to domestic abuse, are cooperating on everything from intake procedures to affordable housing. Read more »
Consultant, Fundraising & Digital Communication, Norwegian Cancer Society
So, I keep hearing people speak about digital fundraising with a bit of fear in their voice. It’s this new thing, a thing that we don’t really know how to deal with. And we keep expecting it to raise loads of money, and yet it really doesn’t, and we can’t quite figure out why, and then everyone get’s frustrated. I think we’re overcomplicating things. In my opinion, digital fundraising is the exact same thing that we have been doing forever, just adapted to new channels.
If you look at it, what are the elements of classical fundraising?
• Telling a story
• Making an ask
• Using emotions
• Being the solution to a defined problem
• A well crafted response channel Read more »
President and CEO, TrojanOne Ltd.
Many of the organizations I work with have a beautiful bar of invaluable gold deep inside.
Most of them don’t know where it is. Some know, but they have hidden it away. Others don’t understand its value. Very few do a great job of displaying it.
What is this bar of gold? It’s the equity your organization has to offer to stakeholders. Not just to sponsors, but to volunteers, media, influencers, government officials, foundations, etc., etc.
Equity? Do I mean share price? Stock value? Yes, but not literally. Your equity is the value proposition that you have to offer. What does your organization stand for? How does it contribute to society? How are you making the world a better place? What value can you offer me as a donor, participant, sponsor, or staff person? Read more »
KAREN WILLSON, CFRE
Senior Vice President & Partner, KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.)
The core responsibility of the fundraising team in any charity, large or small, is to bring in more dollars so that the mission of their organization can be both maintained and hopefully enhanced.
We often think that our biggest challenge is finding those major donors. Where are they? The recent information from Revenue Canada has confirmed that although more money is being given to charity (post 2008-09), fewer Canadians are making these kinds of gifts. In the past, 80% of the giving came from about 20% of the population. But now the numbers show that close to 90% of the giving is coming from approximately 10% of the population. Read more »
Author, Speaker and Advisor on Media, Technology and Innovation
As we enter the networked age philanthropy is going through a profound change. This has big implications for fundraisers and donors alike. In the old model, not-for-profits sought funds from individuals and institutions. Donors were courted and if successfully seduced, they provided funds, and were thanked. But today because of a number of factors, most notability the Internet’s slashing of transaction and collaboration costs, charities can now build deep relationships with philanthropists.
Donors today can become more deeply engaged with causes. All parties become part of a network and therefore can view themselves differently. Donors become more like investors in social innovation, and are looking for a return on their investment. Charities can view themselves as participants in complete networks for solving problems, with more sustainable funding. Read more »
President, Gobel Group
Do you know your ten most important numbers to becoming a top advancement producer? We call them your Key Metrics for Major Gifts. In this blog, we’ll help you identify your metrics and put you on a path to closing more and larger major gifts. So how do you identify your Key Metrics? Let’s start with the first number you need to know.
1. What is your annual goal?
Have you established an annual goal for how much money you expect to raise this year in major gifts? If you have, great… if you haven’t, here is a technique for creating your goal?
The most effective approach to goal-setting is to base your number on your pipeline, not a pre-determined amount based on your level or role. Begin the goal-setting process by reviewing your pipeline to identify a realistic but aggressive goal for dollars raised (cash and pledges) for your next year. In particular, you should look at prospects in a Solicited or Ready to Solicit status, and perhaps those in Cultivation or Stewardship status that will be ready for an ask in the next year. From this review, you will be able to identify those prospects who will be asked for a gift in the next year and the anticipated amount of each gift. This becomes the basis for your goal for dollars raised.
For the purpose of this blog, let’s use $100,000 as a goal for dollars raised. Read more »
LAURA FREDRICKS, JD
President, Laura Fredricks, LLC
Collaboration… it sounds so simple but as we get so entrenched in our daily lives to focus on rising trends, raising money, managing our leadership, volunteers, committees and staff, we often want to “just do it ourselves.” But we all know the results if that happens, we dig deeper in our silos and when we surface we don’t feel much satisfaction and in fact if feels pretty empty.
This is why I created the Congress session How to Successfully Involve the Leadership and Volunteers with the ASK. It would be far easier to do the ASK by yourself or with your staff then take the time to work with people who may or may not want to ask for money. I have found a way to “streamline your time and efforts so that you will WANT to involve, no more importantly INSPIRE them to help you. I have tested my simple and fun ways to engage them and I hope you will join me as we share these new concepts together. Read more »
President, The Osborne Group, Inc.
In today’s world, it’s a badge of honor to say, “I’m busy, busy, busy,” like the actor in the Angie’s List commercial. We’re proud of our crazy lives.
That is one side of the coin.
On the other side, we are working ten hour days, neglecting our health or families or friends or passions, trying to make it all happen, be successful and still have a life. Many of our jobs require evening and weekend work. As managers, we really have it tough. What messages are we sending to our teams when they receive emails from us at midnight? “But that was the only time I could send it.” Our staff members take cues from us. Working weekends, last one out the door at night, not setting priorities.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal talked about the “pass” those with children often receive. Flex time, understanding about having to leave early for a soccer match. Does taking care of a sick mother count? How about taking a graduate class? Who has to take up the slack so moms and dads get extra time? Does grand-parenting make the cut?
What to do? Read more »