Posted by & filed under Donor Centric.

Donor centric fundraising is all the rage. It makes a great deal of sense. Know who your donors are and why they are motivated to support a charity; ensure their gifts are allocated as requested; do the appropriate stewardship to show the charity understands their giving goals with supporting information. The final piece is the donor’s interest in how the charity runs. Is it efficient? Does it use its time and resources effectively? Is it able to meet its funding goals and are donor dollars well used?

We think this sounds wonderful until we look into how the charity is functioning at a more in depth level. Experience has shown us that many charities use their donor management system for receipting and usually this is tasked to a single individual. Fund development staff is often several steps away from any meaningful interaction with the data other than report requests.

This begs the question, how does a charity employ a donor centric approach to working with its donors under these conditions? A further observation has to do with staff turnover and the effect on information retention, pertaining to interactions with donors which would be used for future fundraising and stewardship support.

Running a charity begins at the top. It is incumbent on senior management to employ a methodology that ensures the best possible care of all types of information a charity needs to support a donor centric approach to its valued donors. People can and do give their money anywhere they choose to, so what is the best way to influence donors and ensure their interest remains strongly attached to a specific charity? What would you like donors to know about how the charity functions in support of both its goals and those who support them?

Let’s begin with the Knowledge Driven Charity.  First and foremost it will address the capture of important data. Standards exist which include everything from how to search to ensure a donor record is new to prevent duplication, to how the information is recorded to give maximum benefit to the donor and a fundraising team. Next is the gift and where it is positioned to show donor support. Values like ‘designated’ in the fund field provide little information, so how can the data recorded by appeal or campaign, be entered for maximum effect? This pertains not only to the charity but for the donor as well.

How charity staff work is equally important to a Knowledge Driven Charity. Taking too long to perform a task, being unable to access reports, not knowing how to pull a reasonable export, these are a result of training or the lack thereof. The idea training is expensive is a misconception. What is expensive is guessing how things work and making poor decisions on how to achieve work with charity data.

The Knowledge Driven Charity documents a non-profits’ best practices, describing for staff how to perform jobs recorded in easy to follow and maintain, point form. There is skilled labour in this marketplace so why let these skills leave without an appropriate capture. The time saved by staff and the recognition gained those by those who share their knowledge is of great value to an organization whether for profit or not.

Here’s an example. An engineer firm sent out field managers to check certain aspects of their jobs. One such manager had a check list. He used this list before every trip to ensure he had all the right tools to do whatever was necessary. The other field operatives did not and subsequently wasted company time with trips back and forth to the office to pick up what they forgot. The solution was simple, the check list was now a company resource and the expectation was that all field managers used it to ensure no more unneeded trips, wasted time and more importantly unneeded cost. In the world of a charity, this might be a word processing skill or who to create a report or how to properly build an in memory campaign. Time is expensive and when it is wasted there is a consequence which impacts productive actions sidelined by waste.

Naysayers will tell you a knowledge approach would be difficult to implement, hard to maintain, too costly for a charity to consider. Our position is that it is not difficult because staff members become the champions of an improved workplace as stress is reduced and productivity soars. A culture of Plan First is the rally cry. Time is freed up and accountability sets in as ones actions will affect another. ‘Too costly’ is what the charity is currently experiencing through costs associated with busy time.

Write these new methods into the documents that define the charity. Include in all job descriptions specific requirements with consequences to address any laxness that undermines the team.

Implement the Knowledge Driven Charity. Identify the charity’s commitment and share it with donors and funders. Be prepared for the Reaction and for the Results!


About Sharron Batsch

Sharron Batsch is the developer of @EASE Fund Development Software and the author of From Chaos to Control, Build a High Performance Team Using Knowledge Management.

She has worked with for-profit companies, shared her IT knowledge teaching at technical schools and universities. The last 25 years has focused on the non-profit community as a software specialist, consultant, volunteer fundraiser and event chair. She works with @EASE clients specializing in how they can build their wealth through the management of their information and knowledge.

Follow Sharron on Twitter and LinkedIn

 

Posted by & filed under Fundraising Day.

Boards tend to prefer overseeing fundraising to raising funds themselves. One of the biggest challenges fundraising executives face is getting board members to help raise money. What’s missing is a specific role in a well-defined process that integrates board members comfortably into the fundraising team.

That role is one that Malcolm Gladwell, author of the best-seller The Tipping Point, terms the connector.

The Connector Role

This is a more narrowly defined, less time-intensive, but more valuable approach to volunteer involvement in fundraising than trying to get board members to solicit gifts.  It is one with great appeal to those who don’t want to attend a lot of meetings or be involved in asking for money. Connectors work in partnership with staff in a process-based major gifts model.

Staff members rarely run in the same social or business circles as wealthy potential donors, but the members of a strong board do. Such board members can connect the development staff with high-potential prospects.

Making this powerful approach work depends on assigning roles as Connectors, Mavens and Closers loosely based on roles identified by Gladwell in his book. The responsibilities of each team member are aligned with the strengths of each in the team-based fundraising effort.

Connectors identify prospects and make introductions that bring potential prospects into the process.

Mavens are the experts who offer credentials and provide knowledge that builds prospect confidence in the organization and credibility for the case.

Closers are responsible for the culmination. Often the Closer role is filled by development professionals, but volunteers who are oriented to asking for gifts can play a role, too, if they wish.

This completes the five-part Steve Reed’s series on Fundraising Performance Improvement. Want to read more? Check out:

Part 1: An Introduction to Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)
Part 2: Six Imperatives in Applying Lean Six Sigma Principles to Fundraising (FPI)
Part 3: Breakthrough Cases in Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)
Part 4: The Power of Process in Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)

Steve Reed lead the session R-04: Hope is Not a Strategy: New Approaches to Fundraising Based on Performance Improvement Principles at AFP Toronto’s Fundraising Day on June 8. He unpacked FPI based on blend of learnings from five organizations, including two in Canada, with fundraising staffs ranging from one FTE to nearly 50.

About Steve Reed

Steve Reed offers 30 years of experience in business development, executive search, fundraising, marketing, performance improvement and strategic planning. His work creating innovation and ideation processes, coupled with 20 years of experience as a fundraising consultant, led to a pioneering application of six sigma and lean principles in fundraising. Reed has planned and directed well over $100 million in campaigns. He has completed executive search assignments, moderated hundreds of consumer focus groups and facilitated numerous board and staff retreats and workshops. His professional memberships reflect a diversity of interests. He holds accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, is a member of the Counselors Academy, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and its Chicago Chapter, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and the American Marketing Association. Follow Steve Reed on LinkedIn.

Posted by & filed under Congress.

Last Thursday, eight future speaking stars stepped into the spotlight in the inaugural installment of the Speakers Discovery Series.

The Speakers Discovery Series was an idea that has been brewing in my mind for quite some time. I have been a member of the AFP Toronto Congress Education Committee for the last two years before becoming Chair this year. Each year I would have people say to me, “How do I get to speak at Congress? I apply, and I am turned down over and over.”

When I looked at the reasons why many of these applications were being declined, I realized it was their lack of AFP based speaking experience. But how could they get experience if they couldn’t get accepted? There just wasn’t a clear path, and it was deterring new speakers which in turn meant that Congress was continuing to choose from the same pool of speakers. Finally, the idea came to me – why not replicate something that is already working to help create new and interesting speakers for other sectors? Being an avid podcast listener, I thought about The Moth or Risk – real people, telling real stories that connect with the audience. The plan was born!

Posted by & filed under Fundraising Day.

Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI) builds capacity by leveraging the work of fundraising staff, board members and volunteers in a new approach to major gifts that enables exponential increases in fundraising performance.

Making solicitation a process

The process combines the principles of fundraising relationship management with Lean Six Sigma thinking. It embeds relationship building strategies from initial contact through progressive stages. It is designed for a team-based environment and provides an easily implemented, step-by-step process through which the work of the development team is channeled and accelerated.

It is part of a circular, larger end-to-end development process that includes pipeline development and stewardship. It is named the “Core Process” because it is at the heart or core of the organization’s fundraising effort—responsible for 80 percent or more of the total amount raised annually, if deployed correctly.

Stage-Gates in the Core Process

A key element is the application of stage-gate theory from the world of commercial product development. Stage gates in product development are a way of limiting investment risk by focusing on a progressively smaller number of the most promising new products as they move through development stages.

Each of the four fundraising stage gates is a permission-based, opt-in process. While the formal solicitation occurs in the fourth stage, the intent of the process is to make solicitation a process, not a single event.

Check out the AFP Toronto Blog next Wednesday for Part 5 of Steve Reed’s series on Fundraising Performance Improvement.

Next: The Role of Boards in Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)

Previous: Breakthrough Cases in Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)

Steve Reed lead the session R-04: Hope is Not a Strategy: New Approaches to Fundraising Based on Performance Improvement Principles at AFP Toronto’s Fundraising Day on June 8. He unpacked FPI based on blend of learnings from five organizations, including two in Canada, with fundraising staffs ranging from one FTE to nearly 50.

About Steve Reed

Steve Reed offers 30 years of experience in business development, executive search, fundraising, marketing, performance improvement and strategic planning. His work creating innovation and ideation processes, coupled with 20 years of experience as a fundraising consultant, led to a pioneering application of six sigma and lean principles in fundraising. Reed has planned and directed well over $100 million in campaigns. He has completed executive search assignments, moderated hundreds of consumer focus groups and facilitated numerous board and staff retreats and workshops. His professional memberships reflect a diversity of interests. He holds accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, is a member of the Counselors Academy, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and its Chicago Chapter, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and the American Marketing Association. Follow Steve Reed on LinkedIn.

Posted by & filed under Fundraising Day.

Just focusing a process improvement effort on major gifts will result in a significant increase—if done right. But sustained performance improvement that doubles or triples the amount raised annually does require a focus on all of The Four C’s that are the pillars of high-performance fundraising.

Capacity: A process-based, metric-measured structure and operations that multiply the effectiveness of the people involved.

Case: A compelling, attention-getting, donor-centric reason to give that is oriented to today’s investor philanthropists;

Constituency: An effective structure that brings the right composition of board members, campaign volunteers and institutional and community partners to the fundraising process; and,

Culture: A performance-oriented organizational culture for philanthropy that embraces process, measures and metrics, while recognizing the opportunities.

Creating a Breakthrough Case

A fundraising case for support based on the ongoing good works of the organization is sufficient for annual fund solicitations and special events, but will not inspire the excitement necessary to attract sizeable major gifts. The same is true at a different level in the case of the typical capital campaign, which will attract major gifts, but only from the beneficiary’s own constituency.
A breakthrough case for support is one that dramatically differentiates the beneficiary institution in the marketplace in a way that makes achievement of significant performance improvement targets possible by attracting new donors at major gift levels.

The best way to get a major gift case developed is as part of a process that includes input from the potential large donors. The beauty of such an approach is that for the same nickel, it provides support to the case development process while developing relationships with potential donors. It recognizes that donors give for their reasons, not ours.

Check out the AFP Toronto Blog next Wednesday for Part 4 of Steve Reed’s series on Fundraising Performance Improvement.

Next: The Power of Process in Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)

Previous: Six Imperatives in Applying Lean Six Sigma Principles to Fundraising (FPI)

Steve Reed lead the session R-04: Hope is Not a Strategy: New Approaches to Fundraising Based on Performance Improvement Principles at AFP Toronto’s Fundraising Day on June 8. He unpacked FPI based on blend of learnings from five organizations, including two in Canada, with fundraising staffs ranging from one FTE to nearly 50.

About Steve Reed

Steve Reed offers 30 years of experience in business development, executive search, fundraising, marketing, performance improvement and strategic planning. His work creating innovation and ideation processes, coupled with 20 years of experience as a fundraising consultant, led to a pioneering application of six sigma and lean principles in fundraising. Reed has planned and directed well over $100 million in campaigns. He has completed executive search assignments, moderated hundreds of consumer focus groups and facilitated numerous board and staff retreats and workshops. His professional memberships reflect a diversity of interests. He holds accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, is a member of the Counselors Academy, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and its Chicago Chapter, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and the American Marketing Association. Follow Steve Reed on LinkedIn.

Posted by & filed under Fundraising Day.

Both art and science are needed to elevate fundraising performance. Applied together, the art and science of fundraising will help you forge stronger donor relationships.

The following are six imperatives in applying Lean Six Sigma principles for more effective fundraising.

  1. Focus on high-return activities

Focus on the mix of fundraising strategies that will significantly increase your ROI. A mark of a high-performing operation is a revenue mix of about 80% of total dollars coming from major gifts.

  1. Eliminate out-of-bounds process variance

Create a baseline development process and ingrain it in your culture. If you have a dozen gift officers—or if you are the only one—you will have one consistent way your organization goes about acquiring major gifts. You can then continuously improve that one way.

  1. Set key critical-to-quality process measures

Set key critical-to-quality process measures, with emphasis on cycle time. Establish a system for alerting you when a particular measure isn’t being met.

  1. Create abundant flow into the process

Use board members or volunteers as connectors because staff generally doesn’t move in circles where potential major gift donors are found. But don’t ask connectors to solicit gifts.

  1. Use high-cost, scarce resources to do only high-value work

Good development officers are truly a scarce resource. They should focus on cultivating prospects, not on making database entries or other routine tasks.

  1. Measure early, measure often

Use measures that help you see at key points whether you are on track for a positive outcome. Not only will you get what you measure, you will build a reliable forecasting system.

Next: Creating a Breakthrough Case for Support.

Previous: An Introduction to Fundraising Performance Improvement (FPI)

Check out the AFP Toronto Blog next Wednesday for Part 3 of Steve Reed’s series on Fundraising Performance Improvement.

Steve Reed lead the session R-04: Hope is Not a Strategy: New Approaches to Fundraising Based on Performance Improvement Principles at AFP Toronto’s Fundraising Day on June 8. He unpacked FPI based on blend of learnings from five organizations, including two in Canada, with fundraising staffs ranging from one FTE to nearly 50.

About Steve Reed

Steve Reed offers 30 years of experience in business development, executive search, fundraising, marketing, performance improvement and strategic planning. His work creating innovation and ideation processes, coupled with 20 years of experience as a fundraising consultant, led to a pioneering application of six sigma and lean principles in fundraising. Reed has planned and directed well over $100 million in campaigns. He has completed executive search assignments, moderated hundreds of consumer focus groups and facilitated numerous board and staff retreats and workshops. His professional memberships reflect a diversity of interests. He holds accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, is a member of the Counselors Academy, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and its Chicago Chapter, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and the American Marketing Association. Follow Steve Reed on LinkedIn.

Posted by & filed under Fundraising Day.

Steve Reed lead the session R-04: Hope is Not a Strategy: New Approaches to Fundraising Based on Performance Improvement Principles at AFP Toronto’s Fundraising Day on June 8. He unpacked FPI based on blend of learnings from five organizations, including two in Canada, with fundraising staffs ranging from one FTE to nearly 50. Follow Steve Reed on LinkedIn.

The art of fundraising embodies authentic, purposeful human interactions that build relationships and engender philanthropy. The science of fundraising uses knowledge acquired through disciplined empirical investigations in other settings and codified in systems such as Toyota’s Lean Manufacturing System and GE’s Six Sigma to create more productive processes.

Process engineering for work flow redesign, application of technology-supported measures, cycle-time metrics, and continuous improvement, are as relevant to raising money as to improving overall organizational performance.

Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach to eliminate defects in any process.

A Lean organization strives to cut waste and increase value for customers by creating an efficient flow and reduced cycle times.

When combined, Lean Six Sigma reduces waste and makes the best use of staff and volunteer resources through a powerful data-driven system.

The beauty of performance improvement is that, done right, it focuses simultaneously on top-line performance and bottom-line efficiency.  A well-planned performance improvement initiative will address opportunities in all aspects of the fundraising operation.

Applied together, the art and science of fundraising will help you forge stronger donor relationships. FPI ultimately is all about relationships.

Next: Six imperatives in applying Lean Six Sigma principles to create more effective fundraising processes.Check out the AFP Toronto Blog next Wednesday for Part 2 of Steve Reed’s series.

About Steve Reed

Steve Reed offers 30 years of experience in business development, executive search, fundraising, marketing, performance improvement and strategic planning. His work creating innovation and ideation processes, coupled with 20 years of experience as a fundraising consultant, led to a pioneering application of six sigma and lean principles in fundraising. Reed has planned and directed well over $100 million in campaigns. He has completed executive search assignments, moderated hundreds of consumer focus groups and facilitated numerous board and staff retreats and workshops. His professional memberships reflect a diversity of interests. He holds accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, is a member of the Counselors Academy, the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and its Chicago Chapter, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and the American Marketing Association.

Posted by & filed under Announcement, Fundraising Day.

June 21st is National Aboriginal Day. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples*

At Fundraising Day 2017, the audience had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Duke Redbird’s original poem, The Power of the Land. We are delighted to share it with you in the spirit of the day:

In every Nation, in every Clan,
The Elders to a person.
Whether woman or a man,
Shared a common truth,
One Truth to understand,
That the spirit of the people
Is equal
To the Power of The Land.

The Mother of us all
The sacred Mother Earth,
Is constant in her giving,
And perpetual in her birth,
In meadows and in fields,
Where weeds and flowers grow,
She conceives the summer showers,
And spawns the winter snows.
In forests and in mountains,
She gives the birds that fly,
Every type of wing,
Then coaxes the wind to join,
In harmony, when they begin to sing.

In brooks and streams,
And rivers as they flow,
She generates the dreams
And makes the fires glow.

And in every creature,
Whether large or small
She buries gems of wisdom
In them all,

And in every grain of sand,
She plants the knowledge,
Of the Power of The Land.

And those that honour,
Her creations,

And acknowledge her grand design,
She gives the templates,
Of the sacred,
And the patterns of the divine.

And then with certain knowledge,
This to understand,
That the spirit of the people,
Is equal,
To the Power of the Land.

About the Dr. Duke Redbird

Dr. Duke Redbird is an Indigenous intellectual, poet, painter, broadcaster, filmmaker and orator. He brings his breadth of cultural knowledge and artistic practice to the benefit of a global audience.

Dr. Redbird is instrumental in the implementation of innovative multimedia technologies, bringing an Indigenous approach to arts education, that is rooted in his pioneering work at OCAD University. His legacy stretches far beyond his work in Canada. His art has been exhibited and his poetry has been published and translated in anthologies around the world.

Duke has been described as a multifaceted artist, practicing across a number of disciplines including literature, painting, theatre, cinema and most recently rap poetry. A well-known broadcaster and television personality, he is in demand as a public speaker in university, community college and elementary school settings. He delivers a unique perspective from his heritage that is both a positive and optimistic alternative to how we view our universe in the 21st century. In 2005, Dr. Redbird was honored by the Indigenous community of Toronto and recognized as an Urban Elder and Wisdom Keeper. In this capacity, Duke’s presentation is a message of inspiration, hope and vision for the future.

Presently, Dr. Redbird is an Advisor to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in the field of Indigenous Art & Culture; and the Curator of an inaugural art exhibition called Debwewin (Truth) of the Museum, Fine Art Collection and Archives of the TDSB. He is also an Advisor for the Board of Director’s of Toronto’s Jumblies Theatre and the Banff Centre for the Arts.

*Introduction taken from Government of Canada: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website. 

Posted by & filed under Announcement, Fundraising Day.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Toronto Chapter is pleased to announce that Sasha Manes, Manager of Major Gifts and Stewardship at YWCA Toronto, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Outstanding New Fundraising Professional Award.

It has been said of Sasha that she epitomizes what is so wonderful about Generation Y fundraisers.  She excels at team work, embraces technology and is completely open to change.  She is deeply mission-driven and recognized at an early age that she could help the greatest number of people by choosing fundraising as a profession.

Sasha first joined YWCA Toronto in 2007 in a junior role within their women and children’s shelters. After leaving the Association to pursue a Master’s Degree in Community Development, Sasha returned to YWCA Toronto in a fundraising position and was selected by her CEO to represent the Philanthropy Department at the National YMCA/YWCA Conference in Edmonton. By the following year, she was named the lead in securing $1.3 million– which enabled YWCA Toronto to hit an all-time high in the philanthropic operating revenues for the charity.

Under Sasha’s leadership as Manager of Events, Sponsorship and Volunteers, the Women of Distinction Awards, YWCA Toronto’s largest fundraiser responsible for one third of the Philanthropy Department’s annual revenue, has been completely re-invented attracting a younger demographic and the future leaders of the sector. Sasha’s hard work and dedication has renewed the vitality of the event and made it hugely successful, growing total revenues by 25% and increasing corporate sponsorship by 47% from 2013. With no marketing budget, Sasha relied on her creativity and resourcefulness to leverage in-kind support from advertisers and media – Globe and Mail, CBC Toronto, BlogTO, CP24, TTC AdStop, and the Toronto Star to promote this event. From 2014-2016, the last year Sasha was in this role, she maintained a 55% growth in her corporate sponsorship revenue targets, 155% increase over three years. Sasha’s fundraising impact goes above and beyond the event as many attendees have become monthly and major gift donors, including a $1 million donation from an attendee just days after the event, the largest donation in YWCA Toronto’s operating history. Because of her innovative thinking and creative fundraising, this event continues to sell out and welcomes 1200 guests and volunteers every year.

As part of the management team in the Philanthropy Department, Sasha helps to steer the direction of the strategic planning and, as of the beginning of this year, has been appointed to the newly created position of Manager of Major Gifts and Stewardship. This is first time in YWCA Toronto history that the Association will have a position dedicated to the major gifts portfolio. She is now excitedly working towards the YWCA Toronto Philanthropy Department’s strategic goal of doubling their annual revenue over the next five years.

Sasha currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Rwanda Survivors Foundation, the first Canadian human rights education non-profit to focus specifically on Rwanda. In addition to assisting the Foundation in their fundraising efforts, she is dedicated to advancing and disseminating knowledge about Genocide. She also sits on a fundraising committee for Heritage Toronto. Prior to these current volunteer positions, Sasha was a long-term fundraising volunteer with the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, where she helped coordinate general fundraising efforts, as well as their largest annual fundraising event for 4 consecutive years.

Sasha appreciates that she spends her days talking to, and listening to, donors who are devoted to making our city, and the world, a place where women and children can thrive.  Ultimately, she is deeply proud that, through her work in fundraising, she has the opportunity to connect the good someone wants to do, with the good that needs to be done. Sasha is deeply grateful for the path she has chosen.

Background

Established in 2001, the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter New Fundraising Professional Award recognizes a full-time fundraising professional who has displayed exceptional talent and demonstrated outstanding achievement early in his/her career. The recipient has between two and five years of experience in fundraising and is selected through submissions from Chapter members. The award encompasses career achievements, long and short term career objectives, personal volunteer service and a commitment to the profession.

About AFP

AFP Greater Toronto Chapter is a recognised leader in promoting philanthropy and providing education, training and best practices for those in the fundraising profession. With more than 1200 members, the Greater Toronto Chapter is the largest of the more than 244 AFP chapters throughout the world.

Contact

Cynthia Quigley
Director, AFP Greater Toronto Chapter
Tel: 416-941-9212
Email: cquigley@afptoronto.org

New Fundraising Professional Award Sponsor

Sasha will be honoured with her award at the Fundraising Day Luncheon. Join us on June 8th to celebrate Sasha’s achievement, attending awesome professional development and education sessions, and network with your fellow fundraisers. Register today!

 

Posted by & filed under Fundraising Day.

Here’s a Fundraising Day sneak peek from one of our speakers and special guest bloggers, Juniper Locilento, CFRE. Locilento is leading the session Y-07: Start from Where You’re At: a Practical Guide to Strengthening Your Culture of Philanthropy at #FD17Ideas on June 8th – register today! Follow Juniper on Twitter @JBerri.

You’re likely reading this because your job involves raising money. And perhaps your job involves raising more money this year than last year.

Well, read on if you believe that your organization needs a stronger culture of philanthropy in order to make that happen. While this is obviously not a new topic, it’s one that remains top of mind for many fundraisers because while we understand this inherently, we often struggle to move the needle in our organizations.

I believe the key word in culture of philanthropy is culture and I have been thinking about how we go about making cultural change in our organizations in order to support philanthropic growth. In other words, change management applied to how our organizations value philanthropy and where it sits in relation to other priorities.

It’s a myth that change initiatives lead to change, because somewhere between 50% and 70% of change initiatives fail. New practises are actually the consequences of the change, not the change itself. So we have to go deeper.

 

Finding the Root of the Issue

You can’t solve a problem without addressing the thinking that produced that problem in the first place, so you need to start by understanding where those cultural norms about fundraising and philanthropy came from. You need to dig up the dandelion root and really examine it, not just snap off the head.

This ties to values – what our organizations stand for and the opportunities we create for donors to make change in the world through our work. As the legendary Kay Sprinkel Grace says: “All philanthropy is based in values. Development of relationships is the process of uncovering shared values. Fundraising offers people opportunities to act on their values.” So, what does your organization value? What do your donors value? Finding the root issues and enhancing the synergy between values are keys to better fundraising results.

 

Why Now?

Once you’ve dug in to identify what got your organization to where it is today, you need to identify the “burning platform”. As humans, we resist change even when we understand the consequences, so we need to be razor sharp on this. Why do things need to change now? What will happen if things don’t change?

 

The Destination Postcard

It’s also really important to identify vision or the destination, and here’s where those books and articles can help: they paint a picture of what a thriving culture of philanthropy might look like, from strong Board giving to fundraising being a strategic priority within the organization to donors being treated with love and respect.

 

A Roadmap

Do you want to improve what you are currently doing (developmental change)? Are you trying to replace the status quo with a new and clearly defined destination (transitional change)? Or is transformational change needed – a future state so different that you don’t even know what it looks like when you start? Once you understand the root of the issue, have identified the reasons that things need to change and have articulated a future vision, you can start to build a roadmap for how you might get there. (Hint: it’s possible, but it will take longer than you think. And there will be hand-wringing).

 

The Bottom Line

Culture can only be changed by the people in it – as liaisons between our organization and our donors, fundraisers have an important opportunity to be catalysts for that change.

 

AFP Fundraising Day Session Description:

Fear of fundraising remains pervasive outside of our profession – which can make our jobs a lot more challenging. But as fundraisers, we know that the relationship between a strong culture of philanthropy and successful fundraising is a given. So how can we close the gap? Using cases that span organizational size and sector, we’ll explore the nature of cultural change and what you can do today to move philanthropy closer to the centre of your organization.

 

 

Juniper Locilento, CFRE
Director of Annual Giving, Operations & Strategy
YMCA of Greater Toronto

Juniper Locilento, CFRE is driven to advance philanthropy as a means to create change. She has worked alongside social profit change makers for more than a dozen years, both as a fundraising practitioner in arts & culture and as a philanthropic consultant with KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.). She is currently Director of Annual Giving, Operations & Strategy at the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

A passionate teacher and learner, Juniper is a student in the Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership program at Carleton University. She also holds a B.A. and a Diploma in Operatic Performance from the University of Toronto and a postgraduate certificate in Arts Administration from Humber College. Juniper studied Organizational Development and Change Management at York University’s Schulich Executive Education Centre. Follow Juniper on Twitter @JBerri