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 Congress.

Thank you too each of the individuals who took the time to send in details about themselves and their interest in attending Congress 2010. The winner of the 3 day Congress 2010 pass is…Jim Martin. Congratulations Jim and we’re confidant that Congress will have a ripple effect for you and the organizations you’re working with.

We in the last few days of preparation for this years Congress and the entire team, both our fabulous volunteers and our amazing staff and busily working to ensure that next week’s conference is a rich learning and networking environment for each of you.

And for the first time we’ve just surpassed 1,000 registered delegates and this milestone is a remarkable one. Thank you for supporting our world-class conference and we know that each of you will play a part in making next week special. If you haven’t registered there still is time: http://afptoronto.org/index.php/congress/registration.

If this is your first time attending Congresswelcome. If your a returning – welcome back. And if you’re part of the Ambassador Club and have attended Congress at least 5 times – thank you for choosing the AFP Greater Toronto Congress repeatedly to increase your knowledge, skills and networks.

I look forward to seeing each of you next week and celebrating our sector together,

Tania Little, CFRE
Chair, Congress 2010
@tanialittle
#afpcongress

Posted by & filed under Congress.

Yesterday, at Congress, we ran a twitter contest for delegates to share their best ideas they heard so far. Thanks for your thoughts!

To build on the idea and to create a more lasting record, I’m asking people to share at least one thing they learned.

There are several for me but Dr. Judith Nichols (I’ve been a fan for years) is such an authority in learning us learn about implications of demographics, and translating the target audiences to your fundraising programs. Dynamite!

What were your favourites?

Posted by & filed under Congress.

One of the biggest questions that used to go through my mind as I was deciding which conferences to attend is “will I learn anything I actually can use?”

I am told by a number of my colleagues that this is the year when everyone is watching their education dollars – and yet – it’s probably more important than ever to stay on top of your game. Is this your challenge?

Click through to see the full list of topics.
http://afptoronto.org/index.php/congress/conference-topic

But here are just a few:

– Social media: We have some of the hottest professionals around who will help you learn about this timely subject on everything from – the basics of how to get started with Nicci Noble – to how to use it do increase your fundraising through social media, with Ted Hart.

– Major Gifts: Not forgetting sessions in more traditional fundraising methods, guru Tony Myers will help you with your “Major Campaigns – in a Tough Economy” And that’s just a start.

– Small Shops: We know everyone doesn’t work at a large organization. And while there are sessions that you will find useful, regardless of your size, we have a few that are specially focused for small charities.

And that’s just a start. I know our speakers would love to hear from you on what you need – so don’t be shy.

Tell us what you need and we’ll be happy to pass it on.

We’re looking forward to a great conference. Are you coming?

Regards,

Mark