Basic Fundraising and Stewardship for Small Organizations

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Information about Basic Fundraising and Stewardship for Small Organizations
Business & Mgmt

Published on January 26, 2009

Author: frankmckay



A presentation made in November 2008 to Young Life staff as they prepared to begin fundraising for their organization.

Fundraising and Stewardship Hall County Young Life Frank McKay

Some Common Fundraising Myths (There are many more!) • People give to meet “needs” o Need doesn’t inspire action (every charity needs more money) o Providing your donor the opportunity to change lives inspires their giving • If 1,000 people gave $100… o 80/20 Rule (now 90/10, perhaps?) o Higher end donors are essential (and require personal attention) • Corporate sponsorships are the answer o In 2006, 83 percent of all charitable gifts came from individuals (Giving USA) o Gifts from corporations/foundations probably came through an individual who was a link between the charity and the giving entity • I have to do it all myself o As with any aspect of your job, going it alone is rarely a good idea o Seek counsel from others; garner volunteer support; etc.

10 Laws of Fundraising • People give to people • People give because they are asked • 80 percent of the money comes from 20 percent of the donors • People will give to a winning cause • People give in relation to the person who asks • Giving is contagious • Previous donors make the best prospective donors • High sights plus managed expectations result in success • Personal visits result in larger gifts • Correlation between number of requests and number of gifts

Key to Fundraising Success: Involvement • Think about where you invest your time and finances o “The more involved, engaged, and passionate your donors are, the more likely they are to give.” o “Building a community that is more informed, involved, and invested” • It’s as much about helping your donors meet their needs as it is about your cause • How do we get people involved? o Ask for their advice (people love to feel important) o Ask for their help (host an event, speak to kids, etc.) o Ask them to serve on a committee

Donor Cultivation Cycle ,GHQWLI 6 WHZ D U G 5 HV HD U F K $ VN & X O WLY D WH

Identify • Every organization is different, so identification methods will also be different • At Young Life, the two primary items to look for are: o A heart for Christ o A heart for lost kids • Develop your “elevator speech” • Take every chance to speak to groups, meet with others, etc. to tell them about Young Life and see who expresses an interest in your mission • Follow up and seek their continued involvement

Research • Once you’ve identified someone as a potential friend, there are certain things you need to learn: o How true are her desires to help Young Life? o How large of a gift might she be capable of? o How large of a gift might she be willing to make? o What else occupies her time? o Where else does she invest her time and resources? • How do you do this? o Personal visits o Google/Internet searches o Fact gathering through friends; prospecting meetings with community volunteers; etc.

Cultivate Because cold research isn’t enough – you’ve got to learn about the prospect and get him engaged in your cause Getting to know your prospects: • “When you were young, who spoke into your life about Christ?” • “What do you think young people need today?” • “How do you think ______ would resonate with kids?” Helping your prospects know you: • Send them an “insider” newsletter • Invite them to special events (dinners with other prospects, etc.) • Invite them to participate in a focus group for important feedback • Provide a mix of group & one-on-one activities (avoid pressure from too much close activity, and don’t create distance with too much group activity – plus, through group activities, you can determine how effective a volunteer that person might be)

Ask • A successful gift request takes into consideration: o The right donor o The right cause o The right amount o The right solicitor o The right timing • “Would you join me with a gift….” • Silence is “Golden” • Turning objections into objectives

Steward • What is the most effective stewardship? o THANK YOU o Seven “Thank Yous” for every gift Letters, cards, calls, notes from those who benefit Spread them out –remind the donor of her gift throughout the year • Delicate balance o 80% of donors give relatively small amounts o 20% of donors give significant amounts o Treat all with respect while focusing on those who require special attention for the benefit of your organization • Remember: fundraising is about relationships o Between you and the donor o Between your organization and the donor o Between one donor and another o Build all of these relationships, and your organization grows stronger

Steward (continued) • Gift retention is the key to long-term stability and growth • Better said in Ask Without Fear, “Love your donors” o (How would you want to be treated?) o Each person deserves an individual plan o What does this plan do? Inform Involve Garner investment o How does this plan look? Mailing list and yearly request Phone call once a quarter to stay in touch Insider newsletter quarterly / between other publications Lunch once a month to seek counsel Bi-weekly contact of any sort to keep informed

Donor Cultivation Cycle ,GHQWLI 6 WHZ D U G 5 HV HD U F K $ VN & X O WLY D WH

Other Tips • Seek out some blogs and online publications to refresh your fundraising efforts and strategies, such as: o Fundraising Coach o Donor Power Blog o Non Profit Times o Fundraising Success o Etc. Benefits – they aren’t a book that you read once and put on a shelf – they provide constant reminders of how to improve your fundraising efforts with new ideas that reflect current trends. • Use blue ink • Put yourself in their shoes • Pray

Bibliography Books • Ask Without Fear, Marc Pitman • Essential Principles for Fundraising Success, Douglass Alexander • Fundraising Fundamentals, James Greenfield Articles/Presentations • Enjoy the Ride! How to effectively raise funds in a roller-coaster economy, Mary Ellen Collins • Fund Raising in a Difficult Economic Climate, Derval Costello • Non-Profit Fund-Raising Demystified, Tony Poderis • Growing and Nurturing Your Donors: Cultivation Tools for Today and Tomorrow, Frank McKay • Face to Face Fundraising Techniques – the ABCs, Frank McKay

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