Asking

3 Ways to Not Leave Money on the Table

3 Ways to Not Leave Money on the Table

I’ll never forget. It was Christmas at my first Director of Development job. It was actually the second nonprofit I had worked for, but the first one I had ever served as the director of the fundraising program. I was also the first full-time director of development in the organization’s history. The organization, a children’s shelter, received a large portion of its donations for the year from its end of year campaign. I felt a lot of pressure that first holiday season to succeed.

In response to an appeal letter I had mailed, one donor called and asked to come visit. Of course, I readily agreed. We sat in the living room of one of our buildings talking and then, he asked me (!) how much he could give. He got out his checkbook and waited for me to give him a number. This, of course, is a fundraiser’s dream.

The problem was, I was such a novice at that time that I sat there pretty much frozen and didn’t know what to say! 

Christmas in July

Christmas in July

This Saturday is Christmas in July.  Santa might not be coming, but there are great sales everywhere and some retailers are even trying to get people thinking ahead to the holiday season which, if you’re a fundraiser, is a really good idea. If you haven’t already begun planning for the end of the year, now is the time to get started.

It’s four months until Giving Tuesday and five months until the close of the fiscal year.

Breakfast Briefings Can Open Doors

Breakfast Briefings Can Open Doors

Early requests for sponsorship support were disappointing.  One company’s response was typical, “How come, if you’ve been serving the community for 23 years, we’ve never heard of you before?”

Not promising as far as beginnings of sponsorship campaigns go.

The organization needed to re-introduce itself to the community.  We decided to hold a Corporate Breakfast. 

Happiness, Habits, and Major Gift Fundraising: #AFPFC Wrap-Up

Happiness, Habits, and Major Gift Fundraising: #AFPFC Wrap-Up

HAPPINESS, HABITS, AND MAJOR GIFT FUNDRAISING: #AFPFC WRAP-UP

Note:  This blog post is part of my #AFPFC wrap-up, a series of posts writing about my take-aways from the 2015 International Fundraising Conference of the AFP in Baltimore last week. Happiness, Habits, and Major Gifts Fundraising was the title of a session led by Amy Eisenstein.

One of my personal favorite speakers is Amy Eisenstein, author of  Major Gift Fundraising For Small Shops.  At the AFP Fundraising Conference last week, she had us dancing in the aisles to the “Happy” song (no one else at the conference did that) as she led a session on “Happiness, Habits, and Major Gift Fundraising.”

The workshop was partly about major gift fundraising and how to be better at it; and partly about time management, work-life balance, the power of positive thinking, as well as self-discipline.  Oh yeah.  And then there was the dancing.

To boil her message down to its barest elements:

  1. Positive Thinking has Power:  The old adage “think you can and you can” (or think you can’t and you can’t) applies in fundraising as in all else in life. – So Stay Positive.

How would you like to increase donations 600-800%?!?

How would you like to increase donations 600-800%?!?

What if you could do one thing in your development program and increase your donations 600 – 800%?!!

You can! According to Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang in a whitepaper produced by Blackbaud and Hartsook Institutes, Growing Philanthropy in the United States, 600-800% is the amount by which you can increase a donor’s lifetime value simply by converting him or her to a monthly giver.

Consider:  if you’re typical donor makes a $25 or $35 check at the end of the year, you can increase his or her giving dramatically by signing them up to give $5, $10, or $15 each month instead. A monthly contributor who gives $5/month, for example, has increased their contribution 240% in one year.  Now, multiply that by the number of years he or she will give.

The math is pretty simple and straight-forward so the real question is how do you get started?

The answer isn’t rocket science:  Ask.

An Empathy Gap?

An Empathy Gap?

A new study conducted by researchers at Stanford, suggests that there is an "empathy gap" between men and women that affects charitable giving.  

To study differences in men and women and charitable giving, the researchers tested responses to appeals for support for a fictional organization they called the Coalition to Reduce Poverty.

The study broke the 1,1715-person sample into 5 test groups and compared the responses of men and women in each of the sub-samples. 

3 Great Reasons Companies Should Sponsor You

3 Great Reasons Companies Should Sponsor You

ponsorships can make the difference between an event being successful and an event being a failure.  Sponsorship dollars are critical.  Fortunately, sponsorship dollars are something that are easy to raise (yes, you read that right) – easy because they are a win-winCompanies receive several benefits from sponsorships:

  1. Corporate sponsorships provide companies benefits with their customers
  2. They increase employee productivity and loyalty, and
  3. They offer traditional marketing benefits like name/brand recognition in the community.

Like a Dog with a Bone

Like a Dog with a Bone

At this time of year, a good fundraiser is like a dog with a bone. She’s sunk her teeth into the organization’s fundraising goal and she’s unwilling to let go.

And with good reason. There are still things you can do to make your goals. Don’t give up on your goal or on yourself. There are 5 and ½ weeks left in the year. If you haven’t yet met your fundraising goals for the year – It’s not too late! 

Finish Strong: 3 Strategies to Reach Your End of Year Goal

Finish Strong:  3 Strategies to Reach Your End of Year Goal

You need to finish strong.  It’s the end of the year and this is the make-it or break-it time for nonprofit fundraising.

If you’re still staring at a large fundraising goal and wondering what you can do to reach it, here are a few strategies that will help you take it to goal.  Here are 3 strategies to help you cross the finish line.

Email MORE Not LESS

Email MORE Not LESS

Fundraisers everywhere are biting their nails, worrying about whether or not their appeals will result in the gifts their organizations need to be able to meet their budgets and asking themselves what more they can do.

So what can you do?  Email more, not less.