Tag Archives: relationship building

Seven tips for fundraising success

 

Raising funds for charitable organizations can be difficult; certainly time-consuming. It’s a patient process, requiring considerable research, planning, and organization. The word “development” is a perfect fit to the process an organization goes through to generate a meaningful contribution.

When it comes to raising funds for your organizations, here’s a handful of tips to consider adding to your overall fund development strategy. They have represented the centerpiece of our success. They’re not listed in any specific order, but you’ll quickly recognize where and how they fit in your strategy.
   
Identify strengths and weaknesses

Understand the organization – from operations to personnel to policies to financial management. Recognize the causes and implement solutions to each. Be sure to dot every “I” and cross every “t”.

Offer innovative giving

The one constant between most non-profit organizations is the ability to accept cash contributions. Every donor knows this. However, savvy donors (charitable investors) seek greater information, transparency, accountability, and results from their contributions. A strong percentage of them seek unique and innovative giving methods.

Create solicitation strategies

Know your constituents. An engaged leader is a gem and, as nonprofit leaders, it’s our obligation to strive for their full potential. One great way to really get to know supporters is to design solicitation (or engagement) strategies for each. Start by creating a Prospect/Donor Profile for each, used to document their interest, involvement, willingness, and capability. Mapping a solicitation strategy will force you to be strategic about cultivating each constituent’s involvement. This one act involves and is influenced by the other six tips offered here.

Engage constituents

From prospect identification to board leadership to donor stewardship, your benefactors are your organization’s greatest vehicles of success. Engage them through key steps of the fund development process. You’ll be amazed at their ideas, insight, and perseverance.

Generate active awareness

Tell your story to the world. Shout it regularly through local media and through your social media avenues. Be sure you focus on strengths and opportunities and that any weaknesses are addressed. Distribute clear messages and keep your messaging timely. Encourage staff, volunteers, and donors to share the messages through personal, personable, and electronic means.

Network

It’s a seven-letter word that, for many non-profit leaders, is more like a four-letter word – work. There’s no better way to prospect new supporters, whether they’re future volunteer or donor leaders. It involves stepping out of your routine, forces you to fine-tune your 30-second elevator speech, and smile even if you’re having a difficult day. Ask any business leader, networking produces results. Get out there and make friends and share your organization’s story, needs, and opportunities.

Steward donors

Perhaps the most detrimental cause of recent organizational failure might not have been solely the economic crash. Is your organization at fault for not properly recognizing donations and, more importantly, developing strong relationships with its donors? Stewarding donors strengthens the lifeblood of non-profit organizations. Pick up the phone, send an email, direct a tweet, say hello in the store, high-five at a ballgame, and send a card. These are the little ways that magnify the “engage constituents” tip into truly rewarding alliances. Make each donor feel as if he/she is in the middle of the game.

 

Perhaps one that should be listed is “have fun”…development and non-profit leadership should be exciting, rewarding, meaningful, challenging, and fun. Make the most of it!

 

Fundraising webinar for non-profit board members

     

At the root of effective fund development is the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of prospective contributors. This simple process affects all areas of each community-benefit (or non-profit) organization and, when properly managed, creates incredible effects on the organization’s growth, sustainability, and beneficiary impact.

In the hundreds of board meetings which NPcatalyst leaders have facilitated, participated, or simply visited as a guest, there’s been one overwhelming topic address – fundraising. In most cases, the question of “how do we (or where do we) raise more funds?” has been raised. Typical answers are special events, direct mail, and grantwriting. Very seldom do boards discuss relationship building and, more specifically, the board’s role in facilitating new donor relationships.

On Tuesday, September 27, we will be conducting a webinar on the role of board members in the donor solicitation process. The training session is designed for all board members, and will be great for executive directors, development staff, and marketing/public relations staff. The presentation will include tips related to:

  • How to identify prospective donors
  • How to address potential supporters
  • What to say when you have their attention
  • How to properly represent the organization
  • How to gather and record information
  • The interaction with staff members

We’ll even spend a moment on how to raise funds without “making the ask”.

But wait…there’s more. We’ll give each webinar participant copies of documents we regularly use to identify, cultivate, and solicit major gifts.

Here are the webinar details:

NPcatalyst – Board fundraising webinar training session

www.npcatalyst.com/webinars

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

10:30am-11:30am (PST)

$70.00

 Register Now

     

The webinar is designed for all 501c3 organizations, whether they’re large or small;  weak or strong development programs; active or inactive board members; and, located in Nevada, the west coast or elsewhere – but all seeking growth and greater impact. 

Please note that the webinar will be taped and may be purchased for viewing immediately after the actual webinar date/time. For more information, contact NPcatayst at 775-333-9444 or info@NPcatalyst.com.