Having worked with three nonprofits over the past 17 years has taught me the importance of identifying and nurturing one of the most significant resources of any organization — its older donors. Cultivating these donors enriches their lives and allows them to have a positive impact on their favorite charities beyond their cash-generating years.
Donor Relationship Management
One of TV’s hottest shows right now is “Law & Order: SVU,” which dramatizes the society-wide problem of sexual and domestic violence. The sorrowful stories make for great TV, but what about when it comes to raising money for organizations that support its victims and work to eradicate it?
One hot topic within educational fundraising programs is whether or not to expend precious staff time and financial resources on courting recent graduates and younger alumni, who often don’t have the capacity to give large gifts.
Development leadership often is hesitant to redirect efforts away from more immediately fruitful major and principal gifts to chase these smaller participation gifts. But if your program doesn’t make this initial investment in educating younger alumni about the importance of supporting your institution, then when they’re more financially stable, it might be too late. They already will have focused their philanthropic efforts somewhere else.
The fundraising world is changing rapidly, and those who aren’t prepared will be left behind. Are you ready for these changes? Are you, in fact, leading your organization to embrace these changes? If you’re not, or if you don’t like change, perhaps now is the time to think about a career change.
Here, from my perspective and experience, are some of the more significant changes happening right now. Perhaps you can grab hold of these opportunities, change your fundraising, and soar.
“What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate” FS Advisor: July 19, 2005 By Margaret Battistelli, editor, FundRaising Success With apologies to Paul Newman’s character in “Cool Hand Luke,” that famous line could underscore the major deficiency that plagues many major-gifts appeals. In their AFP Fund Raising Day New York session, “Social Styles: Increasing Effective Personal Communications for Fundraising,” presenters Andrea Kihlstedt and Michael Page Miller stressed the importance of understanding the personality type of a potential major-gift donor before even attempting an ask. To simplify the task, consultants Kihlstedt and Miller educated attendees on the various social styles that fundraisers might encounter
Why Bill Gates Is Not a Prospect for Your Campaign FS Advisor: July 19, 2005 By Robert Hoak Every year, development directors of nonprofits wait with bated breath for the arrival of the Forbes 400 List of the Richest People in America, the fundraiser’s guide to where the big money is. Right? You have a great project. Bill Gates gives away a lot of money. You should have Bill at the top of your prospect list. He would be a great prospect, right? Wrong! Unless your organization is immunizing against Hepatitis B in Andhra Pradesh or administering a library with a cutting-edge technology
When you assess the sophistication, innovation and e-commerce prowess of Web sites in the nonprofit sector, it’s hard to accept the fact that e-giving accounts for only 1 percent to 2 percent of all funds raised by U.S. charities.
Not so long ago, online fundraising simply meant being able to accept credit card donations through a Web interface.
This past year began a new chapter in my family’s life: We became child sponsors. My wife and I decided that when our daughter was old enough to understand the concept, we would engage her in the process of choosing a needy child to sponsor.
When it comes to fundraising, arts organizations can entice donors with vibrant images and bold designs. But when times are tough, and donors must choose their causes more carefully, those visual appeals often aren’t compelling enough to win out over the gut-wrenching images of starving children and war-torn villages on an international-aid organization’s direct-mail pieces.
To overcome the innate challenges involved in raising funds for the arts, the development staff at NYC’s Lincoln Center “leaves no stone unturned,” according to Tamar Podell, vice president of planning and development at the venerable institution.