3 Tweaks to Get Your Fundraising Back on Track
You and your team need to figure out what terms you’re comfortable with. Some organizations like shorter payment terms. Others are comfortable with five or even 10 years. But you have to make the donor aware of them. Even if the terms are in writing, show her enough respect to let her know that the terms exist.
• Total amount: If you ever look at a gift-range calculator like mine at GiftRangeCalculator.com, you’ll see that you need three to five prospects you think are capable of giving at each level to actually land one gift at that level. That is a possible 80 percent rejection rate. So it’s entirely possible that your request isn’t going to be fulfilled at the level you mention. (That’s why it’s so important to ask for a higher number rather than a lower one.)
So when you go into the ask, be sure to have the ask you’re willing to make and then a couple more gift levels that you’ll be comfortable receiving. I call these “arrows in your quiver.” An archer only shoots one arrow at a time, but he has more to draw from when needed. Just like an archer, only make one ask at a time, but have options you can smoothly draw out if needed.
One of my clients in the Southeast heard of a donor making a $250,000 gift to endow a fund. The fund would help causes like my client’s. My client wanted to know how to get a grant from that fund. But rather than fight over a few thousand dollars with everyone else, I helped him strategize a face-to-face solicitation of this donor. He asked him for a $250,000 endowment fund.
But we also set up two other options that were extremely valuable for the nonprofit: publicly hosting and inviting the donor’s friends to my client’s largest annual event, and a $10,000 annual gift.
Concord Leadership Group founder Marc A. Pitman, CSP, helps leaders lead their teams with more effectiveness and less stress. Whether it’s through one-on-one coaching of executives, conducting high-engagement trainings or growing leaders through his ICF-accredited coach certification program, his clients grow in stability and effectiveness.
He is the author of "The Surprising Gift of Doubt: Use Uncertainty to Become the Exceptional Leader You Are Meant to Be" He’s also the author of "Ask Without Fear!"— which has been translated into Dutch, Polish, Spanish and Mandarin. A FranklinCovey-certified coach and Exactly What To Say Certified Guide, Marc’s expertise and enthusiasm engages audiences around the world both in person and with online presentations.
He is the husband to his best friend and the father of three amazing kids. And if you drive by him on the road, he’ll be singing '80s tunes loud enough to embarrass his family!