Quiet, Passionate Givers
As a group, he adds, teachers don’t consider themselves wealthy, so they’re very selective about giving.
“Our communication through fundraising copy must be highly personal,” he says. “Music teachers care about individuals, especially students. We must also communicate a compelling vision of how students will be positively impacted by our organization, and that this vision cannot and will not be accomplished without our organization or their support.”
“When preparing fundraising copy for teachers, it is important to acknowledge them as informed readers,” says Kristin Sargent, an analytics consultant for software and services provider Blackbaud. “Teachers need to be recognized for the contributions they make on a daily basis and the impact they have on the success of the institution overall.
“Talk about how their gifts will not only assist in reaching the targeted goal financially, but also how they will help send a clear message to the rest of the school community about the broader impact educators can make,” she adds.
She suggests these tips for approaching educators about donations:
- Ask for their donations before you reach out to others (such as alumni and parents). This recognizes that teachers play a vital role in the institution’s success. Plus, once support from teachers has been accomplished, the development office has a good talking point when it reaches out to the rest of the organization’s constituents.
- Consider approaching educators when they return from summer break and are planning for the year.
- Encourage other teachers to help ask. Setting up a faculty annual fund or major-gift committee can be the difference between success and failure for an internal fundraising program.
Christine Weiser is a Philadelphia-based reelance writer and publisher of “Philadelphia Stories,” a nonprofit literary-arts publication.
Go to www.philadelphiastories.org for an extended version of this story.