Pulse: ProFile: Amy Franze, JDRF
We also raised money for Red Cross, the Cancer Society and our schools. It was not a matter of, “Should we give back?” but “How much?” and “How often?”
Being raised Catholic, I was taught that giving back was an essential part of leading a good life, and I have tried to instill this in my family, friends and associations.
In my adult life, I have been a tutor for literacy societies and continue to raise money for breast cancer outreach and research. I am also an active fundraiser and donor to JDRF, as I feel it is essential to personally give when you work for a nonprofit organization.
FS: What have you taken from your experience in the for-profit world that has helped in fundraising?
AF: The worlds are not really that different. In any job, whether it is for-profit or not-for-profit, you must work hard, be sincere and connect with others. The for-profit concepts related to sales, marketing and communications are really at the heart of fundraising strategies. Maintaining and growing volunteer/donor (customer) relationships while establishing the advantages and benefits (marketing) of aligning with our organization are keys to our success.
Also, it is critical that everyone in the organization is kept up-to-date and the messaging is clear (communications). It does continue to surprise me when people assume that nonprofit organizations don’t understand marketing or finance — some of the best business minds are in the not-for-profit industry.
FS: What are some of the biggest challenges fundraisers face, and how do you overcome them?
AF: The economy is having an impact. At the moment it appears that the extremely wealthy (net worth of $50 million-plus) are giving at the same rate as in the past; the middle and upper middle income levels, however, have cut back. I think there are misconceptions that despite the economy and increased taxes, people are giving at the same levels. It is simply not true.