Ten Nonprofit Funding Models
3. MEMBER MOTIVATOR There are some nonprofits, such as Saddleback Church, that rely on individual donations and use a funding model we call Member Motivator. These individuals (who are members of the nonprofit) donate money because the issue is integral to their everyday life and is something from which they draw a collective benefit. Nonprofits using the Member Motivator funding model do not create the rationale for group activity, but instead connect with members (and donors) by offering or supporting the activities that they already seek. These organizations are often involved in religion, the environment, or arts, culture, and humanities. The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), which protects and expands wild turkey habitats and promotes wild turkey hunting, is an example of a Member Motivator. It attracts turkey hunters, who collectively benefit from NWTF’s work and therefore become loyal members and fundraisers. Local NWTF members host more than 2,000 fundraising banquets each year, raising about 80 percent of the organization’s annual revenues. These banquets provide multiple donation opportunities: entry tickets (which cost about $50 each and include an annual membership); merchandise purchase (averaging more than $100 per attendee); and raffle tickets (generating about $16,000 per banquet). NWTF’s national headquarters supplies raffle prizes and merchandise to sell at these banquets. Each banquet clears an average of $10,000 after expenses. A significant portion of the money raised is dedicated to land and turkey conservation in the community from which it was donated. Nonprofit leaders considering the Member Motivator funding model should ask themselves the following questions:
* Will our members feel that the actions of the organization are directly benefiting them, even if the benefit is shared collectively?
* Do we have the ability to involve and manage our members in fundraising activities?
* Can we commit to staying in tune with, and faithful to, our core membership, even if it means turning down funding opportunities and not pursuing activities that fail to resonate with our members?