"Plagiarism, we all know, is the most sincere form of flattery. Why trouble to think of your own big idea, if you can steal — or, perhaps better, borrow — someone else's? Of course you should always properly acknowledge the original; and seek in adapting it to improve, and certainly not debase, its original concept."
That's how global fundraising consultant Ken Burnett explains the idea behind the Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration. This month, we'd like to introduce SOFII to those of our readers who don't know about it and share some of the fundraising efforts that have made it into the site's Best of the Best Showcase.
The Best of the Best Showcase "celebrates those campaigns that have really made a difference and have changed the way we do what we do," says Nathalie Robinson, director of development at SOFII. "The list is not exhaustive — our content is constantly growing, and we are always looking for new additions. We would welcome any suggestions or feedback."
Robinson says that although the most successful fundraising campaigns vary widely in their missions, they all:
1. Prove there's a need. "Whether by telling a story or using statistics, all of the campaigns in SOFII's Best of the Best Showcase have brought their various causes to life and proved to their donors that they require support."
2. Ask appropriately. "Getting the ask right is crucial. By knowing your donors and understanding their motivations, you can tailor your fundraising communication to suit them."
3. Show donors how they can make a difference. "One of the most important questions that a donor will ask is, 'Will my gift make a difference?' If you can clearly show your proposed solution to the problem and what you will be spending their donation on, then the donor is more likely to give."