In their presentation held on July 28 at the 2010 Bridge Conference in National Harbor, Md., "Marketing and Fundraising for Campaigns, Special Initiatives and Anniversary Celebrations," Jeanne G. Jacob, executive director of Goodwin House Foundation, and Barbara Ciconte, senior vice president of Donor Strategies, offered some great tips for successful fundraising. Here are some highlights.
The case for support
- Focus on how funds raised will enable the organization to do things it is not able to do now — new programs, services, facilities, etc.
- Be donor-oriented, not organization- or association-oriented.
- Focus on the future, not the past.
- Focus on current and future needs of the organization and its members.
- Be well-written, well-crafted, clear and concise, and memorable.
Due to increased public scrutiny, fundraisers must:
- Be accountable to donors.
- Be transparent in all activities.
- Be certain gifts and grants are used for the purposes for which they were solicited.
- Provide appropriate recognition and benefits to the level of gift.
- Consider overall fundraising climate.
- Make a compelling case for support.
- Exhibit strong staff and volunteer leadership.
- Focus on why people give.
- Market appropriately.
- Incorporate ethics in any marketing and fundraising.
- Communicate regularly with donors and sponsors.
Follow marketing principles
- Segment your market.
- Know "who wants, who needs …"
- "The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous" — Peter Drucker
- Position the organization.
- Understand the ownership paradigm.
- It's an exchange, not a handout.
- Test, modify, continually improve.
Apply a marketing perspective
- Donors tend to fund the future, not the past.
- People tend to be emotional givers who look for rational reasons to support emotional responses.
- Decisions are driven by values and benefits.
- Prospects will more likely contribute if the organization reflects their values and desires.
- Organizational needs should be stated in terms that demonstrate a capacity to solve problems that are important to donors.