Engage, Then Ask
6. Rethink special events. For many nonprofits, special events focus more on “friendraising” than on “fundraising.” Annual balls, runs, auctions, festivals, etc., are volunteer intensive — often the volunteers are women. Think about the impact on your organization if those volunteers would spend their time as ambassadors of your organization and cultivate larger gifts rather than just gathering $25 gift certificates for the auction.
It’ll take time to change your organization’s culture, and you might meet with resistance. But it’ll be well worth the effort.
When you show women how they, as fundraising ambassadors, can help your organization meet its mission, and when you connect a woman’s values to her philanthropic actions, you’ll see a difference in funds generated.
Women’s philanthropy isn’t about totally revising your fundraising program. It’s about ensuring that all possible donors are invited to the table to share their values and passions. It’s about ensuring women are recognized for their leadership potential, for their financial clout and for their potential impact on your organization.
Andrea Pactor is the program manager for philanthropic services at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. For more information, visit www.philanthropy.iupui.edu, and click on the link to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy.