Fundraising Lessons Learned From 'Groundhog Day'
How does all of this relate to fundraising success elements and positive outcomes? If you have been in fundraising for at least a year with a goal to reach, you realize in our world it is all about funds raised against a goal that is never reduced. It is also all about the number of donors that you generate, which relates to number of gifts produced. The key elements examined in these results are acquisition and retention.
We are always trying to secure greater dollars, donors and gifts from whatever means available to us. We spend countless hours reviewing totals compared to previous years or methods used. These elements give us pride and measure our worth as fundraising professionals. Our budgets, staffs and programs depend on the results generated from these various fundraising success elements. While vitally important, I contend several other variables are just as important and have a tremendous effect on the results we so desire.
The key elements are identification of prospects, rating and researching of prospects, solicitation of prospects, cultivation of prospects, and stewardship of prospects. By whatever means available, you must identify both quality and quantity of prospects consisting of corporations, foundations, associations, organizations and especially individuals. From the identification stage, you must have the research tools that evoke linkage, ability and inclination toward your cause.
By implementing a moves management system, you provide individual strategies for each prospect with potential solicitation goals. You need to maintain a growing number of solicitations that eventually will increase your dollars raised results. In fact, it is mandatory that each fundraising professional maintain a "vetted" dynamic and not static portfolio.
If you demand increased dollars, donors and gifts each year, you must likewise seek larger numbers of prospects identified, rated, cultivated, solicited and stewarded. Place all of these categories on a large board, and see if you have correct numbers in every category. If you do not have a holistic process for your fundraising cycle, you will fail in both short- and long-term results.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at email@example.com or 317-224-1029.