March Madness Brackets for Fundraisers
After a winter to remember, we can finally turn our attention to something positive and exciting. This week, 68 NCAA Division I men's and 64 women's basketball teams began or are about to begin competing in the annual championship tournament ritual. These tournaments will be filled with surprises, upsets and great entertainment. It doesn't matter who is favored. No one knows who will win the championship until the last game.
All of the teams selected by the tournament committees come in different shapes and sizes. Some are large schools from powerful conferences. Smaller schools are chosen at times from weaker conferences. Each school has already achieved a level of success just to get into the tournament.
Have you ever thought of how you could relate this concept to your fundraising program?
Think of walking into your development conference room with a large bracket on the wall facing you. You see 68 donor prospects on the board. The ultimate goal of this process is to move these prospects in such a way to maximize their time, talent and treasure for the benefit of the organization you serve. These prospects are chosen through research. Some are picked via their online or direct-mail activity. Others are picked through special events, grant potential, net worth ability, linkage plus ability and interest. Still others are chosen through major-gift history, planned-giving intentions and other possibilities.
All of these prospects come from different geographical areas — areas of focus and characteristics that make them viable. On your development team of annual-, major- and planned-gift staff "coaches," these prospect pairings are rated and strategies for success formed. There is a reason they were selected for this scenario.
Just as the basketball tournament is unpredictable, so too is your prospect challenge. You do not know which prospects will be winners or losers. But, you will seek to move them from prospect to donor and eventually larger donor.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.