Find the Easiest and Most Effective Fundraising Path
We always try to make complex problems simple. To find out what are the questions that need answering. The problems that need solving. And break them down.
My team and I recently were talking with a client—a smaller college that wanted to increase alumni giving. It was not about the dollars—it was about the all-important ranking that has alumni giving as a part of the formula.
The college was looking at social-media campaigns. Direct-appeal campaigns. Revamping the website. All are good initiatives and are important.
However, right now, its goal is alumni participation. Every year its number of graduates equates to about half of its alumni-giving numbers.
It has scores and scores of students in leadership positions in the college. It has a fledgling student-giving program. To have a real impact on alumni giving–in a year, two years and to double it in five years, we suggested starting here.
In the future, we shared, consider other programs to recoup lapsed donors and attract alumni who have never been engaged with or given to the college.
However, the college has the luxury of being face-to-face with the students. Our recommendation was to look at enhancing programs to increase student giving and student affinity. Then, bolster a young alumni council and ”graduate” the students who are already leaders into this group. Engage these council members in reaching out to their peers.
We ran numbers. If the college follows this path, it can easily double its alumni-giving percentage in five years and build loyalty that can last a lifetime.
Be sure that you are solving your most pressing problem. You can’t do it all. Focus, ask the right questions, analyze, plan and implement.
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.