Fundraising Wisdom From a 25-Year Pro: Connie Sanderson, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children
Enlist the support of board members and trustees
Everyone knows the famous line, "You have to spend money to make money." Never doubt the truth of this. Work with your board members and help them understand that an investment in the development effort will reap rewards down the road.
Trustees and board members are also instrumental in helping to enhance visibility, building public awareness, introducing new friends to the organization and bringing in potential supporters. Encourage trustees and board members to bring friends to events, and ask for their help in reaching out to significant donors and noteworthy potential donors. This helps people know they are not just names and numbers on an annual report.
Continually adapt for maximal sustainability
Enhance programs that facilitate building relationships with “core donors” (those in a position to make planned gifts or bequests). Place an emphasis on “growing donors up” to the core donor level, for example, through specific stewardship, additional visits, targeted mailings and recognition programs.
Four years ago, with enhanced sustainability as its mission, Kurn Hattin’s board of trustees instituted task forces to address matters critical to our success and future solvency. These teams are made up of staff and trustees.
We now have a development task force, of which the overall goal is to ensure a sustainable future for the organization, as well as an investment task force, whose sole charge is to work with our investment manager to analyze and review our investments and maximize our endowment performance. During the last four years, this team has made adjustments in our portfolio which have generated increased endowment income.
With 120 years under our belts, I can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to look to the future confidently and say we’ll be here to serve the children who need us for 120 more and beyond.
Jaimie Scanlon is a Vermont-based writer and editor. She works as the content specialist at Rapt Creative Marketing and Design, on behalf o Kurn Hattin Homes for Children.