Torpedo the Ratio
Newer charities like charity: water tell us what it is going to take to achieve a mission goal. This much money equals a well in this locality to be started on this date. And, we're going to tell you when that well is finished. The public loves it and supports it as evidenced by charity: water's success.
Why can't we all do that? We'd like to say "because curing 'x' is not as measurable as building a well." You might be saying that right now. Nothing worth doing is completely unmeasurable. Nothing. Your measurement may not be exactly the same, but it would be better than the milk-toast "... improve the quality of life ..." portion of most our mission statements that proves we are virtually directionless and without metrics for success.
If I am focused on raising my $500 million to achieve the cure my daughter needs, I am going to finance my fundraising department differently and measure the success of my mission delivery department differently. My fundraisers will be measured by the net they raise, not gross revenue with a tight fist around expenses. They will be managing portfolios to produce net revenue, without less constraint on how and at what expense. My mission delivery/program people have to tell us what it is going to take financially to achieve the goal and report regularly on how close we are.
And we would all have to accept being pariahs in our industry.
Katrina VanHuss has been instilling passion in volunteer fundraisers since 1989 when she founded Turnkey. Otis joined in the fun in 2013 as Turnkey’s resident human behavior expert. One thing led to another, and now as a married couple, they almost never stop talking about fundraising, volunteerism and human decision-making, much to the chagrin of most dinner companions.
Through their work at Turnkey, the pair works with the likes of the American Lung Association, Best Buddies, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, using human behavioral tendencies and recognition to create attachment and high fundraising in volunteers.
Katrina and Otis present regularly at clients’ national conferences, as well as at BBCon, NonProfit Pro P2P and Peer to Peer Forum, and are the co-authors of the 2017 book, Dollar Dash. They live in Richmond, Va.