Reaching Out — and Reclaiming the Relationship
Have a fundraising challenge that you want to crack? Do you want to be strategic with your efforts and get results? Weary of doing the same old, same old and hoping for different outcomes?
Email me with your particular problem, and I'll arrange a quick consultation offering you a practical solution you can implement. I may even use your situation to share with my readers. Names are changed, of course!
I had the pleasure of speaking with the president and membership director of an independent secondary school a few days back. Carla and Juan had reached out via email, and now we were on a conference bridge. Carla was speaking from California, and Juan was in Georgia.
Although volunteers, these two young people are on a mission. Up front, they told me they want to increase alumni participation in the annual appeals in the next year by 20 points — minimum. Given that the participation rate for alumni at this school is currently around 20 percent, there's plenty of room to grow!
Carla opened our conversation by speaking about the need to "restore trust." Juan immediately brought the issue of giving to the front. I asked them both, so which issue do we need to deal with first — trust or participation?
They told me that one issue dovetails into the other. I asked them to briefly tell me the full story. Ten years ago, the then headmistress decided that the school's future lay not with alumni but with a couple of well-healed foundations that were offering to "remake" the school. With a cooperative governing board, the school embarked upon a metamorphosis — including a name change — all without prior consultation with alumni.
Predictably, alumni began to believe the school no longer valued them or their support. Financial support from alumni donors declined dramatically. Foundation leaders told school leadership not to worry as they were underwriting the school's major finances. Who cares, right?
Larry believes in the power of relationships and the power of philanthropy to create a better place and transform lives.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles. His mission is to give nonprofits and philanthropists alike the opportunity to achieve their shared visions. With more than 25 years of experience in charitable fundraising and philanthropy, Larry knows that financial sustainability and scalability is possible for any nonprofit organization or charitable cause and is dependent on neither size nor resources but instead with the commitment to create a shared vision.
Larry is the author of the award-wining book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising." He is the Association of Fundraising Professionals' 2010 Outstanding Development Executive and has ranked in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the United States by the Wall Street Business Network.
Larry is the creator of the revolutionary online fundraising training platform, The Oracle League.
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