Maximizing Revenue, Minimizing Competition
Recall Principle 8 of The Eight Principles™ "Invest, Integrate & Evaluate™". We must integrate every fundraising initiative so that it appears to be seamless and focused on each particular donor. In short, reach out with the donors in mind. Not program or revenue goals.
Perhaps the first step in making this a reality is to construct goals for each fundraising program from a total donor-base perspective. Calculating your system capacity is the place to start. Work backward from this number—not what you think you “need.” There are several steps to doing this effectively. But they’re not hard. The calculations aren’t nearly as difficult as changing the goal-setting mindset of your organization.
Once you know what each outreach can produce, you can begin to divide the donor base by known interest. The techies among us call this “lead scoring.” Here again, the hard part isn’t mastering the technical pieces, it’s getting staff to buy in.
So how do you do the hard part?
I could wax here about the need for a healthy staff culture, a culture of philanthropy and so forth. These aren’t bad things. They tend to be the result of good management decisions rather than the cause, however.
The quickest way to see change in the right direction is to tie staff performance to overall fundraising performance and donor renewal rates. Once this is done, it’s amazing how you have the right kind of attention and cooperation from fundraising staff.
I was frank with McKenzie, making this sort of change is akin to doing a 180 with a battleship. It takes time and a steady—and resolute hand—at the wheel.
I invited McKenzie to get back with me in a few months. I’m looking forward to hearing of her progress.
Remember what Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Just deciding on the course and setting down the right road is the hard part.
Let me hear from you. Please share your situation and the challenges you face in developing sustainable revenue streams. Email me, and I’ll arrange a brief consult providing you with practical guidance. I’ll choose some of these thorny obstacles to share, along with my insights, in upcoming columns.
Success is waiting. Go out and achieve it.
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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