The 4-Quadrant Theory for Gift-Club Success
The four elements that I employed during each fiscal year, which began July 1, were the annual recognition event, annual membership drive, annual volunteer activity and annual "wild-card" event. The annual recognition event was a dinner in which several hundred people attended. I used that dinner as a platform for the hospital president and foundation leaders to talk about progress, plus give annual volunteer awards to members of the Society.
The annual membership drive consisted of me training a large number of members to recruit new members. This involved fundraising priority information-sharing and prospect analysis. The annual volunteer event involved such things as families of Society members cleaning a yard, delivering meals to people in need or working on a community activity. The wild card event included taking donors to the children's museum, Indianapolis 500 race track, zoo, etc. I also created a beautiful recognition board for members in the front entrance of the hospital.
Over time, the Seton Society became well-known, and several hundred people became permanent members. The club became the focal point for the fundraising program. For several years, I had featured speakers at the dinner such as Andrew Young and Cokie Roberts. At other times, the dinner focused on entertainment that included such acts as Johnny Rivers, Gary Puckett and the Temptations. The committee worked with me to "own" the Seton Society concept.
This gift-club concept works well if you keep the premise simple and focus on one gift club for development. While you may not need all four quadrants in your plan, you should try promoting a gift club with your organization. This club began as a focal point for the hospital and generated several million dollars over time to assist thousands of people engaged in the health care system. Development of this concept isn't easy, but it's well worth it!
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.