Fundraising Triumphs & Keeping Members Engaged for the Long Haul, FCI at NFCA, Sept. 2013

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Suzi Carter recently joined Food Co-op Initiative after working to help launch recently opened Friendly City Food Co-op, among other community development projects. This presentation covers strategies for fundraising success, and how co-ops can best serve and motivate their members in each stage of co-op development.

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Fundraising Triumphs & Keeping Members Engaged for the Long Haul, FCI at NFCA, Sept. 2013

  1. 1. Fundraising Triumphs and Keeping Members Engaged for the Long Haul!
  2. 2. Fundraising Triumphs and Keeping Members Engaged for the Long Haul! Suzi Carter suzi@fci.coop 540-416-2667 (COOP) foodcoopinitiative.coop
  3. 3. Telling your story
  4. 4. What is fundraising?
  5. 5. Fundraising = relationships
  6. 6. Why do people give/join? • Because their friend joined • Because you asked them • For their own reasons!
  7. 7. So what? How does this apply to co-ops?
  8. 8. Who are you engaging? Potential members: • “Just browsing” • “I’m waiting until you’re open” • “You’re a bunch of hippies” • “I don’t eat healthy” • “I love what you’re doing! But I don’t have the money right now.” • “I’m here with my friend.”
  9. 9. 4 Cornerstones in 3 Stages
  10. 10. 4 Cornerstones in 3 Stages
  11. 11. Membership growth? Membership fantasy? Membership plateau…
  12. 12. Endowed relational capacity
  13. 13. …only gets you so far
  14. 14. vs. Earned Relational Capacity
  15. 15. Moving people to take action
  16. 16. Shoring up infrastructure
  17. 17. Shoring up infrastructure
  18. 18. Taking stock: research, listen
  19. 19. Set goals and tell everyone • Why are you doing this? • Plan it • Test it • Simplify it • Use traditional and new forms of media
  20. 20. Decide your activities • Who’s your team? • Where are your members?
  21. 21. One-on-one
  22. 22. House Parties
  23. 23. Small events
  24. 24. Big events
  25. 25. Collecting info, building momentum
  26. 26. Leveraging media
  27. 27. Evaluating Activities • Did it build membership/loans? • Did it drain our energy or resources? (ROI) • Was it worth it? • Who could do it next time? • What did we learn? • Did the press cover it? • Was it fun? • Was it the right thing to do? • Did the board love it? Did members love it? • Did it bring goodwill to our co-op? • Did it attract past the core?
  28. 28. Other Ideas
  29. 29. Other Ideas
  30. 30. And ideas that flopped
  31. 31. Lessons learned • Use templates • No such thing as bad press • Work with and through your members • Always think, “Who can do this?” • Use your university • Break up small tasks into smaller tasks • Event toolbox and 3-prong spiel • Make friends with media; become a connector • Don’t do anything alone • If you don’t announce it, it never happened • Admit mistakes, ask for help
  32. 32. Remember Your Role REPEAT: I WILL NOT DO EVERYTHING.
  33. 33. Iron Law of Organizing Never do for someone else what s/he can do for herself/himself.
  34. 34. Job of the Organizer • Identify and recruit the people needed to do the work of starting the co-op • Give them the tools they need to be successful • Keep them working together effectively
  35. 35. Thank you! Suzi Carter suzi@fci.coop 540-416-2667 (COOP) FoodCoopInitiative.coop Questions?

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