Fundraising 101

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  • On the personal touch:I maintain that the best way to engage donors is to individualize as much as possible. Templates are fine for initial contacts, but not when you’re talking about savvy philanthropists who get “template” info from probably every charity in town. Make it stand out, make it personal, do your research, and find out where their interests match with your chapter’s initiatives. Handwritten notes go far. One donor told me that he tripled his annual giving amount to a charity because someone from the organization called him within days of receiving his check to thank him personally. The donor originally was giving a couple hundred dollars in response to an annual plea, and is now giving major gifts.  
  • On the personal touch:I maintain that the best way to engage donors is to individualize as much as possible. Templates are fine for initial contacts, but not when you’re talking about savvy philanthropists who get “template” info from probably every charity in town. Make it stand out, make it personal, do your research, and find out where their interests match with your chapter’s initiatives. Handwritten notes go far. One donor told me that he tripled his annual giving amount to a charity because someone from the organization called him within days of receiving his check to thank him personally. The donor originally was giving a couple hundred dollars in response to an annual plea, and is now giving major gifts.  
  • Major gift prospects can emerge from anywhere, either through peer-to-peer board relationships, or from the “cast a wide net and see what comes in” philosophy, in which you mine through your membership to identify people who should be cultivated further. Your corporate sponsors/partners are also your individual prospects. Involve their top leadership in your work. Look for people with senior level positions, who serve on non-profit boards, who have been in the news for supporting a charity. Sort through addresses to look for swanky zip codes. Encourage your fundraising committees to become familiar with recognized and proven fundraising standards, ethics and strategies. The Association of Fundraising Professionals has chapters in every state in the U.S. and an excellent website as well. To learn more, go to http://www.afpnet.org/ethicsUse free websites. Use google, guidestar, foundation center and other free websites to search for a donor’s name, or to learn about trustees on non-profit and foundation boards. Use Hoovers to find company info and top officers. Use foundationcenter to learn about recent big gifts. (Refer to the extranet for lists of top websites, mostly free.)Look for ways to involve people with capacity in your community. Schedule a tour of a green building, plan a reception in your office, hold a summit or meeting on a topic that is unique to the business and/or philanthropy community in your region. Bring them into the fold. Show them the work you’re doing, how it’s innovative and relevant to and improving the community. Make them care. Explain why philanthropic support is necessary. Be prepared to show how the chapter is run responsibly by sharing 990s or budgets if requested.
  • Session premise was donor retention.Why are you asking me to give? (stories, vivid example, through naturally interesting people)What is the impact of my gift? (make tangible what you are asking for)Why now? (urgency, when they’re feeling emotional)Who says I should give? (don’t trust traditional messengers anymore. The people you know are powerful askers- first touch points with charity are frequently through alternative messengers)Need to be listening more than you’re talking- don’t want to tell someone to value your cause, you need to show them how your cause reflects their values. Need to answer “why me” over and over and over. The answer to this is not your org’s mission statement. 1.8 mil charities in USA. 117 new charities every day approved by the IRS. Competition is getting worse! If people believe that you’re almost to your goal, they’re more likely to give (ie, matching gift challenges).
  • People are not rational beings, but the patterns of irrationality are consistent, and understanding them is key to effective marketing and fundraising. This e-Book is a guide to behavioral economics for nonprofit leaders and in here is why you should be reading it:  You will be seeing behavioral economics everywhere this year.  It’s the topic of a slew of business books - and it should be the topic on the minds of everyone in nonprofit marketing and fundraising, too. behavioral economics challenges the notion that people will choose the best action or the most logically presented choice and explores the bounds of rationality — identifying social, cognitive and emotional factors that can influence the decisions people make.  The big takeaway?  People don’t arrive at most decisions through a process of weighing costs against benefits. We are irrational. In their book Nudge, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein put it simply: Real people make decisions like Homer Simpson, not Spock.So why is behavioral economics important to nonprofit organizations? For us, these irrational decisions have high stakes. We’re not asking people to buy a Coke. We’re asking them to protect our environment, to safeguard our children, to fight for human rights. We’re asking them to change the world. Their individual decisions — which often don’t take into account one’s own best interest let alone the interest of the greater good — matter a lot. We need to be sure we’re asking people in the right way, or their Homer brains might undo our Spock arguments.
  • People are not rational beings, but the patterns of irrationality are consistent, and understanding them is key to effective marketing and fundraising. Book is a guide to behavioral economics for nonprofit leaders and in here is why you should be reading it:  You will be seeing behavioral economics everywhere this year.  It’s the topic of a slew of business books - and it should be the topic on the minds of everyone in nonprofit marketing and fundraising, too. behavioral economics challenges the notion that people will choose the best action or the most logically presented choice and explores the bounds of rationality — identifying social, cognitive and emotional factors that can influence the decisions people make.  The big takeaway?  People don’t arrive at most decisions through a process of weighing costs against benefits. We are irrational. In their book Nudge, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein put it simply: Real people make decisions like Homer Simpson, not Spock.So why is behavioral economics important to nonprofit organizations? For us, these irrational decisions have high stakes. We’re not asking people to buy a Coke. We’re asking them to protect our environment, to safeguard our children, to fight for human rights. We’re asking them to change the world. Their individual decisions — which often don’t take into account one’s own best interest let alone the interest of the greater good — matter a lot. We need to be sure we’re asking people in the right way, or their Homer brains might undo our Spock arguments.
  • People are not rational beings, but the patterns of irrationality are consistent, and understanding them is key to effective marketing and fundraising. Book is a guide to behavioral economics for nonprofit leaders and in here is why you should be reading it:  You will be seeing behavioral economics everywhere this year.  It’s the topic of a slew of business books - and it should be the topic on the minds of everyone in nonprofit marketing and fundraising, too. behavioral economics challenges the notion that people will choose the best action or the most logically presented choice and explores the bounds of rationality — identifying social, cognitive and emotional factors that can influence the decisions people make.  The big takeaway?  People don’t arrive at most decisions through a process of weighing costs against benefits. We are irrational. In their book Nudge, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein put it simply: Real people make decisions like Homer Simpson, not Spock.So why is behavioral economics important to nonprofit organizations? For us, these irrational decisions have high stakes. We’re not asking people to buy a Coke. We’re asking them to protect our environment, to safeguard our children, to fight for human rights. We’re asking them to change the world. Their individual decisions — which often don’t take into account one’s own best interest let alone the interest of the greater good — matter a lot. We need to be sure we’re asking people in the right way, or their Homer brains might undo our Spock arguments.
  • Annual giving – steady revenue stream; give once/renew/increase giving; discover core constituencies and turn them into continuous annual donorsWho are your constituencies?Members; those who take workshops; local businesses; special event attendees; ed providers; board (employees – committed to mission)Combine methods – mail/email/call – increasingly receive direct mail/reply online – [allow for opt out – important to track those requests]See who floats to the top and ENGAGE furtherThere should be a donate capability on every page of your website – see NRDC for effective online fundraising – when joining; when looking at issues pages/ take action pagesDo not be discouraged if you get only a 3% return and if the first time isn’t cost effective. Average person has to see message/be asked 12 times before responding.Communicate: Outline the need and share the case for support, share news,
  • Start with a case for support, based on the chapter’s strategic initiatives. Look for ways to connect USGBC’s work to new communities, philanthropic initiatives. Is your chapter offering education courses in underserved communities? Are you working with Title I schools? Do you have a unique approach to green jobs?
  • Challenge the board to make a personal gift. Include fundraising and giving as a requirement of the job, and add it to the job description. Do exactly what you’re doing! Your board is often the first place to start. What you’re asking them to do right now is also known as a “sphere of influence” exercise. It’s incredibly useful. And while you’re working with your board on their network ties, also try to gauge their comfort with bringing their contacts into the fold in some way. Would they invite their friends to an event? Would they write a note to accompany the chapter’s annual report, a year end appeal, a holiday card or another communiqué of some kind? Would they go along on a visit to ask them to become involved with the chapter? Or would they actually ask their friends to support the chapter with a gift?Set up a system or process for board members to start thanking donors for their gifts, no matter how big or small.
  • Step One: Vision.  The passionate mission of a nonprofit organization leads to a concrete program to enrich the human condition or trigger social change.  Every proposal, no matter how isolated the goals or modest the grant amount requested, should reflect an ambitious vision.  Step Two:  Philanthropy.  The organization must identify a grantmaking institution that shares this vision and has the resources to become a funding partner.  Step Three:  Language.  The vision must be translated into concrete terms with clear goals, measurable objectives, and specific outcomes.  Step Four: Submission.  In the spirit of partnership, the proposal should be submitted for evaluation by the grantmaking institution.  Step Five: Continuation.  If the proposal is funded, future charitable activities should grow out of this initial success and the philanthropic institution should be cultivated for future partnership.  If the proposal is denied, the language becomes the building block for future submissions. 
  • If you are not 501c3 – mislead sponsors on deductibility 990 and audit – nec. and things that funders may ask to seeUbit – taxed at normal corporate tax rateLobbying – not only threatens nonprofit status, but some funders require disclosure about or limit to 5%; corps are wary of…Required state registration – IF the non-p is physically “present” in the state or if the non-p raises funds in the states (any kind of fundraising) – PRIOR to solicitation39 states require info about finances and governance (sometimes annual registration)some require 990s, some more documentscomprehensive financial reporting -- fundraising practices and resultsUnified Registration Statement – effort to consolidate the information and data requirements of all states that require registration of nonprofit organizations performing charitable solicitations within their jurisdictions. The URS is an alternative to filing all of the respective registration forms produced by each of the cooperating states. In those states, a registering nonprofit may use either the state form or the URS. Thus, the URS proves most useful to nonprofits soliciting regionally or nationally and, therefore, subject to the registration laws of multiple states. But the URS may be used by any nonprofit that is registering in a state accepting it.
  • Fundraising 101

    1. 1. Fundraising 101<br />May 2010<br />Meredith Kennedy, LEED Green Associate<br />
    2. 2. Agenda<br /><ul><li>Why fundraise?
    3. 3. Individual giving
    4. 4. Report from the NTC 2010
    5. 5. Foundation and corporate grants
    6. 6. Fiscal and legal issues
    7. 7. Philanthropy vs. sponsorship
    8. 8. Extranet resources</li></li></ul><li>Why Fundraise?<br />In today’s economic climate, it is even more important to expand your fundraising program.<br />Focus on multi-channel fundraising to include individuals, foundations, events, and online giving in addition to sponsorships.<br />
    9. 9. The Good News<br /><ul><li>Environmental giving is stable or increasing
    10. 10. More non-grantmaking opportunities and partnerships
    11. 11. Government grant programs are up
    12. 12. Many charities report increases in giving during hard times and decreases during boom times
    13. 13. Use your unique mission to help you stand out</li></li></ul><li>…And the Bad<br /><ul><li>Foundation assets declined 21.9% in 2009.
    14. 14. 63% of foundations reduced the number/size of grants by 10 – 14% in 2009 and 2010.
    15. 15. Corporate giving has decreased and will decrease more.</li></li></ul><li>Now is the Time!<br /><ul><li>Development of a case statement
    16. 16. Cultivation of donors
    17. 17. Developing a fundraising plan
    18. 18. Expanding into new fundraising territory</li></li></ul><li>Individual Giving<br />
    19. 19. Why Individuals?<br />85-90% of all donations come from individuals.<br />Individuals want to feel connected with a mission they care about, and want to support it.<br />Gave $229 BILLION in 2007 and $220 BILLION in 2008.<br />The more individuals volunteer and are engaged with the organization, the more they give.<br />
    20. 20. Identifying Individual Prospects and Mining Your Membership<br />Work with your board<br />Research philanthropists in your community<br />Look for ways to engage your prospects in your work<br />Get to know the leaders/top officers in your membership<br />
    21. 21. ASK!!!<br /><ul><li>Donors don’t mind being asked
    22. 22. Let the mission of USGBC guide you
    23. 23. Don’t just ask for a donation; tell the donor how the donation is being spent and making a difference
    24. 24. Practice, practice, practice</li></li></ul><li>AND THEN SAY THANK YOU!!!<br /><ul><li>Thank your donors immediately after receipt of a gift, no matter the size
    25. 25. Say “thank you” at least three times for every ask
    26. 26. Say thanks in a variety of ways and places
    27. 27. Tell your donors exactly how you’re using their money
    28. 28. Get ready to ask again</li></li></ul><li>
    29. 29. Fundraising Lessons Learned: Transacting the Ask<br />Four Stories of an Ask— always answer the questions:<br />1. Why are you asking me to give? <br />2. What is the impact of my gift? <br />3. Why now? <br />4. Who says I should give? <br />
    30. 30. Transacting the Ask<br />Thank you basics:<br /><ul><li> Say thanks right away
    31. 31. Be personal
    32. 32. Give the donor the credit (his or her achievement, not yours)
    33. 33. Show (don’t tell) where the donor’s money went
    34. 34. Repeat. And again. All year long.</li></ul> Acquisition is important, but retention is key!<br />
    35. 35. Fundraising Lessons Learned: Homer Simpson for Nonprofits<br />Most people don’t make rational decisions all the time, and that’s where behavioral economics comes in. Most nonprofits do a good job of making rational decisions as to why people should support them. But what about the irrational arguments?<br />
    36. 36. Homer Simpson for Nonprofits<br /><ul><li> The success of your online outreach hinges on your understanding of the inner workings of the human mind.
    37. 37. Patterns of irrationality are consistent.
    38. 38. To engage in successful marketing and fundraising, you must appeal to people’s emotions.</li></li></ul><li>Homer Simpson for Nonprofits<br /><ul><li> Stick to social norms, not market norms
    39. 39. Small, not big</li></ul>Hopeful, not hopeless<br /><ul><li> Peer pressure works</li></ul>We listen to authority<br /><ul><li> The more you ask for, the more you get</li></ul>http://web.networkforgood.org/201002ebook/<br />
    40. 40. Annual Giving<br />Build your core constituency by communicating with your membership regularly<br />Challenge every member to give a gift at least 2x every year<br />Thank them!<br />Track gifts and watch fortrends/major gift prospects<br />
    41. 41. Grants<br />
    42. 42. Developing your Case for Support<br />The case for support should appeal to all donors – it’s your story<br />Make it compelling, and show impact<br />Help them make the connection between the societal need (climate change, social equity concerns) and the solution (green buildings!)<br />Doesn’t need to be an expensive document<br />
    43. 43. Corporate and Foundation Grants<br />Important complement to fundraising program<br />Research carefully to find good match<br />Your goals and the donor’s must be aligned<br />Follow through on terms of grant (reporting, financial recording, acknowledgment, etc.) <br />
    44. 44. Role of Board Members<br />Most organizations…<br />Are measured by board giving and strive for 100% participation<br />Include fundraising as part of the job description<br />Empower and train their board members to help with the solicitation process<br />Individual Service Plan<br />
    45. 45. Grant Proposal Success<br />Factor One:  The quality of the nonprofit organization.  <br />Factor Two:  The innovative nature or critical importance of the proposed project.  <br />Factor Three:  The appropriateness of a funding source or the competition level in a particular grantmaking cycle.  <br />Factor Four:  The skills of the grantwriter in building a compelling case. <br />
    46. 46. Grant Proposals Step-by-Step<br />Step One: Vision  Every proposal, no matter how small, should reflect an ambitious vision.  <br />Step Two:  Philanthropy  Identify a grantmaking institution.<br />Step Three:  Language  Clear goals, measurable objectives, and specific outcomes.  <br />Step Four: Submission <br />Step Five: Continuation Funded- future projects. Denied- building block.  <br />
    47. 47. The Legalities<br /><ul><li>501(c)(3)—or provisional letter from IRS
    48. 48. 990 tax return/annual audit
    49. 49. UBIT – unrelated business income tax
    50. 50. Lobbying activity
    51. 51. Solicitation laws
    52. 52. Most states require registration of nonprofits and comprehensive annual reporting of fundraising activity
    53. 53. Unified Registration Statement</li></li></ul><li>Resources- Foundations<br />Subscription Databases<br />The Foundation Centerwww.fdncenter.org<br />Foundation Search<br />www.foundationsearch.com<br />Fundraising Resources<br />Green Building Funding Opportunitieshttp://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/tools/funding.htm<br />Hosted by the EPA, this site includes links to green building funders. <br />Foundation Center’s RFP Bulletinwww.fdncenter.org/pnd/rfp/<br />Chronicle of Philanthropy<br />http://philanthropy.org/grants<br />North American Association of Environmental Education <br />http://www.naaee.org/<br />Grant Research and Writing Resources<br />Council on Foundations<br />http://www.cof.org/Members/?navItemNumber=1962<br />Includes a locator feature for community, corporate, family foundations, etc.<br />Foundation Finder  <br />http://lnp.fdncenter.org/finder/<br />Grantproposal.com  <br /><ul><li>Grantwriting Tips  </li></ul>http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4173 <br /><ul><li>Proposal Writing Short Course  </li></ul>http://foundationcenter.org/getstarted/tutorials/shortcourse/index.html<br />Foundation Center’s On-line Learning Labhttp://fdncenter.org/learn/classroom/index.html<br />The Grantsmanship Centerwww.tgci.comIncludes a searchable library of winning grant proposals.<br />
    54. 54. Questions?<br />

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