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Hi there, I fear that I’m overstepping my bounds a bit, but seeing as 2nd Star needs help and very soon, I put this together for the board to review. For 5 years, I was a part of the Development (aka fundraising) team for a major 501(c)3 at a Military University. My time was divided into 4 parts: Individual Major gifts fundraising support (gifts of 10k or more), Marketing/Online Fundraising, Running an annual 4 month campaign for a wounded warriors program (averaging between 25 and 50K each time) and supporting an Black Tie Fundraising event that raised between 700K and 1 Million annually. Based on that experience, I’ve pulled together an overview of a campaign I think could help tremendously. With your permission, I am offering to be the Campaign Manager. However, I would very much like at least one person who would assist me particularly on keeping to a structured timeline. Thanks, Pam A few lessons about fundraising Suggestions for goals and methods to achieve them An overview of what a 501(c)3 Campaign for 2nd Star could look like The following presentation includes:
In some ways it’s a good thing 2nd Star hasn’t done any fundraising campaigns. The following is a campaign style that works… Campaign Message: “WE WILL GO OUT OF BUSINESS IF YOU DON’T HELP!!!” If approached right, it’s a magic bullet that can only be used once respectably. And I think this is the right time to use it for 2nd Star. Hence the suggested campaign title “SAVE 2ND STAR!” Let’s talk about some number goals…
August is the perfect time to begin a campaign. Most charitable giving happens between Sept & Dec of each year. I suggest a one year campaign, broken into 3 sections. Initial Financial Goal: (This is a sheer guess at what I think could be possible) $50,000 by July 31, 2012
Goal 1. $25,000 by November 6, 2011 Steps: Clarify message Be clear & specific: for example – “2nd Star will close if we don't succeed” Plan marketing/campaign materials Clarify prospects; Create List: fyi: any “current” supporters I refer to as “The Faithful”
Benefits for Levels of Contributions? i.e. Gold member (for $300 gets… the $500 level gets… the $1000 gets… and so on.
Prospect research – What should we ask people to contribute There is a science to this I will share Create timeline should include deadlines for: message, completing letter, completing email, completing prospect list/research, date to contact “the faithful”, having online donation option available, having materials out to the faithful to share, benefits to business sponsors (examples: listing on website with link, name listed as sponsor during gala, reception with performers, etc.) Campaign marketing (Facebook page to promote campaign, press for gala) and Gala Date
Methods: Activate the faithful - performers and season ticket holders Letter writing campaign w/ Follow up phone calls from the faithful/actors Online services: ticket purchases and fundraising ASAP Gala sponsorships - discuss levels and benefits
Overview of Methods 1. Activate the faithful A. Contact current supporters – via emails/phone calls, facebook, letters 1. Convey message with intensity 2. Ask for their help a) support/participate in the letter writing/email campaign b) make follow up phone calls c) ask “do you know any businesses that might to donate for recognition/marketing at gala, in program and on the website?” d) make a small donation – EVERYONE SHOULD BE ASKED! B. This group could help as volunteers to build the prospect list. I hope to gather info on ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN INVOLVED WITH 2ND STAR IN THE PAST 10 YEARS. We’ll need any addresses or phone number that 2nd Star has in it’s records, or the programs for all the shows so we can research contact info for as many as possible. This will make up our prospect list.
Overview of Methods Letter writing campaign/follow up phone calls A. Develop the verbiage for letters to be mailed to older patrons B. Develop initial email to be sent to email list – NEED TO HAVE ONLINE DONATING ENABLED BEFORE email portion of campaign C. Create excel spreadsheets of contact information to simplify the paper mailing to what should be hundreds of people (The more the better) D. Schedule the “Cell Phone Extravaganza” 1 week after letters/emails go out, we gather as many performers as possible to gather in one location, break up the lists and start making phone calls, saying for instance: “Hi this is John Scheeler, from 2nd Star Productions. Yes yes that John Scheeler, the dashing prince from Cinderella! I was wondering if you got our message about 2nd Star needing help. That’s right it’s such a tough time for non-profits right now! 2nd Star is just such an amazing organization. It’s like a family and we’re doing whatever we can to save it. Do you think you could help? You’d like to donate $1000? That’s great? Will it be VISA or Mastercard” etc……
Overview of Methods Online services: ticket purchases and fundraising ASAP!!!! A. I strongly suggest we establish some sort of immediate online donation system. Paypal may do for the next few weeks. B. Once we have gathered $300 - $400 in contributions, that money should be used to set up an online donation system that can also be used for ticket sales. I feel very strongly that this will boost the donations significantly!!!
Overview of Methods Business Sponsorships A. Develop a list of local businesses and businesses affiliated with the faithful to invite to be sponsors of the Gala. B. Determine Marketing Benefits to offer: recognition/marketing at gala, in program and on the website C. Closely discuss benefits/versus effort for this option.
Wrap Up: We can do this. And I think 25,000 is a good number to shoot for by Nov 6. In order for this strategy to work, we ALL have to commit to the message that 2nd Star must be saved!!! Can we schedule a meeting to discuss this plan? Particularly the timeline. Trust me that this is a lot of work, but really when you believe in your mission , the way we believe in 2nd Star it’s not hard! Thanks for reviewing all this stuff!