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Major Gift Fundraising on a Shoestring Budget

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https://bloomerang.co/resources/webinars/

Claire Axelrad, J.D., CFRE will show you where to begin (even if your budget isn’t huge), which prospects to prioritize, how to develop and manage a major donor pipeline and cultivation plan, and how to get and stay organized so you reach your goals.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Major Gift Fundraising on a Shoestring Budget

  1. 1. How to do Major Gift Fundraising on a Shoestring Make Sure it’s a Strong Shoestring! Claire Axelrad, J.D., CFRE www.clairification.com Philanthropy, Not Fundraising
  2. 2. Who am I? • 30+ years in-the-trenches development staff leader helping raise millions of dollars for such organizations as San Francisco Food Bank, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and California School of Professional Psychology. Have asked lots of people for money! • 8+ years nonprofit fundraising/marketing coach, consultant and principal of Clairification School • AFP Fundraiser of the Year • Best Nonprofit Blog – Fundraising Success Magazine • Speaker: ADRP; ALDE; American Bar Association; Association of Fundraising Professionals; DER, Foundation Center; Fundraising Summit; Leadership Summit; NAYDO; U. S. Olympics Committee… Regular Contributor: Bloomerang, Guidestar-Candid; Network for Good, Nonprofit Pro Claire Axelrad, J.D., CFRE Follow me: www.clairification.com Claire@clairification.com Twitter @charityclairity 3
  3. 3. 6 Learning Objectives + 10 Foolproof Steps to Success WHY you need a major gifts program, no matter your size WHAT are major gift fundraising preconditions? 1.Stop Making Excuses 2.Make Major Gift Fundraising a Strategic Priority 3.Deliberately Dedicate Some Resources HOW many prospects and donors can you handle? 4.Determine the Number of Prospects and Donors You Can Actively Manage WHO are your best prospects? 5.Identify the Prospects You’ll Endeavor to Upgrade to a Major Gift 6.Qualify Prospects to Find Your Most Likely Donors 7.Tier Your Qualified Portfolio WHEN will prospects be ready for cultivation and solicitation? 8.Establish Revenue Goals for Every Qualified Prospect 9.Put a Cultivation Plan in Writing for Each Prospect WHERE will the rubber meet the road? 10.Clearly Define Accountability @charityclairity #clairificationschool 3 1 2 3 4 5 6
  4. 4. Why you need a major gifts program – no matter your size • Nearly 80% of all fundraising comes from individuals. • Studies show over 88% of all funds raised come from just 12% of donors. • 76% of all household charity in the U.S. comes from the top 3% of U.S. households. @charityclairity #clairificationschool 4 1 You. Can. Do. This!
  5. 5. @charityclairity #clairificationschool 5 POLL #1 Where do you focus your fundraising resources?
  6. 6. @charityclairity #clairificationschool 6 POLL #2 Which do you think costs more than 50 cents to raise a dollar?
  7. 7. @charityclairity #clairificationschool 7
  8. 8. WHAT are major gift fundraising preconditions? • Make shoestring strong enough when you lace up those shoes they stay put! Spend money to make money. • Understand and embrace the major gift fundraising ROI reality. It’s your first step to sustainable financing. You. Can. Do. This. 1.Stop Making Excuses 2.Make Major Gift Fundraising a Strategic Priority 3.Deliberately Dedicate Resources @charityclairity #clairificationschool 8 How big and strong must your shoestring be? 2
  9. 9. 1. Stop Making Excuses Excuses are a way to place blame for an internal problem on an external condition. • “We don’t have enough time” • “We’re waiting to hire a major gift officer” • “We don’t have the right prospects” • “We’re saving our reserves for a rainy day.” @charityclairity #clairificationschool 9 It’s your organization’s responsibility to GROW love!
  10. 10. 2. Make Major Gift Fundraising a Strategic Priority Commit both internally and externally • Commit to hold your own feet to the fire. • Commit to hold others feet to the fire. • Announce your commitments to board and staff. • What gets measured gets done. @charityclairity #clairificationschool 10 Put commitments in writing, in the form of a strategic major gift fundraising plan
  11. 11. 3. Deliberately Dedicate Resources Don’t cut corners • Get creative • Capacity-building grant? • Group board gift? • Major donor gift? • Allocate portion of reserves? • Clarify responsibilities • Job descriptions • Clear tasks • Chain of command • Schedule regular team meetings @charityclairity #clairificationschool 11 The only thing worse than not having fundraising staff is having bad fundraising staff
  12. 12. HOW many prospects and donors can you handle? • Dedicate a manageable workload. • Narrow your MG prospect universe. • Remember you’ll need more prospects than you’ll ultimately qualify for your major donor cultivation and solicitation portfolio. You. Can. Do. This. 4.Determine the Number of Prospects and Donors You Can Actively Manage @charityclairity #clairificationschool 12 Don’t live in Imelda Marcos’ closet. 3
  13. 13. 4. Determine the Number of Donor Prospects You Can Actively Manage • Quick and Dirty: Break database into 3 segments (look at 24 months) • 0% of budget? • 10% of budget? • 90% of budget? • Use your Math • Rule of 150 • Use your Judgement @charityclairity #clairificationschool 13
  14. 14. WHO are your best prospects? • Folks who care about your cause! • Folks who are closest to you! • Folks who are philanthropic – especially to you! You. Can. Do. This. 5.Select the Prospects You’ll Endeavor to Upgrade to a Major Gift 6.Qualify Prospects to Find Your Most Likely Donors 7.Tier Your Qualified Portfolio @charityclairity #clairificationschool 14 Make sure you’ve enough to eat, But don’t let your eyes be bigger than your stomach 4
  15. 15. 5. Identify Prospects You’ll Endeavor to Upgrade to a Major Gift @charityclairity #clairificationschool 15 Build your portfolio It’s not just about the money • LINKAGEto your cause • Committed, loyal donor or volunteer • INTERESTin your cause • Caring demonstrated by actions • ABILITYto give • Capacity demonstrated by current or past donations
  16. 16. Staff Staff Advocates + Influencers Board + Volunteers Staff Donors Board + Staff Friends + Associates Clients Volunteers Lapsed donors Donors Philanthropic Interest Universe ‘Pie in the Sky’ is in Outer Space ‘Pie in Your Face’ lacks linkage, interest, or major donor ability ‘Your Piece of Pie’ is most closely connected to current constituents and to your mission Center Yourself
  17. 17. 6. Qualify Prospects to Find Your Most Likely Donors • Will this prospect be responsive? • Don’t overlook this step! • Do they want a deeper relationship with you? • Only 30% will be receptive to your “touches” and “moves.” • How can you find out? • Make planned preliminary “touches.” Persevere. @charityclairity #clairificationschool 17 Don’t Knight. Invite!
  18. 18. Reach Out with Preliminary Qualification Steps 1. Send a letter or email introducing yourself to your prospect. Thank Tell them they’re important 2. Make a follow-up phone call. If you get them, endeavor to learn more about their passions. If you miss them, leave a warm friendly message with contact info. Try again a week later. 3. If you get no response to your calls or mailings, send a survey. 4. If you get no response to the survey, send a handwritten note card. 5. Send an invite to an upcoming event, tour or volunteer activity. Follow up with a call or email to let them know the invitation has been sent. Ask them to RSVP to you directly. 6. For top prospects who’ve eluded you, try a final phone call, email or text – based on what you know of their preferences. @charityclairity #clairificationschool 17
  19. 19. 7. Tier Your Qualified Portfolio @charityclairity #clairificationschool 19 • A = 10-15% of caseload • 50% of time • B = 40-50% of caseload • 30% of time • C = 50 – 65% of caseload • 20% of time • D = Regular annual giving campaign • E = New donor acquisition campaign Keep caseloads manageable Major Gifts Renewals Acquisition
  20. 20. WHEN will prospects be ready for cultivation and solicitation? • Ready for cultivation after qualification. • Begin cultivation after setting $$ goals. • Build plan targeted to reach $$ goals. You. Can. Do. This. 8.Establish Revenue Goals for Every Qualified Prospect 9.Put a Cultivation Plan in Writing for Each Prospect @charityclairity #clairificationschool 20 The journey is one where both you and your donor are seeking that ‘just right’ fit and timing. 5
  21. 21. 8. Establish Revenue Goals for Every Qualified Prospect a DI @charityclairity #clairificationschool 21 George Generous $30K Philomena Philanthropic Barney Benevolent $15K Diana Donor Gilbert Giver Devon Devoted Lulu Loving Carolina Caring $5K Maggie Magnanimous Bennet Benefactor Mural Munificent $10K
  22. 22. 10-15% of Caseload 40 – 50% of Caseload 50 – 65% of Caseload B C A % of effort Strategy Outcomes 50% 20% 30% Very personal Less personal 6/7 figures Upgrade Retention Repeat Giving 5-figures Major Upgrade Repeat Gifts Retention Small Upgrade Retention Repeat Gifts Determine revenue goals for each donor 22@charityclairity #clairificationschool
  23. 23. 9. Put a Cultivation Plan in Writing for Each Prospect • Reach out monthly • Combination of low, medium and high touch • Customize plans individually • Move prospects along a continuum @charityclairity #clairificationschool 23 Meet for coffee Send requested info Have E.D. host tour Attend event Set up ask visit
  24. 24. WHERE will the rubber meet the road? • Don’t endlessly cultivate. Donors willing to be cultivated want to give. • Clarify roles for all involved staff and board. It’s your first step to sustainable financing You. Can. Do. This. 10.Clearly Define Accountability @charityclairity #clairificationschool 24 Who’s in it for the long haul, and also willing to cross the finish line? 6
  25. 25. 10. Clearly Define Accountability @charityclairity #clairificationschool 25 It’s time to ask now! I’ll answer fact questions! I’ll make the ask! I’ll provide testimony!
  26. 26. SUMMARY: Why, What, How, Who, When, Where 10 Foolproof Steps to Success 1. Stop making excuses 2. Make major gift fundraising a strategic priority 3. Deliberately dedicate resources 4. Determine number of donors you can actively manage 5. Identify prospects you’ll endeavor to upgrade to a major gift 6. Qualify prospects to find your most likely donors 7. Tier your qualified portfolio 8. Establish revenue goals for every qualified prospect 9. Put a cultivation plan in writing for each prospect 10. Clearly define accountability @charityclairity #clairificationschool 26 Follow these basic steps, no matter the size or shape of your shoes
  27. 27. 27 Q U E S T I O N S ? ? ? 1. Sign up for the biweekly Bloomerang-sponsored “Clairity Click-it.” 2. Enroll in ‘Clairification School’ for weekly how-to content 3. Join the “Winning Major Gifts Strategies” e-Course! You’ll get free Bonuses with each enrollment Twitter @charityclairity www.clairification.com Claire@clairification.com

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