Basic Fundraising and Stewardship for Small Organizations


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A presentation made in November 2008 to Young Life staff as they prepared to begin fundraising for their organization.

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Basic Fundraising and Stewardship for Small Organizations

  1. 1. Fundraising and Stewardship Hall County Young Life Frank McKay
  2. 2. Some Common Fundraising Myths (There are many more!) • People give to meet “needs” o Need doesn’t inspire action (every charity needs more money) o Providing your donor the opportunity to change lives inspires their giving • If 1,000 people gave $100… o 80/20 Rule (now 90/10, perhaps?) o Higher end donors are essential (and require personal attention) • Corporate sponsorships are the answer o In 2006, 83 percent of all charitable gifts came from individuals (Giving USA) o Gifts from corporations/foundations probably came through an individual who was a link between the charity and the giving entity • I have to do it all myself o As with any aspect of your job, going it alone is rarely a good idea o Seek counsel from others; garner volunteer support; etc.
  3. 3. 10 Laws of Fundraising • People give to people • People give because they are asked • 80 percent of the money comes from 20 percent of the donors • People will give to a winning cause • People give in relation to the person who asks • Giving is contagious • Previous donors make the best prospective donors • High sights plus managed expectations result in success • Personal visits result in larger gifts • Correlation between number of requests and number of gifts
  4. 4. Key to Fundraising Success: Involvement • Think about where you invest your time and finances o “The more involved, engaged, and passionate your donors are, the more likely they are to give.” o “Building a community that is more informed, involved, and invested” • It’s as much about helping your donors meet their needs as it is about your cause • How do we get people involved? o Ask for their advice (people love to feel important) o Ask for their help (host an event, speak to kids, etc.) o Ask them to serve on a committee
  5. 5. Donor Cultivation Cycle ,GHQWLI 6 WHZ D U G 5 HV HD U F K $ VN & X O WLY D WH
  6. 6. Identify • Every organization is different, so identification methods will also be different • At Young Life, the two primary items to look for are: o A heart for Christ o A heart for lost kids • Develop your “elevator speech” • Take every chance to speak to groups, meet with others, etc. to tell them about Young Life and see who expresses an interest in your mission • Follow up and seek their continued involvement
  7. 7. Research • Once you’ve identified someone as a potential friend, there are certain things you need to learn: o How true are her desires to help Young Life? o How large of a gift might she be capable of? o How large of a gift might she be willing to make? o What else occupies her time? o Where else does she invest her time and resources? • How do you do this? o Personal visits o Google/Internet searches o Fact gathering through friends; prospecting meetings with community volunteers; etc.
  8. 8. Cultivate Because cold research isn’t enough – you’ve got to learn about the prospect and get him engaged in your cause Getting to know your prospects: • “When you were young, who spoke into your life about Christ?” • “What do you think young people need today?” • “How do you think ______ would resonate with kids?” Helping your prospects know you: • Send them an “insider” newsletter • Invite them to special events (dinners with other prospects, etc.) • Invite them to participate in a focus group for important feedback • Provide a mix of group & one-on-one activities (avoid pressure from too much close activity, and don’t create distance with too much group activity – plus, through group activities, you can determine how effective a volunteer that person might be)
  9. 9. Ask • A successful gift request takes into consideration: o The right donor o The right cause o The right amount o The right solicitor o The right timing • “Would you join me with a gift….” • Silence is “Golden” • Turning objections into objectives
  10. 10. Steward • What is the most effective stewardship? o THANK YOU o Seven “Thank Yous” for every gift Letters, cards, calls, notes from those who benefit Spread them out –remind the donor of her gift throughout the year • Delicate balance o 80% of donors give relatively small amounts o 20% of donors give significant amounts o Treat all with respect while focusing on those who require special attention for the benefit of your organization • Remember: fundraising is about relationships o Between you and the donor o Between your organization and the donor o Between one donor and another o Build all of these relationships, and your organization grows stronger
  11. 11. Steward (continued) • Gift retention is the key to long-term stability and growth • Better said in Ask Without Fear, “Love your donors” o (How would you want to be treated?) o Each person deserves an individual plan o What does this plan do? Inform Involve Garner investment o How does this plan look? Mailing list and yearly request Phone call once a quarter to stay in touch Insider newsletter quarterly / between other publications Lunch once a month to seek counsel Bi-weekly contact of any sort to keep informed
  12. 12. Donor Cultivation Cycle ,GHQWLI 6 WHZ D U G 5 HV HD U F K $ VN & X O WLY D WH
  13. 13. Other Tips • Seek out some blogs and online publications to refresh your fundraising efforts and strategies, such as: o Fundraising Coach o Donor Power Blog o Non Profit Times o Fundraising Success o Etc. Benefits – they aren’t a book that you read once and put on a shelf – they provide constant reminders of how to improve your fundraising efforts with new ideas that reflect current trends. • Use blue ink • Put yourself in their shoes • Pray
  14. 14. Bibliography Books • Ask Without Fear, Marc Pitman • Essential Principles for Fundraising Success, Douglass Alexander • Fundraising Fundamentals, James Greenfield Articles/Presentations • Enjoy the Ride! How to effectively raise funds in a roller-coaster economy, Mary Ellen Collins • Fund Raising in a Difficult Economic Climate, Derval Costello • Non-Profit Fund-Raising Demystified, Tony Poderis • Growing and Nurturing Your Donors: Cultivation Tools for Today and Tomorrow, Frank McKay • Face to Face Fundraising Techniques – the ABCs, Frank McKay