I don’t compile a list like this every year, but this year was different. It marked a shift in the direction of my content, because… “business as usual” seemed out of sync with the times we found ourselves in. So this year I’m going to summarize my writing of the year by sharing the articles…Details
Every nonprofit should have a major gifts program.
That’s where the lion’s share of the money is.
It’s a rare organization that has a mailing list large enough to raise a million dollars from a million different $1 donors. But most nonprofits do have major donor prospects hiding in plain sight.
It’s up to you to find them; then move them along a cultivation path that prepares them – and you – to make an ask that results in a win/win values-based exchange.
Let’s review 7 secrets that will guarantee your major gifts program is a success, whatever your size.Details
“The more that you know, the less they’ll say ‘No!’“
Such is the advice given by Jay Love, Founder of Bloomerang and a seasoned board member and major donor, some years ago at an online conference where we both presented major gifts master classes. His was on the topic of major gifts development from the donor’s perspective.
Do you think about your donor’s perspective before you ask for a major gift?
Here’s what I learned from Jay:
The more you know:
- what floats your donor’s boat,,,
- what other things compete for your donor’s attention (not just causes, but also career and family)…
- how your donor prefers to communicate…
- how your donor prefers to be wooed…
- how your donor prefers to be recognized…
… the more likely you’ll get a “Yes.”
This advice is SO important I want to dig deeper into ways you can get inside your donor’s head and build the type of relationship that will be a win/win. When your donor gets what they want and need, you get what you want and need!
If you can’t show your major donor prospect you really know them, how can they trust you’ll be a good steward of their passionate philanthropic investment?
We all want to be known before we enter into a major engagement.
Which brings us to the crux of successful major donor development. Not surprisingly, it begins and ends with the same thing.
Can you guess what that might be?Details
Does your nonprofit promote stock gifts? You should!
A groundbreaking study by Dr. Russell James J.D., Ph.D., CFP®, professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University, found nonprofits that consistently received gifts of appreciated stocks grew their contributions six times faster than those receiving only cash.
This is HUGE.
If you learn to ask for gifts from appreciated assets you’ll get more generous gifts. The study shows:
- Received only cash gifts = 11% growth.
- Received any kind of non-cash gift = 50% growth. Included gifts of personal and real property and deferred gifts.
- Received securities non-cash gifts = 66% growth. Massive difference from just this one strategy!
You Don’t Have to Get Fancy
The most productive strategy is simply to accept gifts of stock.
But it’s up to you to offer up this giving framework to your supporters. Otherwise, they’re apt not to see this as an opportunity.
And speaking of ‘framing,’ this can establish a persuasive reference point for would-be donors. Researchers have found people don’t treat all their money as if they have one big pool of it.Details
You are a philanthropy facilitator. Your job, if you choose to accept it, is to persuade people to act now, during the most giving time of the year.
Studies show nearly one-third of all charitable giving happens in December. While you absolutely should be using multiple fundraising channels to get best results, right now whatever you’ve got planned for offline is pretty much cooked. So your best bet for boosting year-end results is digital.
What do you have planned between now and December 31st?
Network for Good and True Sense Marketing found a third of all online giving occurs in December, and more than 20% of all online giving for the entire year occurs on the last two days of the calendar year. And, among digital strategies, email rules. According to M+R’s Benchmarks Study, email was responsible for 16% of all online revenue for nonprofits.
For at least the last decade, the last week of the year – and particularly the last day of the year– have been huge for online fundraising.
To boost your year-end fundraising success, you need to craft an email offer your donor can’t refuse.
How will you best convey your offer?
In a nutshell, you need three things for any fundraising offer:
- Problem you’re addressing — made real and relevant to the prospective donor.
- Solution you’re proposing to address the problem – with your donor’s help.
- Ask showing how the donor can help– the specific purpose and amount of the gift you’re requesting.
1. How to describe the problem.Details
Has this really been going on this long?
Way back in March and April of 2020 I wrote a bunch of articles about crisis fundraising, donor communications in the time of corona and how to adapt your management and planning. Feel free to join me for a walk down memory lane here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Honestly, I’ve been continuing ever since then with as many helpful tips and concrete examples I could dream up and offer.
Today, I’d like to revisit something absolutely fundamental.
It’s not a tip or a tactic. It’s a modus operandi.
Eight months ago Joan Garry wrote True Leadership in the Time of Corona, an awesome piece I commend to you in full. At the time, we were grappling with the first wave. Now, as we head into a long winter, the lessons from this article are worth revisiting.
As tempting as it may be to pretend everything will soon be ‘normal,’ that’s unlikely. And good leaders don’t bury their heads in the sand. They plan ahead for crisis contingencies.
Leaders ask the key questions:
- What if this happens?
- If it does, then what?
- And then?
- And then?
- And then?
- … until there are no more “and thens?” to ask.
I call this the Cassandra role.Details
The biggest fundraising time of the year for most nonprofits inexorably approaches.
It can be stressful.
Don’t succumb to the stress. You’ve got this!
Perhaps you can’t do everything you’d like to do this year, but you can do some things.
Here are 12 strategies that will pack a big punch.
- Some you can do on your own.
- Some will require support from technical and/or marketing staff.
Don’t become discouraged thinking you don’t have the time. Sometimes you don’t have time not to do these things.
None of these suggestions are big time consumers standing alone. They’re each little tweaks. Because often it’s the little things that count. That pack a surprising wallop.
So don’t save all your energy for writing your appeal. Help your appeal along by putting some of the dozen suggestions that follow into effect.
Even just one or two will make a difference.
Let’s get started…Details