Are Monthly Donors Good Legacy Giving Prospects

Old photosYou bet!

Yet they’re generally undervalued in this regard.

And it’s not just monthly donors who are undervalued.

It’s legacy giving in general.

How robust is your legacy giving program?

Legacy giving is largely misunderstood in the nonprofit world.  Too many organizations think it’s not for them. Why?

Do any of these statements sound like something you’ve felt or heard from others within your organization?

  • Legacy giving is complicated and overwhelming.
  • Legacy giving requires significant legal and financial expertise.
  • Legacy giving requires offering “vehicles” we’re not equipped to offer.

These are myths.

Really, all you need is expertise about your mission and the values your organization enacts.

You are a philanthropy facilitator, not an attorney or financial advisor.

As a philanthropy facilitator, it’s part of your job to help loyal supporters make their most passionate, heartfelt gifts. This enables them to enact their values, and to achieve a bit of immortality.

Here’s What’s True

Details
Hands, Heart, Silhouette, Setting Sun

How to Find Your Nonprofit’s Highest Likelihood Major Donors

Hands, Heart, Silhouette, Setting SunIn 5 Indicators for Identifying the Best Potential Donors, a guest post on the Bloomerang blog from Ryan Woroniecki of Donor Search, the key indicators someone might be inclined to support you with a major philanthropic gift are laid out.  These indicators are, in order:

  1. Previous giving to your nonprofit
  2. Giving to other nonprofits
  3. Participation as a foundation trustee
  4. Giving to federal election campaigns
  5. Real estate ownership

One thing is indubitably true: the more you know about people the better you’ll be able to assess, and work with, their likelihood to invest with you philanthropically.

Another thing is also true: not all these indicators are created equal. They’re listed in order of importance above but, for my money, numero uno is far and away the most significant.

We hold these truths to be self-evident

The people most likely to become major donors to your organization are already known to you. You don’t have to do research to find them, or find friends to introduce you or gate-keepers to let you in. You only have to do one simple thing.

Details
Skyrocketing

10 Strategies to Skyrocket Major Gift Fundraising

Skyrocketing“Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.” So wrote Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland.

It’s the same with major donor fundraising, except you don’t ever really stop.  You just start up again. You do follow a prescribed path, however.  And here’s what it looks like:

  1. Before
  2. Ground Floor
  3. Explore
  4. Back Door
  5. Adore
  6. Mentor
  7. Ask For
  8. Implore
  9. Rapport
  10. Report

If you do this correctly, it becomes a transformational process for the donor. They want to stay connected and engaged and invested.  Which is why you don’t stop.  You follow up with “Some More.”

But first…

Details
Giant gummy bear

The Giant Mid-Level Fundraising Opportunity Your Nonprofit’s Missing

Giant gummy bear escaping from smaller gummies

Bet you’ve got some giants hiding in your midst.

Nonprofits pay a lot of attention to donor acquisition. Then?

They largely ignore these donors, unless…

They become worthy of attention by virtue of being ‘major’ donors. Then?

Nonprofits pay a lot of attention to major donor relationship building. But…

Between new donor acquisition and major donor cultivation, solicitation and stewardship, what happens?

Usually not enough.

This is a BIG missed opportunity.

You’ve likely got great donor prospects hiding inside your own donor base, and you’re essentially treating them like, well, poop.

What if you were to begin to look at your mid-level donors as the transformational fundraising opportunity they are?

Details
Major donor meeting, two women

Avoid these Key Obstacles to Successful Major Gift Asks

Major donor meeting, two womenIn Part 1 of this two-part series delving into the topic of major gift fundraising asks, we looked at a number of Proven Strategies to Take Charge of Major Donor Asks. Specifically, we covered (1) four elements of a successful visit and (2) four elements of a compelling offer. Feel free to refresh yourself before we move on.

Other Things You Need to Know about Asking

Now I want you to truly think about the offer from the recipient’s perspective.

As insiders, we often don’t stop to think about the outsider perspective. It’s just human nature to become so absorbed in a topic it starts to seem obvious. To us.

When crafting your compelling fundraising offer however, it’s important to stop and consider how it may be received. As noted in Part 1:

  1. If it’s too general or vague, it’s unlikely you’ll get the donor’s most passionate gift.
  2. If you offer something of little interest or relevance to the donor, they won’t give you their full attention.
  3. If the problem you describe is broad in scope, the idea of addressing it in any meaningful way may seem too daunting.

You can’t ask the donor to address your entire mission.

  • “Ending hunger” sounds awesome to you, but impossibly unrealistic to the donor.
  • “Curing cancer” sounds splendid to you, but too huge in scope to the donor.
  • “Eradicating poverty” sounds vital to you, but absolutely overwhelming to the donor.
  • “Becoming a world class symphony” sounds grand to you, but grandiose to the donor.
  • “Saving children” may be your priority today, but you also serve seniors and that’s what the donor most cares about.

2 Vital Things to Keep in Mind Going into Asks

When crafting and making a major gift fundraising ask, make sure you incorporate the following into your planning:

Details
Donor visit, two women

Proven Strategies to Take Charge of Major Donor Asks

Donor visit, two womenBefore asking, begin by assuring you and your donor are on the same page.

The major donor journey is generally a long one. It’s important to craft a blueprint for the process and take time, along the way, to assure the journey is sparking joy and bringing energy. If you’ve never asked for a major gift, it can seem scary. Even if you’ve asked in the past, the process can still seem daunting.  This article is designed to help take the worry out of asking for a major gift. How? By putting it in context and framing it as an opportunity, not a burden.

As long as you’re providing value to the donor, you’re in a good place. Value can take many forms.

  • An opportunity to feel noticed and special.
  • An opportunity to offer feedback.
  • An opportunity to share wisdom.
  • An opportunity to learn new things.
  • An opportunity to get behind-the-scene information.
  • An opportunity to meet someone new.
  • An opportunity to create connection.
  • An opportunity for a fun and friendly chat
  • An opportunity to find meaning and purpose.

Lead with the value you provide and the benefit they’ll gain if they meet with you. The value you offer at any point in time depends on the donor and where you are in the process of wooing. Provided you’re generally (1) clear, (2) compelling, (3) courageous and (4) careful, you’ll surely succeed.

Let’s dig a little deeper into each of these important components.

Details
Expert Secrets; 80-20 Rule

3 Nonprofit Secrets to Rock Major Gift Fundraising

Expert Secrets; 80-20 RuleThere’s a treasure trove of knowledge and research around major gift fundraising. What works well.  What doesn’t work at all.  What’s, at best, half-baked.

It’s not rocket science.  But there’s definitely art, and some science, involved.

The gestalt way of thinking about the three secrets boils down to simply being:

(1) SMART,

(2) SYSTEMATIC and

(3) PASSIONATE.

But, I’m pretty pragmatic. So I’d like to give you something more practical.

If I had to pick the top three practical secrets to success, they would be the following:

Details
journey over rope bridge

6 Steps to Fuel Your Major Gift Journey

journey over rope bridgeThe major gift journey is a synergistic one. You see, it’s both your journey and your donor’s journey.

If you want to follow along the most direct pathway to sustainable philanthropy, you’ll want to consider the two-fold nature of the expeditious endeavor known as major gift fundraising. Or, as I prefer to call it, passionate philanthropy.

First understand it’s not just about the money;  it’s every bit as much about the experience.

Strive to become your donor’s favorite philanthropic journey guide.

If you do your job as guide well, they’ll find meaning, purpose and happiness being engaged with you.

  • If you make the experience a joyful one, your fellow traveler will become your donor.
  • If you continue to make the experience joyful, they’ll continue to travel the road with you by renewing and upgrading their support.

Major gift fundraisers, essentially, are in the happiness delivery business.

That’s right! It’s both  (1) a business, and (2) a donor journey toward joy.  You’ve got to treat it like a business if you want to make money. That means clarifying goals, setting specific objectives, planning strategies and tactics, and holding yourself accountable. Otherwise you’re just occasionally taking folks along for a stroll, without being thoughtful about what’s in it for both of you. And if you haven’t concretized what the benefits are, it’s hard to deliver on them!

Let’s take a look at the 6 steps you must take to build and sustain a winning major gifts program.

Expeditious Steps to Fuel Your Pathway to Passionate Philanthropy

Details

So, Your Nonprofit Donor Wants to Give Cryptocurrency?

Donor with cell phone, crypto

In Part 1 of this two-part series, I discussed cryptocurrency philanthropy basics.

Let’s say you’re intrigued, and want to dip your toes in the water?

How to Accept Crypto?

There is more than one way. These are listed in order of easiest to greatest need for tech and finance savvy.

  1. Donor advised funds and giving wallets. These are now being set up to accept cryptocurrency. If nothing else, you can alert supporters that if they have a DAF they can funnel crypto to you that way. Also, every.org and givewell are crypto wallets that act similarly to a DAF by accepting gifts from donors, then granting your nonprofit cash without you ever having to take custody of the asset. You never have to worry about accounting and legal concerns of accepting crypto.

 

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS solution) donor management platform. Organizations such as The Giving Block, engiven, Crypto for Charity by Freewill and Charitable Solutions, LLC are already set up to accept cryptocurrency on behalf of your organization (the list keeps growing). These dedicate crypto NGOs will sell the asset and transfer the proceeds to you. You can put a widget/button on your website to facilitate this. Crypto goes directly into exchange and is immediately traded for dollars (there is a small fee; around 1%). This is safe, secure and simple as generally the asset will be immediately liquidated (within milliseconds), which is super important with highly volatile assets like crypto. This protects you from a donor asking what you did with their $100,000, and you having to tell them you only realized $50,000 because you delayed a day to sell it.

 

  1. External custody. Behind the scenes, all platforms use a cryptocurrency brokerage or exchange. Three reputable ones are Coinbase Commerce, Kraken and Gemini. They typically charge 35 – 50 basis points per transaction. No donation processing or receipting is available. Nonprofits with expertise in asset management, trading and technology may consider building their own donation widget using these services. Be aware it can take many months to establish an account. Plus, you also need an “Alternative Asset Management Policy” [fold in crypto to your Gift Acceptance Policy; run this by your professional advisors and finance committee] to shield leadership.

 

  1. Self-custody. This is not for everyone and requires a hardware USB device that can be plugged into the computer when someone wants to make a transaction. They’re cold storage, kept off the internet, and highly secure. The downside is it requires a very savvy staff person and high security around custody. Plus it’s tricky to liquidate when you hold it in your hardware wallet. Some donors giving these digital assets like to see nonprofits holding those gifts as crypto, as part of an effort to see crypto go mainstream. If you have the ability to be strategic with investments, for example by building a reserve, you might consider holding onto crypto in its native form. UNICEF, for example, can receive, hold, and disburse cryptocurrency with its UNICEF CryptoFund. Again, you’ll want an “Alternative Asset Management Policy” to guide when you’ll sell.

How to Promote?

Details