Posts

infographic

Report: Biggest Challenges to Major Gift Fundraising Success

/
Nonprofits clearly see the potential that major gift fundraising…

How to Drive Major Donors Away and Kill Off Your Major Gifts Program

/
Hint: Your donor says to you, "I'm not an ATM." Have you ever…

Top 10 Major Gift Fundraising Trends for 2014-15

/
Fundraising is changing!  Everything is shifting these days.Donors…

Gail's Guide to Brilliant Major Gift Cultivation Events

/
You’re having events all the time – to open doors, make friends,…

39 Provocative Tips From #AFPICON That Will Make You A Smarter Fundraiser in 2014

/
The International AFP Conference in San Antonio this week…

Where's the Emotional Hook in Your Year-End Fundraising Campaign?

/
We all talk about the need for a visual and emotional "hook"…

Reach Risk-Adverse Donors by Adding Credibility to Your Year-End Appeal

/
I am such a fan of Kay Sprinkel Grace. She is one of the ultimate fundraising gurus who I have followed for a long time. The highlight of my summer was hearing her in person at the Bridge Conference in DC this summer.So I wasted no time asking her to be a part of the 09 Year-End Fundraising Strategies Telesummit. And, as usual, she had some provocative and pithy ideas to share. (find out more. . . )Here's the deal: we have to know where our donors stand if we are going to successfully encourage them to contribute this year. So we need to drill down a bit into our donors' minds and hearts and understand their attitudes so we can craft the right kind of fundraising appeal. According to Kay ( and I do wholeheartedly agree), donors are feeling poor right now, whether they are multimillionares or not. So they are being more and more careful about their giving (and spending for that matter).Kay thinks the economy is starting to pick up. And she is also seeing that philanthropy is picking up as well. : ) So If philanthropy is starting to pick up, then this year-end is a golden opportunity to re-gain the fundraising losses we have seen in the past year.But we need to know how to talk to our donors.Right now. Responding to their current attitudes for fall/winter 09.Here's the issue - donors are less likely to take risks now. They are becoming more conservative. Gone are the days when a person might issue 30 checks at year-end, just because they cared a lot and also because they had ample income.Now, people are giving to fewer organizations - AND to trusted organizations.SOOOOO how do speak to your donors NOW? Remember that credibility is essential for your fundraising now more than ever. How do you establish credibility?Lots of ways:
  • track record - here are our results
  • transparency - how we are spending your money
  • who is on our board (what community leaders are standing behind us and our cause?)
  • 990 posted online
  • professional looking web site and marketing materials
  • good looking (ie, professional) fundraising appeal
  • longevity - we've been in business all this time
  • endorsements from well-known community leaders
  • funding from well-known sources (publicize this because it adds credibility)
Be sure you hit all these points somewhere in your web site and in your appeal. And you'll be more successful if you do.

What Exactly Will Motivate Women to Give This Fall?

/
Hi! I'm a bit behind in my goal of one-blog-post-per-day on year-end giving strategies during the month of October - because of a heavy travel and event schedule last week. BUT, watch out, I'm getting caught up this week. So be prepared for an onslaught of strategy ideas this week!It's time to talk about the ladies. And why women are likely to be the demographic group who can put you over goal this year. In the Year-End Fundraising Strategy Telesummit interviews, Margaret May Damen, founder of the Institute for Women and Wealth, shared some fascinating information about how to appeal to women donors this fall.She said thiStock_000007802393XSmallat women definitely give for different reasons than men, and outlined how to create an appeal that will speak directly to a woman's interests. (Women actually buy cars differently than men too!)According to Margaret May, women give for both pragmatic and passionate reasons.
  • Pragmatic: Women want to give to fund a certain specific outcome or result. They are less likely to make general unrestricted gifts than men are. Damen says that women want to know what the results of their giving will be. They've had to run businesses and households and can be pretty exacting when it comes to expecting a return on their investment.
  • Passionate: Women also respond very well to emotional appeals. Damen says that we need to "speak female" and talk to the heart. The facts need to elicit feelings. Instead of: "be a benefactor for $100, and an angel for $1000;" try something like this: "buy 5 bags of food and save three dogs;" or "$50 will buy three kids lunch for a week."
Damen says that men's talk is more like report talk. this is what we do and how well we have done. She says that women's talk is more about rapport - how it feels and what it's like. Men are more about getting a job done. Women are more about the best way to get the job done - the process as much as the results. Women like to build a relationship before buying or giving. They want to know you and feel comfortable with you.And talk about "community" in your fundraising appeals. Concepts like the "greater good" are especially important to women. Fundraising can sometimes seem too self interested, and this doesn't appeal to women. They would rather hear how the project connects and supports the overall community.Language like this generates trust and compassion, which can help open the hearts of your generous women donors. And it will help you raise a lot more money to help your cause.

Focus on Individuals if You Want to Reach Your Year-End Fundraising Goals

/
I missed yesterday's blog post because I was heading to Harrisburg, PA to deliver the keynote speech for today's Central Pennsylvania AFP Conference. (What a great crowd of fundraisers they are in south-central Pennsylvania!) So now I'm going to catch up!After my keynote and two workshop sessions, I got Kim Klein on the phone for the last interview in the 09 Year-End Strategies Telesummit. As usual, Kim was on target with some eye-opening comments that will help us all.Who's going to pull us out of the recession? Kim wants to remind us that it is really going to be individuals (not corporations,

How to make a fundraising visit

/
I never know what really to talk about when I make these calls. …

Are You at the Top of Your Donors' Priority List?

/
Are our donors sticking with their giving commitments in the…