This month’s theme is “Scary Moments in Fundraising” (see our Water Cooler chat, here). I prefer to talk in optimistic terms, so writing a follow-up blog post rather puts me off. However, like it or not, we are living in scary times. Even if we are vaccinated, we are watching world leaders start wars and our national leaders pick snowball fights instead of governing. Watching these events leaves me feeling foolish that I continue talking about fundraising planning techniques. Is there a way forward, anyway?
I grew up in poverty. One of the lessons of poverty is this: If a resource appears, use it. The second is that anything can be a resource. I have used this scrapper skill set during my career, most recently during the 2009 economic crisis, where my team identified wealth still available and my organization shifted from major gift cultivation to making annual giving asks.
Here are some ideas: (you knew that I would pivot back to optimism, right?)
It’s October so your annual campaign is already in gear. However, after the rush of printing and stuffing, or segmenting and emailing, you may have a short time to review your strategy. Here are some thoughts that I have after having run a successful annual giving campaign (we averaged a 27% increase every year for 5 years)
We always want to create the best portfolios for our front-line fundraisers, to position them for success. In our quest to create high quality portfolios, we often encounter obstacles that make it challenging or even halt our progress entirely. Three of the most common obstacles can be overcome, with a bit of planning, strategy, and tenacity.
I have, in earlier years, shown my raw statistical results with my clients, hoping to share the joy of getting a beautiful statistics result. Their reaction was to look up from my PowerPoint and blink at me. My own cardiologist once showed me a series of dots in random spaces across the page, 2 inches deep, scattered all over. He told me that it was clear evidence of how my heart was doing. I looked up at him and blinked. Neither I nor he were getting our point across when we showed those untranslated results.
For example, I added below the output from a linear regression model. It should never be seen by a gift officer or an executive.
This blog post will get published after the end of the fiscal year for most nonprofits, but the ideas in here can still be used to help boost any campaign end (or start or middle, for that matter). Here we’ll review five ways you can push new prospects into your pipeline.