Nonprofit Fundraising-Fund Development

August 12, 2019

I’m thinking about new stuff… Part 1. (Part 2 is next week.)

Part 1 of a 2-part blog:

Of course, I love all the fundraising and governance stuff I’ve done for years. And I love changing and adjusting and adding new stuff and and… I’m just not one of those people that likes doing the same old stuff the same old way.

  • I’m also reading new stuff and stuff that so few other people in the nonprofit sector seem to be reading. Come on peeps – let’s get out of just reading fundraising and governance and donor stuff.
  • Have you read systems thinking and learning organization business theories yet? I wrote about that back in 1997. How about the stuff that’s happening to our brains because of too much technology?
  • Leadership…Oh sure, some conversations on the job. But who reads actual leadership research and stuff from the Harvard Business Review and and and ….
  • By the way, when was the last time that your professional association recommended readings beyond your specialized field?
  • How about organizational development? Culture and top-notch management and and and… SO MUCH MORE!!

There are 3 sectors: Government. For-profit. Nonprofit. I think the nonprofit sector is more important than most of our society thinks. And I suspect that most of you reading this honors our sector, too.

  • I want the government sector to do more. I’m appalled at what government doesn’t do.
  • I want the for-profit sector to be put in its proper place…. NOT the best the greatest the most important the individual and corporations are bestest. I want the for-profit sector and its people to be punished more often than they are. And if I hear one more person say “If only the nonprofit sector would operate more like the business sector….”)…well I just don’t know what I’m gonna do!!!!!!!!! WTF!!!!!!!!!!!

But if the nonprofit sector doesn’t get itself together better… Just survival isn’t good enough. The excuse of “We nonprofits and our staff are just sooooooo busy just doing what we have to do that we can’t possibly learn more…” WTF????!!!! Would you do your mission in a half-ass manner? Most of you tell me, “No way. We do our mission excellently … or we will choose to close.” Well if that’s the case, then do all the other stuff — fundraising, governance, management, leadership, organizational development, and on and on — damn well, too. Or close down!

The world needs and deserves the best and most loved nonprofit sector. Because people and the planet deserve the best. Social justice. Diversity. Inclusion. Equity. Health. Safety. Employment and economic security. Joy and love and education and peace.

The world needs and deserves the best and most loved nonprofit sector. Because people and the planet deserve the best. An environment that endures – with animals and plants and insects and all those living things. And learning and pleasure and the strength and support to build and care and live and…

Oh good heavens…How did I start down this path today? I read Seth Godin’s July 9, 2019 blog, The $50,000 an hour gate agent. I got frustrated because I hear too much whining from my beloved nonprofit sector people.

  • Yes, yes… I know what it’s like to work long hours and fight with a silly CEO and icky board members – too few of whom seem to “get it.” I know what it’s like to work for less than I’m worth – and without adequate support systems.
  • So leave the sector. Or first, look for a better nonprofit job with smart staff and board members who give you the respect and support I hope you deserve.
  • Because there’s no excuse for we all in this sector accepting inadequacy in others or in ourselves.

Okey dokey. Part 2 is next week. Thanks for listening.

June 24, 2019

Do you know Siegfried Vögele?

If you read about donor communications, you’re probably familiar with Siegfried.

Check out this article by fundraiser Chris Keating: How a good envelope can make the difference to your direct mail’s success. All about designing the perfect envelope.

And stick around on the site where Chris posted his article……. SOFII.…. Showcase of fundraising innovation and inspiration.

SOFII is sooooo cool and informative and full of history and and and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to Ken Burnett and his pals…SOFII is the bestest compiler of stuff that works in our philanthropic field.

  • Examples of the bestest fundraising letters and cases for support — like even in the 1930s!
  • All about relationship fundraising
  • Direct mail
  • Brand development
  • Telephone fundraising
  • Digital fundraising
  • And on and on and on…

 

 

June 10, 2019

The annual fund…all over twitter

Here’s my thinking….

Nonprofits raise money for 2 things: (1) Running the organization.       (2) Some special project.

  1. Running the organization means every single cost required to carry out your mission. Staff. Management systems. Service/program development, design, evaluation, improvements, facility costs like utilities, mortgage, cleaning/maintenance, lawn mowing, whatever.
  2. Some special project means: Building an endowment. Facility capital costs, e.g., renovations, new building, whatever.

Sure, use the phrase “capital campaign” for that special project.

Sure, name your endowment campaign “Building for the Future” or whatever you want.

BUT STOP IT STOP IT with “The Annual Fund.” Geez…. 40 years ago I made letterhead that said: “Trinity Rep Annual Fund.” How dumb was I. Boring!! Maybe I could have called it “Trinity Rep Operating Support Fund So We Can Keep Doing Plays.”

NO NEED FOR A TITLE!!!! Internally we talk about raising money for the fiscal year budget to cover all the costs to run the theatre and hire actors and build sets and perform plays and and and …. That’s what we raised money for every single year. That fiscal year budget to continue our mission.

Presumably every organization raises this money. Every single organization uses every appropriate solicitation strategy and reaches out to all appropriate audiences.

  1. Sources of gifts are: Individuals. Foundations. Government. Corporations. Faith groups. Civic groups. You check with every single particular source to see what they give to…. running the organization or some special project. Anything else to add?
  2. Solicitation strategies are: Personal face-to-face solicitation. Direct mail (print or electronic). Telephone. Proposals/grantwriting. Fundraising events. Can you think of anything else to add?

Here’s what I recommend to all my fundraising clients and what I put in every single fundraising plan for that annual operating/mission/purpose/existence that a nonprofit has:

Segment all donors by solicitation strategy: 

  1. Who will staff and board members personally meet with and ask for a gift from. When I worked at Trinity Rep, I had 75 volunteers who personally solicited annual operating gifts every single year. Given how much I give to my Planned Parenthood affiliate, I expect a personal solicitation to support annual operations. (Yes, many fundraisers and organizations call this major gift solicitation. I find that so offensive I want to scream! Because major gift donors implies there are minor gifts and minor donors.)
  2. But neither Trinity Rep nor PPSNE talked about annual operations. We told stories about plays and students and favorite actors…And education programs about sex and saving men and women from HIV/AIDS and breast cancer and primary care and….
  3. Who will receive direct mail letters? And this donor segment may receive 3-4 letters/fiscal year … even after they’ve already given. Different stories resonate with different people. And some people respond to more than one direct mail letter. So cool!
  4. And pretty much everyone receives an invitation to the fundraising event.
  5. And on and on…

All my fundraising plans include using every solicitation strategy — and of course a comprehensive relationship-building program.

This is all just for annual operations, our mission.

And then the special campaign for the building or the van to hall kids or or??? We figure out which donors and how to solicit. And sure, there’s a name and maybe even special letterhead and whatever.

So all that’s my thinking. Great fundraisers tell stories about beneficiaries and donors, too. Great fundraisers segment the market for solicitation strategies. Great fundraisers avoid language that is unclear and kinda icky and has no emotional content and is unclear and confusing and… 

Okay. Back to work. Getting ready to head to Saskatoon for the Western Canada Fundraising Conference 2019. Thank you David and Christal. Thank you Common Good Fundraising.

 

 

 

 

June 3, 2019

Storytelling…just some thoughts

What cool cards from Ireland’s cool company, askdirect. 

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Rudyard Kipling

“Because if we, the storytellers, don’t do this, then the bad people will win.” Christiane Amanpour

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” Joan Didion

“We’re all made of stories. When they finally put us underground, the stories are what will go on.” Charles de Lint

Think about all the great storytellers you know… Fiction writers. Historians.

May 24, 2019

In RI June 6: Jay Love + Tom Ahern + Simone Joyaux…. LIVE!!

FUNDRAISING POWER SESSION

Jay Love, Co-Founder & Chief Relationship Officer, Bloomerang. Plus
Tom Ahern & Simone P. Joyaux

Thursday, June 6: 7:30 am – 12:30 pm. Radisson Hotel Providence Airport
2081 Post Road, Warwick RI  02886. Members: $50 / Non-Members: $85.

Jay’s really cool workshop on “Maximizing the Lifetime Value of Your Donors for Fundraising Success.

And then the 3-way talk. Jay + Tom + Simone. Bring your questions. Ask and ask more. Want to be unknown? Then write your question on a piece of paper and hand it to Simone in private. Time to complain and whine. Wail and weep about stuff back at the office. Secrets and doors closed.

May 20, 2019

Have you enrolled at SMUMN yet?

You’ll learn soooo much getting your Masters Degree in Philanthropy and Development.

Just imagine!!!

30 hours of governance so you the fundraiser or executive director or consultant can really do this really very well!!!

Learning all about asking … and then actually having to do it! (And this professor might actually give you a gift if you ask well.)

Why strategic planning matters – even if you’re the development officer – and making sure your voice is heard.

And so much more.

 

May 17, 2019

You can be a better fundraiser…Any one of us can!

Check out the new Fundraising Standard…… Proper professional fundraising training for every new fundraiser in North America.

So what’s this new program, you ask? The Standard is a 40 hour program of online learning designed to give participants a thorough introduction to the process of fundraising and get them started on their first fundraising campaign. It provides an introduction to the nonprofit sector and its associated fundraising ethics, before taking the lid off what we know about giving (who gives and why). You’ll also receive a thorough grounding in the science and practice of communication design and how to raise substantively more money simply by avoiding common errors that nonprofits typically make and focusing on donor satisfaction and wellbeing.

Developed by Adrian Sargeant. Faculty includes Adrian.

8-week curriculum – based on research and science and…. Online for your convenience.

Curriculum includes: Fundraising ethics. Who gives and why. (The WHY is really important!!) Donor relationships and donor retention. Designing a compelling case for support. Communication design and donor centricity. The fundraising mix. And getting the most from your database.

Visit the Fundraising Standard website. Sign up now! [Or at least darn soon!!]

April 15, 2019

Critical fundraising … is critical!

Rogare’s U.S. Critical Fundraising Report… Prepped by cool colleagues… Pay attention to the bad news!!

  • State of public trust and what it means for charitable giving.
  • Stagnant donor retention rates and national giving levels.
  • Tax reform and what it means for charitable giving.
  • A look at diversity, inclusion, and gender equity in fundraising.
  • The rise of data, technology and social media – and their effect on fundraising.
  • The rise of social fundraising.
  • The current and anticipated talent crisis.

Check out the Rogare blog. Rogare…the fundraising think tank – and home of critical fundraising.

Read the US Rogare report that focuses on critical issues facing US fundraisers. It’s not a pretty picture – and we’d better fix this pretty darn soon!!!!!

April 4, 2019

Measuring fundraising

Maybe my next newsyletter will focus on how to measure fundraising.

BUT ONLY IF YOU ALL SEND ME YOUR THOUGHTS!!! 

I’m thinking 2 kinds of measuring:

Measuring our institution’s fundraising performance. What would those measures include? For example: Organizational culture. Culture of philanthropy. Fundraising body of knowledge and applying research.

Measuring the performance of the chief development officer. What would those measures include? (And I’m telling you right not, “making goal” is not an appropriate measure!!!!)

Ideas? Send them to me.

February 19, 2019

Gave online – or paid online ???

There’s a difference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m tired of hearing about giving through the internet or through social media or…. is increasing. Do you mean “PAID ONLINE” or “SOLICITED AND GIFT GIVEN THRU ONLINE ACTIVITIES”.

I just loved your print donor newsletter. Loved that article about what ME and other donors like me did… And so I rushed to my computer and sent you a gift through the your website. (And then I visited Amazon and bought a book.)

Your direct mail (PRINTED!) made me really angry — which was what you wanted to happen. And the outside of the envelope made me open it immediately. I ranted all the way to my computer and made a gift through your really cool giving button.

OR

You periodically send out really cool little videos about the kitties. Your most recent one was so hysterical that I clicked on the link and made a gift.

There’s a big difference!!!!! REALLY BIG!!!!!! Quit conflating the two. JUST STOP IT NOW!

And work hard to distinguish and count PAYING ONLINE or GIVING IN RESPONSE TO THE ONLINE SOLICITATION.

YES THIS MATTERS….. LOTS!!!

 

Simone Joyaux, ACFRE, Adv Dip, is an internationally recognized expert in fund development, board and organizational development, strategic planning, and management.

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