During a webinar I recently attended, one of the participants said, “Isn’t that all there is to fundraising – acquire, renew and upgrade?” On a very simplistic level, he was right. Read more
Last month the Giving USA Foundation™ and The Giving Institute released their 60th anniversary edition of Giving USA, an annual report on charitable giving in the United States. According to the report, Americans donated an estimated $358.38 billion to charity in 2014, highest total in report’s 60-year history. Below are additional highlights from the report: Read more
If you are not paying attention to your donor retention numbers year over year, then you are probably pretty delusional about your fundraising success. It is easy to say “our bottom line increased $100,000 from 2013 to 2014.” What if you lost donors and their charitable gifts in the amount of $60,000? That means your real net increase was only $40,000. That paints a much different picture of your fundraising success. Read more
The keys to a really great database are accuracy and consistency. Misspellings often make the difference as to whether a prospective donor opens the envelope. It will take up to two years to get your database in really great shape and have it ready to do marathon level fundraising. Consider the following:
A fundraising plan contains the fundraising activities your organization will implement over a set period of time. These activities will have specific, measurable goals. The end result will be a sustainable fundraising program that provides the necessary funds to fulfill the nonprofit organization’s mission. The fundraising plan is a powerful tool for any nonprofit. Before proceeding to Part 2 in our Writing a Fundraising Plan, please review Part 1: Planning to Plan.
Part 2 of our series on Writing a Fundraising Plan discusses the strategies for reaching out into the community. There are numerous ways to reach into the community to raise money. It is important to look at the various avenues and select the ones that best fit your organization. Not every opportunity will lead you to your organization’s goals. You need to take into consideration the resources, such as time, money, and people, at your disposal.
A fundraising plan contains the fundraising activities your organization will implement over a set period of time. These activities will have specific, measurable goals. The end result will be a sustainable fundraising program that provides the necessary funds to fulfill the nonprofit organization’s mission. The fundraising plan is a powerful tool for any nonprofit.
The fundraising plan is, however, the last in a series of documents a nonprofit should have in place in order to successfully raise money. The additional documents will make the implementation of the fundraising plan more efficient.
To launch a successful fundraising program, an organization should have created a number of documents including the Case for Support, Gift Acceptance Policies and Procedures, and a Donor Recognition Policy. The Case explains “why” you are raising money, the Gift Acceptance Policies delineate what constitutes an acceptable gift and under what circumstances your organization will accept the donation, and the Donor Recognition Policy explains how you will express gratitude to the donor.
Corporate matching gifts occur when an individual makes a charitable contribution and the individual’s employer matches the employee’s gift by sending a contribution to the same nonprofit organization. Corporations will in some cases match an employee’s volunteer hours with a matching gift.
Two nonprofits similar in mission and staff size are using donor management software to track donations and fundraising activities. The first organization has a database full of bad data. Donors are not getting receipts; deceased donors are getting appeal letters. Staff members have not been trained and there is no support. They complain that the software does not work and that they hate the system. The organization is handcuffed when planning their fundraising strategies or tracking their effectiveness. The second organization loves its donor management software. The data is clean, their donors receive accurate mailings, the organization is successfully managing their fundraising activities, and staff love the reports. New personnel are trained on the software before they ever log in and support is available to resolve any problems and questions that come up.
Here’s the kicker: Both nonprofits are using the same software package.
I am on a number of LinkedIn groups that are primarily concerned with nonprofits and fundraising. Recently on one of the groups there was a lot of discussion about the selection of a fundraising/donor management software package. To be honest, I was amazed by the outpouring.