Fundraising in Uncertain Times May 20, 2009 Presented By: Carol Weisman Produced By: Society for Nonprofit Organizations. Fundraising in Uncertain Times. I’m so pleased you are going to bring your bridge group on our special “behind the scenes tour!”.
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Fundraising in Uncertain TimesMay 20, 2009
Presented By: Carol WeismanProduced By: Society for Nonprofit Organizations
I’m so pleased you are going to bring your bridge group on our special “behind the scenes tour!”
Of course your Argentinean uncle can make a donation in honor of your son’s graduation on our website!
Of course we take Credit cards. We’d be glad to put $50/month on your card to help our cause.
Fund raising isn’t easy in the best of times. (But you already knew this!) In uncertain times, you need to go back to the basics, but you might have to change the mix. It’s a little like high altitude baking.
Do not make assumptions! already knew this!) In uncertain times, you need to go back to the basics, but you might have to change the mix. It’s a little like high altitude baking.
With 8-10% unemployment, that means 90-92% employment.
Also, many people are reprioritizing and reconsidering how they use their discretionary income. That might be good news for your organization!
Uncertain times are when people either have less money to give or perceive themselves to be economically vulnerable.
The latest stats on giving in America already knew this!) In uncertain times, you need to go back to the basics, but you might have to change the mix. It’s a little like high altitude baking.
From the Association of Fundraising Counsel:
$260 Billion Given
Corporations gave 5%
Individuals gave 75%
Foundations gave 12%
Bequests resulted in 7%
What it means to be a millionaire…. already knew this!) In uncertain times, you need to go back to the basics, but you might have to change the mix. It’s a little like high altitude baking.
Lets say a donor lost 50% of a 2 million dollar portfolio. Your donor now has 1 million. You might think this is a lot of money, and it is. However, if she but plans to live off the interest for the rest of her life, at 5%, she is looking at $50,000 a year and might be scared. It will take a while before she starts giving again. If she has isn’t employed, the thought of losing even more might be paralyzing. The old lightning might strike twice, or three times, theory.
If you don’t have a strategy that involves soliciting individuals, why not?
An individual approach should have a heart and head component
Buying has changed individuals, why not?
We buy on credit.
We will also give on credit.
The wealthy will give on a credit card and so will those of modest means.
If you can’t take credit cards, you need to make it happen NOW.
How are you training your board in fundraising? individuals, why not?
Make fundraising part of every board meeting by having a “mission moment,” celebrating a victory, sharing a need etc. Be deliberate.
What kind of continuing education is your staff getting in fundraising? For board members listening to this webinar, training such as this should be a part of your annual budget. For staff, don’t forget to include it!
2. The Ask
People are wary. They need to know more about your organization. It takes longer to cultivate your donors now. You have to spend more time letting your potential givers get to know what you do and how you do it. The exception is nonprofits with well known brands who are responding to a specific crisis.
1. Sending a news clipping to friends, donors and supporters
2. Researching a potential donor
3. Looking for funding sources
4. Creating an e-zine or blog
5. Putting event photos on your web site
6. Writing informational articles for your web site
7. Writing e-books that can be sold
1. Invite a friend, relative or business associate to the agency
2. Have a meeting of a group you are involved in at the charity and organize a tour
3. Have an “at home” and have a rep from the organization tell the story
4. Initiate a lunch, dinner or other visit with a “closer” and a potential donor
5. Invite a potential donor to a special event
2. Go on the speaking circuit. Rotary, churches, temples, Junior League etc. NEVER leave without getting their contact info including e-mail address. Remember to ask for more than money…time, volunteers, clients.
Keep asking. Stress that others are having a rough time. Talk about building a bigger pie, digging deeper. Another point that will resonate is good stewardship of funds. Don’t gang up on donors. This is time for a velvet touch, not a hammer.
1. The folks who ask for money need to study the case and know how to overcome objections. There is a different rhythm to development than other sales processes.
2. Set up meetings with clients, friends and other potential donors with someone who can fill in pieces of the case that you don’t know.
Mass Market Ask management
1. Work with someone who knows the case and then close the sale at speaking events. Create a powerful tag-team approach. Tell your story and ask the audience to get involved.
2. This works in person, on video, can be on the web, sent to TV stations, DVD, shown by others at home events and in offices etc.
1. Thank people often, creatively, graciously and cheaply!
2. According to researcher Penelope Burk, as high as 94% of all donors will give a second gift and a larger gift if thanked by a board member!
3. When you thank a donor, instead of asking for more money, consider asking for more information and advice!
More important than ever before. People are feeling fragile. Make sure you not only thank them, but follow up with how their money is being spent.
Other Ways to get involved managementin stewardship:
Behind the scenes tour
Ask to be involved in a focus group (people love to give their opinion even more than money!)
With permission, publicize the gift with the media, internally, on your website.
You can do this using free or low- cost e-mail list server software that is available from google/yahoo/ISPs. You then have the ability to use your list to cultivate donors, request funds, thank your supporters, and keep your donors informed.
You need to be able to make giving easy. It should take under 5 minutes to make a donation online. In addition to making a donation, your donor needs to be able to sign up for more information or to opt out. A “snail mail” as well as an e-mail notification should be sent to both the donor and recipient using an auto-responder.
When friend and client Denise Harris Nuehring had to put down her beloved dog Emily, I was working in Australia. In about 3 minutes, I was able to send a donation to the Humane Society near Denise. By the time I returned home, I had a receipt and a lovely note from Denise.
Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to let your donors know about your site
SEO is the science and art of getting your name to pop to the top of the list when you search for a specific topic. You can purchase words through Google and your name will pop up on the right of the search, depending on what you pay. You can also use words in specific places to get higher rankings.
If you are a nonprofit day care center in Detroit, you might want to purchase, “Detroit day care,” as well as 10 other combinations of words people might Google. Or, if you want to reach out to donors and clients, and you are a hospice, you might want the links for “hospice San Francisco.”
This is incredibly simple. You go to http://www.google.com/alerts and follow the instructions. You will receive an e-mail when donors’ names appear anywhere on the web. Then write a note or make a call to acknowledge events. It might be the opening of a new office, the marriage of a child or the death of a parent.
You will also want to type in the name of your organization as well as your own name to find out when you are mentioned.
If you try this, you will appreciate having a unique name like Cassandra Smyrniotis rather than a common one like John Smith.
Always, always, always have an on-going wish list. about your site
In your newsletter
In your waiting room
In the newsletters of contributors
In the holiday letters of staff, board & volunteers
In hotels, restaurants
On the beach
In bathroom stalls……
www.BoardBuilders.com for a free newsletter
www.AFPNET.org The National Association for Fundraising Professionals
www.BoardSource.org BoardSource (formerly the National Center for Nonprofit Boards)