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Creating the Culture of Philanthropy Building Excellence in the Fundraising Enterprise. F.I.A Sydney Australia August 24, 2011 J.B. Michael Farrell FAHP Twitter @JBMFarrell What is a “Culture of Philanthropy”.

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creating the culture of philanthropy building excellence in the fundraising enterprise

Creating the Culture of Philanthropy Building Excellence in the Fundraising Enterprise


Sydney Australia

August 24, 2011

J.B. Michael Farrell FAHP

Twitter @JBMFarrell

what is a culture of philanthropy
What is a “Culture of Philanthropy”

an atmosphere, a gestalt, where every person in the organization understands that philanthropy is an essential part of the organization’s ability to advance its mission

a culture of philanthropy a culture of building not begging
A Culture of Philanthropy… a culture of building not begging
  • The Culture of Philanthropy is a culture of Inspiration
  • Volunteers and staff are passionately committed to expanding the mission
  • Donors are given the opportunity to join you in your quest.
  • It is a celebration of giving and the nobility of sharing.
  • Donors more than thanked… donors know they are relevant …their gifts work!
  • It is focused on the mission not the money!

what is excellence in the fundraising enterprise
What is…Excellence in the Fundraising Enterprise
  • Advancing the mission
  • Meeting the expectations of our stakeholders
  • Establishing and achieving goals
  • Significant growth

transformational fundraising is personal journey
Transformational Fundraising is Personal Journey
  • Re-ignite our passion
  • Focus on who we really serve
  • Empower ourselves be bold/audacious
  • If we are going to get good…to be excellent at fundraising we have to revisit why we got into this in the first place

excellence sounds easy
Excellence sounds easy

“Fundraising is always about the case. You have to translate that into ‘the language of philanthropy” and then deploy your energy and resources to tell your story where you have the best potential to generate support.”

the algorithm of fundraising success
The Algorithm of Fundraising Success

Resources + Energy Applied in areas of greatest potential



the business plan
The Business Plan

Cause…Virtually 100% of the organizations that experience significant growth do so through major gifts

Effect… “In 2012 we are going concentrate on gifts greater than $1,000…$5,000…$100,000”

answer this question to begin the journey to fundraising excellence
Answer this question to begin the journey to fundraising excellence

…Ms. Faloney has been giving your organization $1000 a year

…And Ms. Faloney has significant capacity.

…What would compel Ms. Faloney to make a $25,000 gift in 2012?

what do you think ms faloney knows about you
What do you think Ms. Faloney knows about you?
  • What was in the last thank you letter you sent?
  • What was the feature of your last newsletter or correspondence?
  • What is on you walls?
  • What is on your website?
  • What kind of conversations have you had with her?

what messages are you sending
What Messages are you sending
  • Celebration of collections
  • Celebration of events
  • Stories feature who and how much rather than why.
  • In the recognition program
  • The Rotary Conundrum

fundraising in a culture of philanthropy
Fundraising in a “Culture of Philanthropy”
  • No one “owes” you a gift
  • No one is “obligated” to make a gift
  • You earn gifts with good works
  • You inspire major gifts with powerful ideas

the power of ideas
The Power of Ideas
  • Is your case a big idea
  • Discussing philanthropic dreams
  • The $600,000,000 dollar lesson
  • What can you do?

tapping the philanthropic spirit
Tapping the Philanthropic Spirit
  • Dream big…what would it cost to rename your institution, your service, or an endowment fund?
  • Your recognition program…Be careful what you celebrate
  • Talk about big gifts until it becomes part of your culture


The Power of Big Ideas

We need to replace our playground. The school board ordered us to knock it down!

We can give the community it’s first handicap accessible playground.

our mission and the paradox of need
Our Mission and “The Paradox of Need”
  • Need can be paralyzing
  • Needs are universal
  • Solutions set your organization apart from the others
  • You have no needs…people have needs
  • WE are builders not beggers

planning assumptions for a fundraising board
Planning Assumptions for a Fundraising Board
  • We are Volunteer Led Staff Driven
  • We are Mission Focused
  • We are committed to Aggressive Growth
  • We commit to Activity Based metrics
  • Change is constant


Volunteer Led StaffDriven

the board staff partnership
The Board-Staff Partnership
  • Fundraising, in fact, all not for profit enterprise, is at its best when skilled and knowledgeable staff leaders partner with passionate, dedicated and well informed volunteers.

not this sort of partnership
Not this sort of partnership

Board Member

Board Member



Finance Chair

Board Member

Board Member

Board Member

Board Member

Board Chair

Board Member

Board Chair


Ralph…Executive Director

fundraising leadership a three legged stool
Fundraising Leadership … a Three Legged Stool

Fundraising Leadership








charity ceo leadership
Charity/CEO Leadership
  • Can be top volunteer by virtue of position.
  • Commit the time for calls as required.
  • Make a meaningful gift
  • Articulate the vision…serve as spokesperson
  • Make the Major Gifts a corporate priority
  • Assist with identification/recruitment of leadership

expanding the capacity the culture of philanthropy
Expanding the Capacity… The Culture of Philanthropy
  • All staff are familiar with the case
  • Board and volunteer family aware
  • Stories and legends…Enhanced and active celebration of major donors and heroic care givers…Larger than life.
  • Donor self identification…

the boards dual identity
The Boards Dual Identity
  • Fundraising as a side bar…iffy at best
  • Finding focus…Development Committee
  • Parallel Organizations
  • Successful fundraising won't happen on the margins. It must be a part of the mission.

the fundraising board 3 jobs
The Fundraising Board … 3 Jobs
  • Raise Money
  • Steward the money
  • Award it judiciously

#2. And #3. are just concepts if # 1 isn’t successful!

the board leadership how do you add value
The Board Leadership…How do you add value?
  • This not about governance
  • Fundraising is not very complicated!
  • Change starts at recruiting

the board leadership how do you add value27
The Board Leadership…How do you add value?
  • Make a meaningful gift
  • Champion the Big Idea…Set the case vision and the goal
  • Assist with prospect identification, rating, cultivation and solicitation
  • Prudently manage the funds raised
  • Insure resources are in place to advance the mission

the budget resources and commitment to change
The Budget, Resources and Commitment to Change
  • Budget is the price tag of the Vision
  • Is always presented in the context of five years of growth
  • A chance to educate volunteers about the business of fundraising
  • Activity based budgets
  • X calls = Y gifts how many people does it take to manage X calls
  • Board will make better choices when budget reductions are done in the context of the vision

development pyramid
Development Pyramid



Repeat Gift

First gift


resource deployment pyramid
Resource Deployment Pyramid




Major Gift

Repeat Gift

First gift


engaging the board
Engaging the Board
  • Prospect review is standing agenda item
  • “Cultivation calls”
  • Bi weekly lists of prospects for consideration
  • Scorecard kept on participation
  • Scorecard becomes part of board report

donor conversations
Donor Conversations
  • Donor Audit tool
  • Your Mission…your best idea
  • What has changed
  • What your agency is doing
  • And what opportunities there are for the donor
  • Measure the interest

so lets talk to ms faloney
So Lets talk to Ms. Faloney
  • Who is the best person to have the conversation
  • Explain what we are doing and why
  • Gauge her interest in our mission
  • Give her context for the “think about” number
  • Prepare a solicitation call that would allow her to make a difference

building donor relationships donors are your best prospects
Building Donor Relationships …Donors are your best prospects
  • Donors committed to the mission not a single person or a shopping list
  • Donors must believe that your leadership is competent
  • Confidence that your institution will deliver the goods.
  • Context is right for a large gift

metrics for a major gift operation
Metrics for a Major Gift Operation

An Activity Based Planning Model allows for some universal measures

  • Case written, board approved and tested
  • # of qualified calls for gifts < $25,000
  • % of calls that are successful
  • Number of Major Gift prospects identified
  • Number of volunteer solicitors assigned
  • Number of Volunteer calls completed
  • Increase in the number of major gifts secured
  • Number of legacy gifts committed


Tax Data Surveys

  • 78% of all Canadians give to charity Avg. $259


  • 23 % of all Canadians claim gifts…Avg. $ 915
  • 33% of Australians declare gifts …$450.



Philanthropic Support by Population



Social Programs



Chart is for discussion only




staying mission focused
Staying Mission Focused
  • These people don’t tell us we are dreamin’…they raise some issue
  • We run off to fix a problem that may not exist

in a perfect world we wouldn t need fundraisers we know we are in tough we are fundraisers
In a perfect world we wouldn’t need fundraisers…we know we are in tough we are fundraisers
  • We did not make it to the top of the feeding chain by giving our stuff away
  • We may have been communal but it was quid pro quo.
  • There may be some disturbing stuff lurking in the deep end of our gene pool
  • Our appeal has to be stronger than the prospect’s instinct to keep his hard earned money

giving is a learned behavior
Giving is a Learned Behavior
  • Giving runs in families…rich and poor
  • Caring and empathy seem to be learned behaviors… we can be teachers
  • Donor recognition celebrating gifts is a great way to teach.
  • Our appeals teach
  • Mostly we teach by our example

we respectfully ask individuals to make gifts commiserate with their station in life
We respectfully ask individuals to make gifts commiserate with their station in life.

Fundraising is Not Egalitarian. Who you ask and how you ask will define success

The Good Samaritan

effective gift calls fundraising is a contact sport
Effective Gift CallsFundraising is a Contact Sport
  • Face to face call made by a by a well prepared, and passionate peer in the company of an expert witness.

ipsos reid poll for scotia private client group
Ipsos Reid poll for … Scotia Private Client Group
  • 97 per cent said their philanthropic decisions are motivated by the charity's cause
  • 94 per cent said they are driven by personal values
  • 54 per cent said the timing of the charitable request is the deciding factor.

Sample has minimum $250,000 in investments

  • How did you get recruited?
  • Was your recruitment mission based?
  • What have you been asked to do?
  • Why did you say yes?
  • Did you come here to keep an eye on the finances or to make difference?

  • Most of us landed here because we needed a job and this looked good enough…but is it still just a job?
  • What made you think that you could be successful?
  • What is the most memorable moment of your time with your agency?

passion in our workplace
Passion in Our Workplace
  • The work that we do is critically important and the only constraint on what we can do is resources
  • The work is noble…we are fiercely proud of what we do
  • difficult economic times…we are needed now more than ever!

the real culture of philanthropy
The Real Culture of Philanthropy
  • Is in our hearts
  • In our belief that generous people of good will can make a profound difference in this world
  • In our willingness to do something to make the world a better place
  • You came here this afternoon when God knows you could have been anywhere else…for all that you do…thank you!