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Philanthropy … fundraising, development, advancement. Giving. Know your audience Tailor your approach Have your case for support ready to go. I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. Maya Angelou. Experts in the room?.

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  • Know your audience
  • Tailor your approach
  • Have your case for support ready to go.
experts in the room
Experts in the room?
  • Have you participated in a fundraising ask?
  • Are you or have you been a fundraising professional (marketing, admissions)?
  • Have you ever personally asked for a gift in either a volunteer or professional capacity?
  • Do you have a fundraising horror story?
there is a very simple formula
There is a very simple formula:

The Right Person asks

the Right Prospect

for the Right Amount

in the Right Way

at the Right Time

for the Right Cause

with the Right Follow-up

why is fundraising perceived as challenging
Why is fundraising perceived as challenging?

An art and a science

It requires relationship building skills and technical expertise.

It is about the power of storytelling and number crunching smarts.

It is about the pitch andthe research.

technical resources are many and varied
Technical resources are many and varied.

Legal realities

IRS regulations

Planning essentials


Social Media

Fundraising Vocabulary


and it is complicated
And it is complicated!

IFA: Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (managing underwater funds)

SARBANES-OXLEY trickledown impact on donor relations and stewardship

Tax Code changes

IRS: the 990

New Planned Giving Strategies /Opportunities

Blended professional roles in advancement/marketing

The changing fundraising pyramid: 90/10 as the new 80/20

keep an eye on emerging trends
Keep an eye on emerging trends.
  • Intergenerational transfer of wealth
  • Technology: Social media, segmented asks
  • International philanthropy
  • Women’s philanthropy
  • Entrepreneurial donors
  • Increased demand for talented professionals
  • Increase in restricted gifts
  • Annual fund needs a modernized argument
  • Competition for dollars, period!

There is GOOD NEWS.

The critical constants are skills you can master and retain forever.

people will always give to people
People will always give to people
  • Relationship building
  • Communication skills
  • Communication strategy
  • The dance of the ask
  • The art of recognition
  • Creative stewardship
the head of school is the chief advancement officer
The Head of School is the Chief Advancement Officer

The rest of the team:

Board Chair

Director of Advancement

Development Committee Chair

ten maxims that still matter philanthropy at independent schools nais
Ten Maxims that Still MatterPhilanthropy at Independent Schools, NAIS
  • Leadership gifts are essential to the success of every fundraising campaign
  • People give to people
  • The best prospects are almost always previous donors
  • Major donors usually make their largest gifts to organizations they serve as trustees
  • Donors respond to exciting plans and ideas more generously than to timetables or deadlines
  • Fund raising formulas and strategies must be appropriate for your school culture
  • Set your sights high when you solicit a major gift
  • Always bring a personalized written version of the specific gift request
  • Every major gift solicitation is, by definition, a success
  • You can never say “thank you” too often
know the difference
Know the difference:

Annual Fund – An annual campaign for annual gifts (generally expended in the year received) that strives to raise unrestricted gifts. Unrestricted money is utilized to benefit student financial aid, technological improvements, excellent faculty and many other college needs. — Goals stem from the strategic plan, but the ultimate goal is to further the culture of philanthropy even as individual sights are raised. Serves as foundation and platform for all major giving efforts.

Comprehensive Capital Campaign - An organized, intensive fundraising effort on the part of an institution or organization to secure extraordinary gifts and pledges, for capital and annual fund, for a specific purpose during a specified period of time.

with credit to www franklincollege edu
with credit to
  • Annuity
  • Beneficiary
  • Bequest
  • Charitable Gift Annuity
  • Deferred Gift
  • Designated Gift
  • Endowment
  • Endowment Distribution Policy
  • Gift in Kind
  • Matching gift
  • Pledge
  • Unrestricted gift
  • Planned Gift
a strong director of advancement is worth her his weight in gold
A strong Director of Advancement is worth her/his weight in gold.
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Superb communicator
  • Eager to learn
  • Able to lead, but a team player, too
  • Deep commitment to the school
  • A passion for the details
  • Roll their sleeves up type
  • Works hard…and long…
partnering with a consultant can make great sense
Partnering with a consultant can make great sense.
  • Match is everything; consider the contact person and the project
  • Find someone who understands and knows how to assess the value of hard data.
  • Select someone who has walked the walk; you need a professional fundraiser
  • Use a professional to assess your fundraising operation and climate
  • The best consultants have the best to offer in the planning phases of a campaign—don’t wait too late.
  • The best/most effective consultants will put every effort into helping you discern what you really need
know your role in the partnership
Know your role in the partnership.

Head of School

Set clear development priorities—share vision

Establish reasonable, stretch goals

Supply sufficient resources for a successful fundraising team

Provide ample one on one time to partner with the director

Invite the director to board meetings

Ensure the director is in the inner circle

Permit director to make presentations to faculty

Let director manage her own time

Director of Advancement

Prepare head fully, orally and in writing, for donor meetings and key fundraising events

Provide timely drafts of gift acknowledgments and stewardship letters for head’s signature

Share all constituency rumors or concerns

Manage budget and staff competently

Use head’s fundraising time wisely

Operate with the highest of personal and professional standards

the board must play a key role
The Board must play a key role.
the starting point will always be the same
The starting point will always be the same.

Know everything possible about the institution, its goals, its vision, its programs.

Make certain you are completely committed to the worthiness of the ask, project, etc.

Learn everything you can about the prospects before you call on them. (Research, research, research)


And then there’s the ask.

Take a deep breath.

the ask is an art
The ask is an art…

Empathy: You need to truly listen

Energy: The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire (sparks!)

Enthusiasm: unbridled, contagious

Integrity: never tamper with the truth

questions you should have answers to before an ask don t skip this step
Questions you should have answers to before an ask…don’t skip this step
  • How did you happen to go to Lake Wobegon Prep? How was the experience for you?
  • How are Sven junior and little Ingrid doing at Deepfreeze Country Day?
  • How do you feel about the strategic plan we mailed to the school community last month?
  • What has you excited/concerned about TenThousand Lakes Community School?
before the ask
Before the ask…
  • Rehearse with a partner—say the amount out loud
  • Write out all the reasons you may get a no
  • Practice responses to the resistance
  • If possible, go in pairs
  • Signal when the ask may occur
  • Focus on open ended questions
no one ever listened themselves out of a gift jerold panas
No one ever “listened” themselves out of a gift. (Jerold Panas)

A general rule: Talk about 25% of the time during a fundraising presentation

dreams typically open wallets before needs do
Dreams typically open wallets…before needs do.
  • No one wants to save the sinking Titanic; they want to know you have a bona fide plan to sail through choppy waters.
  • Donors like bold, heroic, visionary programs that make a difference.
  • No one wants to hear that they owe you for an experience they had years previously.
  • The reality that tuition doesn’t cover the full cost is a tired, unexciting, overused tale.
  • Tell a compelling story about your reality that fits this mold.
the setting matters remember this is art
The setting matters—remember, this is art.
  • Where is the ask going to occur? Why?
  • Who is along on the ask? Why?
  • Who makes the ask? Why?
  • You need a plan, a script and a timeline.
11 minutes to present your case
11 minutes to present your case

Research indicates that this is the about the length of time you have before you will be tuned out:

  • Be straightforward
  • Be compelling
  • Be inspiring
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • In 11 minutes. Or 11 minute segments.
what do you do after you make the ask
What do you do after you make the ask?



Be comfortable with the silence.

Don’t fill it, no matter how tempting.

Be Quiet.

Just sit there.

Don’t talk.


the four magic questions why did they not give
The Four MagicQuestions: Why did they not give?

Is it the institution?

Is it the project?

Is it the amount I requested?

Is it the timing?

get them to say yes to something
Get them to say yes…to something.
  • Another visit
  • A gift to the annual fund
  • A visit to campus
  • Contacting a classmate, prospective parent
  • Volunteer for an upcoming assignment
  • An article in an upcoming newsletter
the deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated william james
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.William James

Say thank you again and again and again and again….