Increasing Philanthropic Giving
Three Steps To Increasing Philanthropic Giving In Today’s Economy
- Step I Update your fund raising plan.
- Step II Follow the money.
- Step III Get face time with prospects.
Step I Update your fund raising plan.
If your fund raising team of staff and volunteers is experiencing a steady increase in philanthropic gifts, grants and pledges, keep working your plan. On the other hand, if giving is down you have to replace one methodology with another. For example, if in the past you relied heavily on special events and in the past six months you have had to cancel events due to a lack of sponsors, why not try an in-home donor/prospect cultivation event? Mix current donors with potential donors, socialize and then discuss the gap in giving and how vital it is that individual donors help close the gap as 85% of all giving is from individuals. Pick the right host, allow guests to mingle and keep the “pitch” to a minimum. The best way is to have a donor give a two minute testimonial. Don’t ask for a gift on the spot. Have information available as they leave that explains the gap in funding and how after the party guests will be contacted by a member of your fund raising committee or they can go ahead and give before they are contacted. Be sure to point out giving options, especially online giving.
Step II Follow the money.
Forbes just released its list of The Richest People On The Planet and over two dozen are from Florida. Between the super wealthy and high income earners, there is plenty of money out there for the asking. The challenge is researching those individual current donors and prospects on your list to determine their financial capacity to give. That’s twice as important in this economy, locating the wealth. We do this for clients with our eZ Screen Prospect Research Service and it helps clients segment their database from greatest to least financial capacity to give. Pinpoint the wealth and you will be able to raise those funds to close any funding gap this year.
Step III Get face time with prospects.
You hear a lot about the use of Facebook in fund raising today. It works and has provided a new stream of funds to many nonprofit groups. On the other hand, most fund raising departments are understaffed and more time spent on Facebook, means less Face Time with major gift donors and prospects. Again, in a tight economy staff and volunteers have to focus their time where they will get the greatest results. As Peter Drucker would say, “time management isn’t about getting things done, it’s about getting the right things done.”
Be sure to equip your volunteers and staff with key talking points on how to make the ask. Our publication, “Take The Fear Out of Asking for Major Gifts” can help. Here are a few highlights from it.
Always answer for the prospect four key questions – where your organization has been, is today, where it wants to go in the future and what philanthropic investments are needed to get there? Don’t presume the prospect understands your funding gap. Your progress on keeping the gap narrow is one way to win over the prospect. Let the prospect know that if he/she makes the gift, that inspires others to give and puts you that much closer to your goal.
One closing thought – I have been raising money since my days in high school, in college and since graduation from college. It’s all I know. What I have learned of late is just how many donors feel they are ignored by the organizations they give to. How do I know that? Because donors tell me and our Associates that when we interview them for studies and assessments. Make the centerpiece of your fund raising efforts, the faces of those donors who provide your philanthropy. Showcase them in your newsletters, in ads and online. Make it about them, not your organization.
All the best for continued $ucce$$. If we can help you in advancing philanthropy for your organization, give us a call at 407-321-0024 or email email@example.com.