As you review your yearly gifts and remaining asks, consider the following questions…
Recently, while in Bloomington, IL, the hotel shuttle driver dropped me off with the comment “welcome to the smallest airport I’ve ever seen.” He was surprised when I assured him that I had seen several airports with fewer than nine gates.
As we come closer to the end of the year, many non-profits are ramping up their appeals. They are sending letters, posting on social media and trying to get in as many asks as they can before December 31.
While asking is a critical part of fundraising, there's a complementary strategy that too often gets shoved to the bottom of the to-do list: saying thanks.
Sometimes in the course of working with non-profits, we’ll hear a question like this from a key volunteer:
“Why do we need to raise more money? We do pretty well now.”
When we hear this question, it’s immediately clear that the organization, not just the volunteer, does not have a vision or clear path forward. They have a “foggy” case for support.
As empty nesters, my wife and I have more time to volunteer in our community. We really enjoy our volunteer time together - almost as much as vacation.
Recently, we responded to two requests for help. One community organization responded to my wife’s email the very same day. She got an email addressed directly to her that included three quick questions along with several resources and a short video on volunteering. Later that afternoon, the volunteer coordinator followed up with a phone call to my wife and engaged her in a nice comfortable conversation. Impressive!
I responded to the other request with an email offering our services and asking for next steps. That was weeks ago. Still waiting. What does this have to do with development and fundraising?
Those who know me, know I am always on the hunt for a good book. Recently, I had a chance to read a particularly great book: Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is planning a four-year mission in 2022 to travel to the asteroid Psyche 16. While space missions are interesting by default, this one is gathering a great deal of attention. According to the headlines, this space rock is believed to be composed of platinum, nickel and enough gold to make every person on Earth a billionaire many times over. The math is straightforward. Gold sells for a certain amount per ounce, the asteroid may contain a certain number of ounces and the Earth’s population is easily estimated.
Topics: financial management
I met with an experienced Major Gift Officer recently who shared a story about a donor he’d been close to for many years. That donor had made a transformational gift to the organization he represented within his first 3 months on the job. The CEO, management team and the board were awestruck that this new guy magically pulled in one of the biggest gifts they’d ever received. The prevailing thought was, “Wow – this is what fundraising should be! Just find the rich people and ask them for money.”
Summer is in the rearview mirror and that can only mean one thing: budgeting time is here.
Might we suggest you take a moment to move those antacids back to your desk?
Recently my family of four sat down to a "friendly" game of Monopoly. My two competitive sons and husband were eager to gobble up any property that became available to dominate the game and thereby be proclaimed Monopoly champion.