Tag Archives: first time fundraising

How Fundraising Good Times column motivated fundraiser to raise $45,000

An Interview with Judy Davis – Part Two

Metal Museum  Gates, fundraising, FUNdraising Good Times, Metal Museum, first time fundraising, leadership

Metal Museum’s 10th Anniversary Gates

“I did not recruit leadership, instead I embraced leadership.” This is what we learned from Judy Davis membership outreach manager at the Metal Museum in Memphis. We were talking with Davis to learn how this column FUNdraising Good Times influenced her work in raising $45,000 for The 10th Anniversary Gates Campaign. This was a campaign to restore the beloved metal gates at the museum and the 331 rosettes that adorn them.

The campaign was launched in April 2013, but Davis “did not get involved with the campaign until November 2013 when I saw we needed more funds. I produced a timeline of events and presented it to my Director and the Public Engagement Associate. I took the Development Boot Camp workshops that were offered at the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence and received advice from my previous manager that raised funds for the Memphis Public Library,” Davis shared. “I did not ask anyone to do anything I would not do and I tried to keep the momentum going. I tried to create an environment where all my coworkers felt they had a vested interest in the success of the campaign.”

She developed two questions to drive her fundraising. These were: “How do the Metal Museum gates impact the community?” and “What is your story as it relates to the gate?” These were derived from her desire for museum members and visitors to feel they had a personal connection with the gates.

Davis also developed a brand identity for the campaign that tied to the museum’s overarching brand. “I wanted the feel and color of gray (metal) but to focus on the gates not the museum. The stationary, invitations and thank you cards were one unit. The pieces were interchangeable but they could be put together as one.” She took the time to share her brand strategy with fellow staff, “I wanted to make sure that we all understood why and how to communicate that to the public.”

When asked what she would do differently next time, Davis responded, “Give myself more than seven months to raise a substantial amount of money. Have a volunteer front person, a voice, to help raise the funds needed.”

We share Davis’ story with you because it shows that one person can make a difference. Davis had been reading our column, cutting them out, and jotting down adjectives and catch phrases on index cards for easy reference. Here are a few examples: developed, branded, launched, raised = goal. She focused on tips such as “leadership is critical to the success of any fundraising efforts” and “communicate in words and action.”

Davis is ready for her next project: making the museum’s collection more accessible to the public. Stay tuned: she is a woman you are sure to hear more from.

Photo credit: Metal Museum. www.metalmuseum.org

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.

$45,000 Raised by First Time Fundraiser

An Interview with Judy Davis – Part One

Judy Davis, fundraising, FUNdraising Good Times, Metal Museum, first time fundraising, leadership, ArtsMemphis

Judy Davis

We eat, drink and sleep fundraising. It’s what we love. We truly enjoy and embrace the people and organizations we work with. We get excited when clients take the tools we develop for them and put them to work. We cherish their successes and most importantly we celebrate their work. At the end of the day fundraising is all about attracting resources for nonprofit organizations and institutions that make a difference in people’s lives. While not every organization is in a position to hire fundraising counsel, there are so many people doing wonderful things who need just a few suggestions, or some new information so they can do a better job and raise more money. These are the people we write FUNdraising Good Times for.

This column is our way of giving back and sharing information about fundraising, fund development and the important roles of nonprofit board members, staff and volunteers. It was almost nine years ago that FUNdraising Good Times debuted in The Globe Newspaper in Oakland, CA. There are now 30 papers and two magazines from around the country that publish this column. This commitment on the part of publishers and editors demonstrates their commitment to growing the nonprofit sector and supporting the people who give their time and energy to serving others.

We cherish our readers, though most are unknown to us. As writers you don’t always “meet” your audience. But, we did recently met a reader who embraced us sharing “I read your column all the time.” We were conducting a workshop for the ArtsMemphis community engagement fellows when Judy Davis came up to us and shared that she raised $45,000 using suggestions from our column. That caught our attention and we had to learn more!

We learned that Davis, the membership outreach manager at the Metal Museum in Memphis, played an important role in The 10th Anniversary Gates Campaign. The museum was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the most beloved part of their permanent collection – the 10th Anniversary Gates. These are metal gates adorned with 331 unique rosettes that were contributed by over 200 metalsmiths from around the world. After 25 years of exposure to the elements the gates and rosettes desperately needed restoration. This required removing, repairing and cleaning each rosette, and then sandblasting and repainting the gates.

The campaign raised $45,000 by inviting museum members and visitors to “sponsor a rosette” with individual donations ranging from $100 – $500. Each rosette sponsor received a credit line in a catalog published to commemorate the rededication of the newly restored gates on Mother’s Day, 2014.

This was Davis’ first professional fundraising project and she was armed with inspiration and information from our columns.

Next week: The details!

Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.