Tag Archives: fundraising campaign

Who is your ideal partner?

 fundraising, leadership, partnership, special events, fundraising campaign, how to lead a fundraising campaignHow do you become a successful nonprofit fundraiser? What is the secret to success? An engaging personality, relationships, tenacity, creativity, sales ability and consistent follow through are some of the attributes of success fundraisers. Here’s another: teamwork! Successful fundraisers don’t go it alone: they always have a partner. It is flattering and humbling to be asked to play a role in raising funds for an organization you believe in. You can increase your chances of success by picking the right partner to work with.

If you are asked to help organize a marathon, a concert, or a phone-a-thon you can double your impact by getting a partner. If you are asked to lead a capital campaign, an alumni campaign, or local disaster relief campaign get a partner and double your impact. When agreeing to help with fundraising make your answer, “Yes, and I’d like to have a partner work with me. So-and-so is a great asset and he has volunteered to work with me on this project.”

When you have a fundraising partner you have someone to bounce ideas off of, to make plans with, and to inspire you if you feel discouraged. If you know there are times when you will be you of town or otherwise committed, your partner can fill in for you and keep the process moving. When you have an effective and supportive partner fundraising can transform from an obligation into a fun challenge. You set a financial goal and work together to figure out how to reach it.

Here are a few things to consider as you contemplate who could be your ideal fundraising partner. Reflect on who you know personally, professionally, through worship, family connections, and/or community life. It would be ideal to partner with an individual who has a track record of successful fundraising. But that alone is not enough! Think about who also shares an interest in the work of your nonprofit and its values, and who has demonstrated commitment and follow through in other areas of their lives. Think about who you have helped in the past, and who might “owe you one.” Look for a person who gets things done, doesn’t accept failure, and always has a “plan b” and a “plan c” in their back pocket. Another ideal characteristics: people who have the power, influence and wealth to easily engage others in meeting your fundraising goal. Finally, the most important characteristic is that of accessibility. You want a partner you can reach by phone, text or email and who is not too busy to give his or her full attention to your joint project. They make your fundraising project their project.

If this sounds simplistic, that’s because it is. Find a partner, put your heads together, and have some fun raising money.

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.

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Four Benefits of a Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign

Part one of a two part series

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Do you need to raise money for your nonprofit? If you answer “yes”, you are in good company. Fundraising is critical for most nonprofits and it takes time to build relationships that generate the revenue needed to operate. Organizing your fundraising into a campaign with specific financial goals and timelines is one way to focus on revenue and invite others to join you in fundraising.

The most common campaign is the annual campaign. This is a campaign to raise funds for annual programs and operations. Funding may come from foundation or corporate grants, individuals and families, events, and/or government sources. Gifts may be large or small. Another type of campaign is the capital campaign. This is a campaign to raise funds for assets such as buildings, equipment, furnishings or an endowment. The financial goal is typically such that it cannot be paid for with an increase in annual funds. It is a milestone occurrence within the life of the nonprofit that requires major investment. A major gifts campaign refers to a campaign to raise funds through large gifts. Unlike the other campaigns, funds may be used for multiple purposes as the name refers to the types of gifts a nonprofit seeks to secure. A comprehensive campaign is a campaign that coordinates multiple campaigns into one.

A major benefit of conducting a comprehensive campaign is that it focuses an organization’s energies into one campaign with multiple goals and revenue sources. It reduces confusion amongst prospective donors, allows them to make a one-time decision on how to support your diverse needs, and reduces duplication of efforts on the part of the nonprofit. For example, if you are raising funds for annual needs and simultaneously raising funds for a building you may find that an annual solicitation was made of an individual with the capacity and interest to give to your capital campaign. If the two campaigns are not coordinated you may receive a meaningful annual gift, but lose the opportunity to ask for a gift that combines annual and capital giving. Returning to donors multiple times within a year is not always possible, and the donor may have thought the first solicitation represented your needs for the year.

A comprehensive campaign also allows donors who give small gifts to feel a part of a major campaign. The value of their annual giving is made clear through campaign marketing messages and they are encouraged to be a part of the larger campaign as well. With a larger financial goal a comprehensive campaign can create buzz and excitement that re-engages lapsed annual donors, or encourages annual donors to increase their giving. A comprehensive campaign is not “business as usual” and that excitement can attract new donors and fundraising volunteers.

Next week: comprehensive campaign challenges.

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.