08 Aug

KISS Your Fundraising Plan!

I had lunch last week with one of my favorite field fundraisers. This woman has the passion, the personality and the organization to be a stellar fundraiser.

In talking with her about her organization and the challenges that many field fundraisers feel (not enough support from the home office, data that is incomplete or inaccurate, crowded space, not enough time etc.), I realized something that we all do when planning for our fundraising year ahead. We complicate things by trying to tackle too much and solve all the organization’s challenges.  Front line fundraisers need to keep is simple and focus on what they can control.

Back to basics, there are three ways to raise more money:

  1. Repeat and hopefully increased gifts by existing donors. Examples: moving an annual donor from  a $1,000 to a $2,5000 gift, asking a donor for a multi-year gift, asking a long-time annual donor for an endowment gift, or asking a donor for an annual and capital gift in an integrated ask.
  2. First time gift by a prospect who has been on the radar or cultivated. Examples: a prospect who was introduced by a board member and has toured the program and volunteered makes a first time gift or a prospect who attended the gala sends in an annual gift.
  3. Adding new prospects who are primed to make a gift. Examples: a program alum brings a friend to a “friendraising” event and the friend is so impressed she makes a gift or you receive a gift from a person who responds to a board members request to make donations in honor their significant birthday.

Once you have these three buckets, the questions are:

For 1. and 2. Who are you top 25 names for each and what are the specific moves you will use to cultivate or steward their gifts this year?

For 3. What are events or opportunities that you can plan or suggest to your board or champions that may bring in new primed prospects?

I have ALWAYS been a fan of KISS (keep it simple stupid) since a teacher first explained the concept to me with regard to test taking. For fundraising planning, it pay to KISS too!



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