June, 2006Philanthropy A Vibrant and Uniquely America Sector
Belief in the mission of the organization personal experience with us will involve our contributors with our mission and outcomes
Community involvement and civic pride invest with us and we will accomplish a shared goal
Financial Stability - donors beware of giving to a sinking Titanic
Regard for staff and leadership reflecting good management and strength
Regard for volunteer leadership - relationships and respect matter
Service on a board or committee creating relationships through involvement
Why would they give?
Brandeis University studied a group of Jewish philanthropists who explained why they did give:
This group gave to organizations they felt closely connected with possibly serving on the board
They gave because of deep commitments nurtured by involvement
They gave to foster meaningful involvement
They gave because they enjoyed interaction with the leadership and representatives
They gave if they experienced a connection to the beneficiaries of services
They gave because they felt a positive feedback from their stewardship
They gave when they felt a positive impression from the solicitor
They gave if they received effective feedback including knowledge, passion, and commitment
They gave if there were two people calling on them a professional and a peer peers can gain access
They gave because it feels good
Why would they not give?
The Lilly Endowment interviewed philanthropists who gave more than $100,000 to ask why they said no and declined giving opportunities. Here you go -
Mismatch of interest if this is the case you might ask what are their interests
Failure to connect on a personal level with the organization board membership, volunteer opportunity, recipient of services, interaction with beneficiaries of the services offered deep commitments are nurtured by meaningful involvement
Premature request insufficient cultivation in the Getting to Know You Process
Failure to ask for a specific amount forgetting to ask at all
Excessive request asking too much
Failure to convey urgency if you will move on with this you will allow us to continue our services in helping everyone
Failure to ask for enough asking less that the donor will typically give
Mismatch between solicitor and prospect
Failure to include spouse
Failure to sell dreams
Issues that nonprofits have:
Stress is usually a great factor in fundraising. Lack of time, an inadequate budget, fierce competition for financial support, unrealistic fundraising goals, an imbalance in internal politics, and ineffective partnerships between officers can all add to the problem.
Here are some good questions to ask your selves:
Do you collaborate or do you simply try to sell?
Do you think in terms of gifts or relationships?
Do you try to win or help donors? What are their needs?
Do you just present to your donors, or involve them?
Do you impose on them, or involve them?
Do you ensure satisfaction, even if there are no more dollars?
Why do we fall short of our goals?
Forgetting the basics
Failing to make the calls
Time management issues
Failing to ask
Failing to use one of our most important resources - volunteers
Failing to focus on our donors
Failing to put donors first
Many times consultants have the leadership skills we are lacking. They can
be strategic thinkers with the ability to build relationships, teach and communicate
with others, and listen in order to learn. If you cannot follow through with
the task at hand, you might think about interviewing potential consultants.
Key attributes to a winning strategy:
Do not take no for an answer
Make negatives work to their advantage have you ever heard of making lemonade out of lemons?
Above average ambition
A high level of empathy listen and understand
Be goal oriented
Have great self-discipline
Approach strangers even when you are uncomfortable
Peter Drucker said giving is necessary to satisfy the need of living out ideals.
Passion is the human side of the equation. Associate with colleagues who have
great empathy those wonderful caring humans who envision dreams and help make
William Sturtevant is the Vice President of Trusts and Planned Giving at the University of Illinois Foundation. He is the author of The Artful Journey: Cultivating and Soliciting the Major Gift, and more recently, Continuing the Journey.