19/100 Things We’ve Learned: Remember the fundamentals of fundraising

It’s easy to get dazzled by new technologies in fundraising and forget the fundamentals. But it’s the fundamentals that drive the innovation, not the other way around.

I’m facilitating a training tonight with volunteers, staff and board members of smaller environmental groups and thought I’d share this handout with you.

1.  Donors are in the driver’s seat

  • They decide
  • They must opt in

2. Keep the donors and members you have.

  • Donors need to know that they matter to you and you care about them
  • You need to know who your donors are and what they care about
  • You need to keep your donors well informed
  • You need to deepen donor relationships with your mission & organization
  • You need to be grateful, thank, acknowledge & recognize donors as they would like to be appreciated

2. Planning is essential to a robust program.

  • You must set objectives
  • You must calculate the efforts needed to achieve the results you want-do the math
  • You need a year round plan of activities designed to achieve the results you want
  • You need to compensate for unexpected results

3. To grow you must:

a.      keep the donations you have

b.      replace donations you loose

c.       raise more donations than you had last year

4. You must present a compelling case for support

  • Your cause has to matter and inspire your potential donor
  • The actions you propose need to produce the desired results
  • The money you are request must be rationally related to the results

5. You must ask

  • The more personal the ask, the better the results, the lower the cost and the fewer people you’ll need to approach
  • You must keep reminding people to give until they do

6. Good data and the ability to retrieve it is essential

  • You need to store information on your donors in a way that it can be easily retrieved
  • You need to protect and ensure the privacy of the data that you do collect
  • You need past data on past performance to predict future results

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