10. All Board Members, MUST be donors – to the best of their ability. Not all board members are wealthy, but everyone should give at the highest level possible for their circumstances. It is important to be able to say to the public that 100% of your board supports your mission with their dollars. If your board members won’t give, why should anyone else?
9. You MUST give people reasons that will make them want to give. That you need money is not one of those reasons. Show prospective donors how their giving will make a difference in people’s lives. And, more importantly, show them how their giving will make a difference in their own lives.
8. You MUST understand that the best person-to-person fundraiser is a well-trained and well-motivated volunteer who solicits his/her peers, friends, family and colleagues. Professional fundraising staff or counsel can help you design and run your program and train your volunteers, but staff and counsel cannot usually do as good a job soliciting as can an impassioned volunteer.
7. You MUST do adequate planning/research before implementing any fundraising strategy — no matter the size of the gifts you’re soliciting or the goal you need to reach. And, you MUST periodically test variations of your fundraising methodology to ensure that your efforts are as cost-effective as possible.
6. You MUST have a means/method of tracking your fundraising and leadership prospects, your donors and your contacts with them. If you’re a very small organization and only have a few prospects/donors, you could probably use file folders and/or spreadsheets; but, once you have significant numbers of individuals to track, you must have the appropriate computer software.
There are many brands of such software, some is free, some is expensive, but don’t buy on the basis of cost. Select the software that will allow you the best use of the data you will collect. And don’t try to design your own — unless you’re a fundraising database expert, you don’t know what information to collect and how to arrange it.
Have a question about starting or expanding your fundraising? Email me at AskDCA@Major-Capital-Giving.com. With over 30 years of counseling in major gifts, capital campaigns, bequest programs and the planning studies to precede these three, we’ll work to answer your question.