Keep at it – A Fundraiser’s Journey

A Fundraiser’s JourneyKelly pic

Kelly Updike for PCNRC

Two separate instances have converged in my head. Ouch!

The first is from a meeting with Dan Swartz, he of Wunderkammer Company. Dan is planning his second annual Design Week, for which he has obtained a sizeable grant to pay for speakers and marketing. This has given him the freedom to obtain great speakers to participate. People who are significant to their field in a national and even world-class way. Some have local ties to this region.

Dan says he just asks. He figures out how to contact the person, by email or through an assistant, and he asks. He says the person will usually reply and is gracious. Sometimes the person says yes, which means Design Week will again have some phenomenal speakers.

The second is from the My City Summit organized by Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana (YLNI). This year’s theme was diversity. At this event, too, the speakers were local and national, all terrific.

I left this event thinking about our roles in these changing times. We are cranky, according to the keynote speaker, Rich Benjamin. Another speaker, Fort Wayne’s own Courtney Tritch, pointed out that diversity is a needed economic driver. People move to areas where there is freedom and respect for all. Each speaker asked us what we were doing about it.

On the surface these two meetings were very different. But they both ended up in the same place in my mind:

It does not matter where you are politically, uppercase R or D. What matters is that we work every day to make a difference. Our organizations in particular directly impact others.

What are we going to do to help others continue through these times?

We ask and then we ask again. Simply, purely, clearly. As fundraisers. As advocates. As caregivers. As artists. As one human being to another.

Ask. Don’t stop asking.

 

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

Short is Not Sweet

Kelly UpdikeA Fundraiser’s Journey

Kelly Updike for PCNRC

Every January I have to arrive early at fitness class.

This is because I need to stake out my favorite spot – near the back, not in front of the mirrors – because most of the room is filled with ladies who have made New Year’s resolutions.

By February I don’t have to get there early any more.

Ouch. Four short weeks and that resolution went ppfffttt for at least 30 people.

My own resolutions were often as short-lived. Lately, I haven’t even bothered thinking about resolutions, let alone making them.

How to break the cycle? Well, my New Year’s resolution is going to be something that I can actually enjoy and thus want to sustain: I’m going to set 12 appointments, averaging one per month, with someone I don’t know very well and admire greatly for his or her work in the community.

Because I’m a shy person (seriously!) who also is a bit socially awkward (my sense of humor aligns well with 12-year-olds), this is a stretch for me personally. Which qualifies this resolution as a growth opportunity. And because calendars quickly go to awfully full, I will need to exert some discipline to schedule each meeting.

I’m motivated to hear more from folks who are quietly changing our world, from health services to sports and leisure. Let me know if you want to have coffee or have ideas on another great person to meet. And I hope to share with you what I learn about fundraising from these sessions.

http://www.wikihow.com/Stick-to-a-New-Year%27s-Resolution

http://www.10news.com/lifestyle/new-years-resolutions-how-to-make-them-stick

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/10-ways-to-make-your-new-years-resolutions-stick

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

Identity Differences in Donations

There are many factors that affect a donor’s decision to give to a nonprofit. A study published in the Journal of Marketing Research examined the way a donor’s social identification and its relationship to the social identification of previous donors affects the likelihood of donation.

What happens when a potential donor learns about previous contributions? Are potential donors more likely to give when they know the identity of those who have given in the past?

  • During an on-air funding drive for a radio station some callers were told that the person before them of a different gender gave $240 while other callers were told that the person before them of the same gender gave $240. Callers that were told that the person before them of the same gender gave money were more likely to donate.
  • When potential donors find out the contributions of previous donors, their contributions are about $20 more than if they did not find out the contributions of previous donors.

How can this information be applied to the way your organization does fundraising?

  • donateWhen speaking with potential donors, reference the contributions of past donors making sure to include how their identities are similar.
  • When sending fundraising letters, include information about the identities of those who have contributed in the past so potential donors feel a connection to the cause through their social identities.
  • When referencing past donors, remember not to give any information that would give away the exact identity the donors to others. Give demographic information or personal testimony, but do not give names or exact details unless you have permission to do so.

Do you already include information about past contributions when requesting donations? How will this information impact the way you do fundraising in the future?

______________________________________________________________________________

Jen Shang, Americus Reed II and Rachel Croson. “Identity Congruency Effects on Donations”. Journal of Marketing Research.

Community Foundation Investments – from DWD “Mission-Minded” blog

CarrieMinnichwebCarrie Minnich, CPA recently posted “Community Foundation Investments″ for Mission Minded, Dulin, Ward & DeWald, Inc.’s nonprofit blog.

Carrie’s post highlights information specific to the recording of investments with the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne.  Although most community foundations are similar, please contact your accountant for details specific to your [organization’s]investment.

Here’s a snippet and link to her post:

Many nonprofit organizations partner with their local community foundation by placing endowment funds with the foundation.  A community foundation is able to combine funds from various nonprofits into professionally managed portfolios that allow greater diversification of investments than an individual nonprofit may likely be able to achieve.

Read more at Mission Minded

Not Feelin’ It

A Fundraiser’s JourneyKelly Updike

Kelly Updike for PCNRC

There very nearly was not an October Fundraiser’s Journey blog post. I’ve had writer’s block before but this was Gibraltar.

Completely out of options, I asked a superb fundraiser if she had some ideas for you. She was totally jazzed by the question and surprised me with her response. She said I knew the answer already because I had just shared it with a group of very tired staffers.

Like Dorothy clicking her ruby-reds, sometimes we need to be reminded that we have the power all along.

First, take a deep breath, stop panicking. You are a very successful person. Reflect on where you are and how you got there. Then pick one thing to do next, just one. Focus on that. You’ve got to take the first step to begin the journey.

Still not feeling it? Take a different turn in the road: Look at your donor list again. There’s at least one interesting person in there. Then get out of the office. Make a visit with that donor. Saying thank-you is fun. Stay out of the office: It’s energizing to talk with your clients or patrons, the people you serve. And grab a coffee with some colleagues; nothing’s better than a group hug.

Now you’re feelin’ it!

[Special shout-out to Nancy Louraine, our very own Glinda.]

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.

Differences in Generational Giving

2016-03-30 09.09.10
Amanda Neumann

As a new generation of philanthropists take their place in the nonprofit sector, it’s important to address changes in giving trends. While the Baby Boomer generation has long been the driving factor behind US philanthropy, trends are quickly changing.

Think About This (x):

  • Millennials (18-34) and Generation X (35-50) make up two-thirds of the US workforce
  • In less than 4 years, Millennials and Gen Xers will make up over 70% of the workforce
  • 87% of Millennials donated to charity last year
  • Generation Xers gave an average of $465 annually
  • Both Millennials and Generation Xers are motivated by passion to donate

Tips for Gaining & Retaining Gen X and Millennial Donors:

  • Use online methods of communication (emails, social media) to interact with donors
    • Snail mail is often ignored or thrown in the trash
  • Use online or credit card methods for donations (no cash or checks)
    • Online donating is accessible, easy, and can used for promotional or impulsive donating (both are popular with Millennial donors)
  • Engage donors in volunteering, brainstorming, and decision-making (for events, social media campaigns, community engagement)

While donation and outreach methods are changing, the passion for philanthropy is still thriving.


Sources & Resources

[Infographic] A New Generation of Giving via Philanthropy News Digest

Understanding What Motivates Millennials to Give to Your NPO via Nonprofit Hub

How Millennials Are Changing Nonprofits via Fortune

 

Engaging Today’s Donors

Kelly picA Fundraiser’s Journey

Kelly Updike for PCNRC

We have this really cool event at the Embassy but it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do. It’s called the Embatini, a really terrific name. At the Embatini, we provide a special drink and a classy meal and we have it in an exclusive place – on the Embassy stage. We’ve made it intimate and singular. Guests routinely tell us they love it. We want it to be a very extraordinary fundraiser for the Embassy. But it doesn’t raise a lot of money.

Do you have events like that? Where, despite the hardest of work and the keenest of ideas, it just never takes off as a fundraiser?

There appears to be a disconnect somewhere in our event. How do we better link it to our donors? Perhaps this has something to do with how donors think today about philanthropy and what they are expecting from us as nonprofits.

Remember the truly original Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 that generated millions of dollars and free publicity for ALS? While hugely successful in many ways, the majority of Challenge donors were one-time givers: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/als-and-the-ice-bucket-challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge reminds us that the ways people learn about our organizations are evolving. And the ways people give to us are changing. The good news is that the amount of giving is growing.

If there is a silver bullet to excellent fundraising, it is steady, ongoing attention to people, to individual relationships. We still have to find personalized and relevant ways to connect. As for the Embatini, we continue to evaluate it, to figure out how to create a better link to our donors.

For some information on fundraising trends, go to:

http://www.gailperry.com/top-10-fundraising-trends-and-predictions-for-2016/

https://philanthropy.iupui.edu/news-events/news-item/giving-usa:-2015-was-america%E2%80%99s-most-generous-year-ever.html?id=202

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.