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If Donors Are Driving Philanthropy, Is Strategy Dead


Permian Basin AFP. 2008 National Philanthropy Day. Workshop November 13, 2008. 2 4:30 p.m. ... Working with today's donors. Indications that we need to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: If Donors Are Driving Philanthropy, Is Strategy Dead

If Donors Are Driving Philanthropy, Is Strategy
  • Permian Basin AFP
  • 2008 National Philanthropy Day
  • Workshop November 13, 2008
  • 2 430 p.m.
  • Kay Sprinkel Grace

What We Will Cover
  • Welcome and introductions
  • Working with todays donors
  • Indications that we need to change our strategies
  • Review of current strategies and why they may
    not work now
  • New strategies what they are, and how to
    implement them
  • How to keep the best, and leave the rest
  • Implementing change overcoming resistance
  • Planning for the future

Working With Donors
  • Indications that we may need
  • to change our strategies

Why The Wealthy Give
  • From the 2007 U.S. Trust Survey of 264 Affluent
    Americans with assets of 5 million or more
  • 90 say primary reason is belief in specific
    causes and have a desire to give back
  • 33 cited income tax deductions
  • 24 cited maintaining a family tradition of

What They Look For
  • Accountability and transparency are major factors
  • 73 said it was paramount to hold the leaders of
    an organization in high esteem
  • 61 said they would increase their donations if
    they had greater access to information about an
    organizations performance and its use of

What Discourages Donors
  • Nearly 75 of high net-worth households reported
    they would give more if organizations spent more
    on helping constituents and less on overhead
    (including fund raising) (Bank of America Study
    of High Net Worth Philanthropy, IUCOP)
  • We need to address this issue and educate donors
    about what nonprofits must spend to survive but
    we also need to focus on retaining donors to
    reduce overall fundraising cost

What Organizations Gain When They Retain Donors
  • A 10 improvement in the number of donors who
    give year after year can improve returns by as
    much as 200 (Adrian Sargeant)
  • By acquiring new donors and retaining continuing
    donors, fund raising returns can double every
    five years (Bill Levis) Currently the doubling
    occurs every 10 years
  • Andwe all know it costs less to keep an existing
    donor than to attract a new one (a factor of

How Do Your Strategies Support These Donor
  • Access to information
  • Timely response to inquiries and gifts
  • Communication in their preferred mode (email,
    texting, phone, snail mail)
  • Timely implementation of programmatic solutions
    to community problems
  • Accountability for the impact of their
    investments and the cost of fundraising
  • Involvement on their terms
  • Small group discussion/large group feedback

Strategies to Evaluate
  • One size fits all communications
  • Messages about need rather than impact
  • Stewardship focused on large donors only
    attention not given to entry-level donors
  • Lack of transparency in communication (its OK to
    say something didnt work)
  • Saving the good news for the annual report
  • Focusing on the transaction (getting the gift)
    rather than on the transformation (keeping the
    donor in the loop)

How We Ask and Steward
  • A critical strategy to evaluate

Transactional Bell Curve The Way We Have Asked
High Impact Philanthropy Kay Sprinkel Grace, Alan
Transformational Infinity LoopA New Approach to
High Impact Philanthropy Kay Sprinkel Grace, Alan
Infinity Loop Stewardship forEngagement and
2. You Tailor Your Case
1. You Make Your Case
3. Your Donor Investors Champion Your Case
High Impact Philanthropy Kay Sprinkel Grace, Alan
Wendroff Adapted by Papilia, 2003
New strategies What They Are, and How to
Implement Them
  • Meeting the needs of our donors

Strategies That Work NowHow Will You.?
  • Be donor-focused in your messages and response
  • Strengthen your marketing so people who are
    searching for your issues will find you
  • Ask donors how they would like to be communicated
    with dont assume
  • Give ROI based on the shared values you know you
    have with the donor
  • Allow involvement that is appropriate
  • Implement an encompassing stewardship strategy
  • Discussion small group/large group feedback

How to Keep the Best, and Leave the Rest
  • Part 1 Keep the best

Keeping the Best
  • Planning is still important, but based on
    different assumptions
  • Prospect development strategies are essential for
    prospects already in your data base
  • Allocation of resources to marketing, cultivation
    and stewardship have become more critical
  • Mission, vision and values are still at the core
    of your strategies how you define and
    articulate them may change

  • Mission is why not what
  • It is bigger than your organization describes
    the human or societal need your organization is
    meeting and it should resonate in a way that
    engages people in a relationship with you
  • The mission should inspire others to desire a
    relationship with your organization
  • Make the mission manifest through your programs
    and outreach
  • How does the following mission statement engage?

Mission Example
  • Vector Health Programs (medical agency treating
  • Next to the human face, hands are our most
    expressive feature. We talk with them. We work
    with them. We play with them. We comfort and
    love with them. An injury to the hand affects a
    person professionally and personally. At
    Vector Health Programs, we give people back the
    use of their hands.

  • Vision is a key to engaging new donors
  • What is your vision for your community if your
    organization is successful?
  • Sharing and articulating the vision
  • The vision is instrumental projecting a vigorous,
    exciting and attractive place for donors to
    invest and get involved

Head Start Organization in New Orleans
  • Our vision is that every child in the greater New
    Orleans area will be ready when it is time to
    start school.

  • Where do values come from?
  • We have to derive the shared values from donors
    and volunteers to forge relationships
  • We need to link values to philanthropy,
    development and fund raising
  • Values should be the basis of your messages
  • Use values-linked feedback and stewardship to
    keep board, non-board volunteers and donors in a
    strong relationship with your organization

An Expression of Values
  • A thank you card sent to institutional and
    individual donors to a special campaign for a
    Stanford University library flooding emergency
  • Your gift to the Stanford University Libraries
    helps us assemble the sources, the arguments, the
    hypotheses, the wisdom and controversies of the
    ages. For all those here, and those yet to come,
    please accept our gratitude.
  • Michael Keller, Librarian

How to Keep the Best, and Leave the Rest
  • Part 2 Leave the rest

Strategies to Repurpose
  • Stewardship more inclusive
  • Acknowledgement more timely
  • Recognition tailored to the donor
  • Solicitation more responsive
  • Cultivation tailored to the prospect
  • Marketing focus on impact, issues, innovation,
    investment and involvement opportunities
  • Planning for change

How Will You Respond to the Challenge?
  • Time to think about whether strategy is dead
  • Work alone for 15 minutes, then team up with a
    partner and review your ideas then we will have
    general feedback

Staying Strategic in a Changing Donor Environment
  • Think of two strategies you currently implement
    that no longer seem effective
  • What factors are making them less effective?
  • What do you think you should be doing instead?
  • What will it require to change those strategies?
  • What outcomes do you anticipate if you are able
    to change the strategies?
  • What timeline will you set for the change?

Implementing Change
  • Overcoming resistance

Overcoming Resistance to Change
  • Determine the anticipated benefit before trying
    to make changes
  • Engage others in commitment to the need for
  • Be patient, and communicate early successes that
    the change has brought
  • Be sensitive to the resistance 70 of the
    workforce is fearful of change
  • Make the change easy to implement
  • Never force change guide it

Philanthropic Leadership for 21st Century
  • Staying at the forefront of donors dreams

Dispersed LeadershipA Change We Can Make
  • The late John W. Gardner, believed in the theory
    of dispersed leadership. He wrote
  • Vitality at middle and lower levels of
    leadership can produce greater vitality in the
    higher levels of leadership. In addition to all
    people down the line who may properly be called
    leaders at their level, there are in any vital
    organization or society a great many individuals
    who share leadership tasks unofficially, by
    behaving responsibly with respect to the purposes
    of the group(the concept of dispersed

Dispersed Leadership
  • How many dispersed leaders do we need?...We have
    barely scratched the surface in our efforts
    toward leadership development. In the mid-21st
    century, people will look back on our present
    practices as primitiveThe reservoir of unused
    human talent and energy is vastamong the
    untapped capabilities are leadership gifts. We
    can do better. Much, much better.
  • John W. Gardner, Introduction to
  • On Leadership, Free Press, 1990

Impact of Dispersed Leadership
  • We must be, as dispersed leaders in our
    organizations, flexible risk takers, open to
    change and willing to involve social investors as
  • We have reached a moment in our history as a
    profession where it is the social investors
    dream, not ours, that will be critical to

Practicing Dispersed Leadership
  • Discussion
  • How will you implement dispersed leadership in
    your organization?
  • For yourself
  • For your colleagues
  • What impact do you anticipate?
  • What obstacles do you expect?
  • How will you surmount those obstacles?

The Real Power of Leadership
  • Becoming dream brokers

What We Can Do Now
  • Really understand and believe that it is not
    about us. That the donor-investor is the center
    of our universe, whether that donor is operating
    a web site or operating a mega-billion foundation.

What We Can Do Now - 2
  • Be willing to be transparent in your reporting to
    your donors and your community. Decades ago,
    when no one really understood what the charitable
    sector was all about except that we did good
    few donors were curious about how and where the
    money was spent. It was enough to do good by
    giving. All that has changed.
  • We not only have to do good, we have to do well.
    We must be willing to tell how we did it and the
    impact it made.

What We Can Do Now - 3
  • Realize that when it comes to philanthropy, the
    world is flat (Tom Friedman). Globalization is
    removing the boundaries and expanding the
    possibilities for impact.
  • In a recent article in the Chronicle of
    Philanthropy, writer Caroline Preston stated that
    American nonprofit groups have raised more than
    110 million for victims of the natural disasters
    that hit Myanmar and China in May of this year.

What We Can Do Now - 4
  • Be open to change. We are change agents. And
    yet too often we are reluctant to change. Citing
    tradition, costs, lack of leadership and other
    excuses, we hang on to the old practices and
  • Test them. Validate them. If they no longer
    work, give them up. Do zero-based planning if
    you did not exist, would there be a need for your
    organization? Would there be purpose in creating
    it again?

What We Can Do Now - 5
  • Use technology thoughtfully and appropriately.
    We know it is more than a donation engine, but do
    we use its full potential? It is a powerful tool
    for increasingly personalized communication,
    stewardship and relationship building.
  • The cell phone will increasingly become a mode of
    communication that will surpass the use of email.
    In some areas, and among some people, it already
    has. How are you using that tool?

What We Can Do Now - 6
  • Engage partners. Not just funding partners.
    Thinking partners. People with dreams who can
    sit and think with you about how to work in
    partnership to fulfill the dream.
  • While the dreams of donors are driving
    philanthropy, we do not have to be in the back
    seat. We can ride up front. We can broker that
    dream. We can hear it. We can match it with an
    opportunity we know exists in our community, and
    we can connect them.

What We Can Do Now - 7
  • Involve your donor-investors. They will define
    that involvement regular reports or a seat at
    the board room table. If you want to keep them
    closely involved then welcome them and do not
    resent their presence.
  • Our meeting practices may have to change
    drastically. Holding the attention of people
    raised in an Internet-framed world requires
    letting go of some of the laborious and layered
    ways we make decisions.

Closing Thought
  • The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking
    new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
  • Marcel Proust

If Donors Are Driving Philanthropy, Is Strategy
  • Permian Basin AFP
  • 2008 National Philanthropy Day
  • Workshop November 13, 2008
  • Kay Sprinkel Grace
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