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Fundraising Building Blocks for Board Members and Volunteers


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Title: Fundraising Building Blocks for Board Members and Volunteers

Fundraising Building Blocks for Board Members and
  • Nonprofit and Public Management Center
  • Shelley Strickland
  • January 13, 2010

  • Fundraising as a Profession
  • The Trustee Role in Fundraising
  • Fundraising is CommunicationOverview of Key
  • Changing Philanthropic Landscape
  • Summary of Key Ideas
  • QA

  • Fundraising
  • as a
  • Profession

Development / Fundraising
  • Development first used in 1924 by U. of Chicago
    President DeWitt Burton to explain fundraising
    as the planned promotion of understanding,
    participation and support (Cutlip, 1965)
  • Fundraising is the management of the
    relationship between a charitable organization
    and its donor publics (Kelly, 1998)
  • In the first place, I advise you to apply to all
    those whom you know will give something next, to
    those whom you are uncertain whether they will
    give anything or not, and show them the list of
    those who have given and lastly, do not neglect
    those whom you are sure will give nothing, for in
    some of them you may be mistaken
  • Benjamin Franklin

History of FR / Dev
  • 1641-1700s appeals to England end as colonists
    raise funds to promote education, church
  • See signs of generosity and community Tocqueville
    would recognize in democracy
  • 1800s church plate, suppers bazaars, begging
  • volunteer committees of charity balls, auctions,
  • Civil War brought first high-pressure, organized
    fund drive
  • 1900s Carnegie Rockefeller shift from charity
    to philanthropy
  • campaign originated in YMCA
  • concept of strategy methodology to fundraising
  • only after WWII were there staff fundraisers, not
    just consultants or firms hired for that role

FR / Dev in the 21st Century
  • Increased professionalization and professionalism
  • Training and education
  • Growth and demand in field
  • Specialization
  • Ethics
  • Philanthropic partners
  • When the fundraising process is undergirded by
    an examination of the organizations mission and
    case, it is a task that can be carried out with
    dignity. The person seeking the gift should never
    demean the request by clothing it in apology.
    (Payton, 1991)

  • With staff devoted to development, why does the
    board need to fundraise?
  • Fundraising is still a legal, ethical and moral
    obligation of board members!

  • The Trustee
  • Role in
  • Fundraising

Board Members Fundraising
  • The board cannot divorce itself from its
    fiduciary responsibility thereby it always
    remains responsible for funding both policy and
    program decisions (Herman Block, 1990)
  • One of the most inappropriate things a board can
    do is to call for increased income and leave it
    to the staff to produce.The board is
    accountableand the board leads (OConnell,
  • Trustees are the primary stewards of
    philanthropy. They hold the nonprofit
    organization in trust in the public interest to
    ensure that it functions according to its
    statement of mission. Governing boards must then
    accept responsibility for developing the
    organizations resources, both of talent and
    money, and directing them toward its goals and
    objectives. (Burlingame Hulse, 1991)

Roles of Board Members in Fundraising
  • Steward planning goal setting, mission
    relevance, accountability for donor intent, gift
    management investment, budgeting for an
    adequate and capable staff and support system
  • Donor
  • Solicitor
  • Prospector
  • Advocate
  • Visible Attendee
  • Team Builder (Henderson, 2003)
  • Never think you need to apologize for asking that
    someone give to a worthy object.
  • John Rockefeller

Successful Fundraising Board Members
  • Give generously themselves
  • Have strong personal and professional connections
    to wealthy individuals
  • Enthusiasm borders on competitiveness regarding
  • Most importantly, devotion to the cause
  • (Hall, 2008)

Roles of Board Members in Fundraising
  • Civic service at the board level is not a natural
    right. It is a privilege. And those who can
    afford to donate at far higher levels should be
    asked to do so.
  • In the harshest of terms, this point of view is
    sometimes known as Give. Get. Or get off. A
    board that is clear about its financial and
    service expectations, but flexible in how it
    applies a new standard, recognizing that there
    are many ways to contribute, is a leadership
    group properly discharging its fiduciary and
    governance responsibilities.
  • (Levy, 2008)

Being an Educated Board Member
  • Where does the money come from?
  • Philanthropy in US is 2 GDP
  • Individuals (75) Corporations (5) Giving USA
  • Bequests (7) Foundations (13)
  • People give to people!
  • Fundraisers do not make people give.
  • The 1 reason why people dont give? They werent
  • You are not asking for something you are
    providing an opportunity when you invite people
    to invest.

Traditional Donor Life Cycle
  • Identification
  • Interest and Involvement
  • Cultivation
  • Solicitation (interest, ability,
    linkage) Stewardship
  • It is proverbial wisdom that the success of
    fundraising is 90 in prospect identification,
    research, cultivation and preparation, and 10 in
    the asking. (Howe, 1991)

  • Reciprocity Acts of appreciation and
  • It is sometimes appropriate to include naming
    rights and plans in the proposal.
  • In discussing recognition, emphasize how this
    will have
  • an immediate impact (motivating other gifts)
  • a lasting legacy (permanent naming)
  • Responsible Gift Use Donation used for purpose
  • Reporting Donors are informed of gift usage
  • Relationship Nurturing In conjunction with the
    first three, donors are encouraged to renew
    their giving (Kelly, 1998)

  • Extensive study of donors found that nearly all
    would be impressed if a board member thanked them
    promptly and personally for a gift (but few think
    it will happen!)
  • Donor relations is too staff intensive needs to
    be better balanced with volunteers
  • Involving board members only with top donors
    limits their fundraising performance
  • Board members can effectively be involved in
    communicating with donors of lower levels
  • (Burk, 2003)

Fundraising Elements
  • Special Events Resource intensive, often low
  • Corporate, Foundation and Government Grants
    Remember where the most money isindividuals!
  • Annual Giving
  • Types gifts cash, pledges, securities, real
    property, personal property
  • Policies Procedures
  • Vehicles direct mail, telephone, email/website,
    personal visit, event

Fundraising Elements
  • Major Gifts
  • Planned Gifts
  • Is your organization ready for the impending
    intergenerational transfer of wealth?
  • Between 1998 and 2052 an estimated 41-136
    trillion will change hands (Schervish Havens,
  • Much more than a bequest! Todays laws and plans
    provide for living income and survivors
  • Capital Campaigns feasibility study,
    silent/nucleus phase, five year average,

  • Fundraising is Fun!
  • Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy
    of giving (theres equal joy in getting!)
  • (Rosso, 2003)
  • Its all about relationships and communication is
    the key!

  • Fundraising is Communication

Questions to Ask Donors (current potential)
  • Why have you supported our organization in the
  • What prompted your gift?
  • Where is our organization in your philanthropic
  • Ask about mailings they receive / preferred
    methods of communication

Seven Faces of Philanthropy
  • 1. The Communitarian Doing Good Makes Sense
  • 2. The Devout Doing Good is Gods Will (21)
  • 3. The Investor Doing Good is Good Business
  • (15)
  • 4. The Socialite Doing Good is Fun (11)
  • 5. The Altruist Doing Good Feels Right (9)
  • 6. The Repayer Doing Good in Return (10)
  • 7. The Dynast Doing Good is a Family Tradition
  • (8) (Prince File, 1994)

Making the Case
  • The donor should understand what makes your
    organization unique.
  • The case for the gift must be stronger and
    bigger than the institution itself (Panas, 2005)
  • Whats in it for the donor? What does it mean to
    make an investment here?
  • How will a program or building affect society?
  • Make the needs about opportunities!
  • People give to successful organizations.

The Ask is a small part of FR
  • Solicitation should not come as a surprise to the
    person being asked if the process is being done
  • Remember the donor life cycle and that
    fundraising is a process
  • This economy has helped focus fundraising efforts
    on thanking and retaining current donors

  • Changing
  • Philanthropic Landscape

Pivotal Time in American Philanthropy
  • Todays donors are transformational (Grace
    Wendroff, 2001)
  • research an organization (Allen, 2007)
  • create rather than simply support philanthropic
    projects (Schervish, 2005)
  • give in ways that are often creative,
    experimental and designed to improve society or
    to be an experiment in societal development
    (Tobin, Solomon, Karp, 2003)
  • spend out resources during their lifetimes,
    applying vast sums of money and talent to
    troubling societal issues (Conlin, 2003)

Nonprofit Best Practices for a Changing
Philanthropic Landscape
  • Todays donors emphasize collaboration. They want
    to know why your organization is unique, but they
    also might suggest working together with a
    related nonprofit or even merging. (Frumkin,
  • To provide for adequate infrastructure, boards
    might consider growing or merging to a scale
    where its affordable, outsource, or even
    restructure to be more volunteer rather than
    staff driven. (Nonprofit Overhead Cost Project,

Nonprofit Best Practices for a Changing
Philanthropic Landscape
  • Board recruitment is key to engagement. Assess
    the criteria. Look for an array of backgrounds.
  • Promote a culture and structure that encourages
    board focus and influence beyond Exec Dir and/or
    Board Chair.
  • The board must regularly assess its performance!
    Train and implement changes. (Urban Institute,

Nonprofit Best Practices for a Changing
Philanthropic Landscape
  • Shift from institutional focus to an issues,
    constituency, and donor-investor focus.
  • Donor life cycle (circle) changes to an infinity
    loop of transformational giving
  • Effectively position through marketing/PR and
    consistent messages the way the organization is
    addressing issues
  • Major gifts should be outcome rather than
    goal-focused too often donors not asked again
    and not involved
  • (Grace Wendroff, 2001)
  • High Impact Philanthropy How Donors, Boards, and
    Nonprofit Organizations Can Transform Communities

The Board and Forces for Good
  • What makes nonprofits great? Greatness is about
    working with and through others, as
    counterintuitive as that might seem. Its about
    leveraging every sector of society to become a
    force for good
  • Sectors converging / Lines blurring
  • Importance of evangelists
  • Fundraising strategy should be integrated with
    overall vision for change.
  • View government, business, and the public as
    funding sources that can leverage social impact.
  • Interesting finding that larger boards most
    successful (Levy agrees)
  • (Crutchfield McLeod Grant, 2008)

Nonprofit Best Practices for a Changing
Philanthropic Landscape
  • Use technology strategically
  • Importance of networks
  • Know when to collaborate and when to compete
  • Successful nonprofits will remain centered in
    mission-driven activity, articulating a clear
    purpose and compelling theory of change (see
    Frumkins Strategic Giving, 2006)
  • (NonprofitNext, 2009)

  • Summary
  • of
  • Key Ideas

If you remember nothing else
  • Of all giving in this country, the vast majority
    (82!) comes from individuals, not organizations
  • As such, encourage your nonprofit to move beyond
    dependence on grants and events for funding
  • By asking, you are giving an opportunity to the

You can fundraise beyond solicitation
  • Contribute to stewardship efforts thank donors!
  • Facilitate introductions and visits
  • Help find new philanthropic partners that will
    stay beyond you
  • Accompany others on calls, even if you wont make
    the ask
  • Write and/or sign materials

Promote the fundraising effort
  • Hire effective fundraisers in the executive
    director and development director roles
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Provide for ongoing support and training
  • Invest in necessary fundraising elements
    materials, technology
  • Approve policies procedures gift acceptance,
    gift agreements, endowment spending, etc.

Promote the fundraising effort
  • Staff and board members are partners in the
    process (and its a process!)
  • Make fundraising an ongoing priority, not just in
    campaigns, not just for emergency needs
  • Proactively plan for future needshave a
    compelling vision

Promote the fundraising effort
  • Make and support tough decisions (e.g., end
    beloved events with no ROI)
  • Persevere in difficult timesnow more than ever
    communicate with your donors!
  • Emphasize ongoing stewardship of all donors at
    all levels

  • Research v. Reality?
  • QA
  • Rob Oliver
  • Jim Reische

  • Thank you!