Here’s the challenge – you’ve developed close, friendly, easy connections with your major gift prospects. You’re investing tons of time with these special major donor prospects — visiting with them, listening to their ideas, sharing your work with them. They are getting high-touch, very personalized treatment all the time, and they’re feeling like insiders at your organization.
So what to do at year-end, with the special donors you’ve courted so carefully? Let Gail Perry guide you through her suggested approach.
Due diligence background investigations come in all flavors. They’re generally customised according to industry, level of risk, and time constraints.
There’s one component, though, that should be included in all background checks on people and companies – the media report. It’s the section of a background investigation that covers news and social media.
The media report complements public records findings, and it offers insights into both good and bad behavior that can help you decide whether or not this is the kind of person with whom you want to do business.
Marcy Phelps explains how “It provides the color.” Sometimes there’s nothing, and sometimes you strike gold…
Which university graduates will go on to earn the most money? Labour-market observers should not be surprised to find that both the subjects people study and the universities they attend are strong predictors of career earnings.
A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a think-tank, provides further clarity on this question by matching tax data with the academic records of university graduates in England.
This chart and insight by The Economist’s Data Team presents two important takeaways.
Each year, approximately 10% of your non-profit donor base will attrition naturally through death, moving, or just not giving any longer. Then you add lapsed donors on top of that natural attrition, and you are looking at an eroding donor list. Sound familiar?
Here, Robin Cabral shares some simple steps that you can take to combat this natural attrition and to begin adding new names to your donor list. These are the actual suggestions that she uses with her very own clients.
One of the greatest challenges of being a development professional is dealing with rejection. The fact is, you are going to hear the word “No” a lot.
But the best fundraisers know not to take it personally and get right back on that fundraising horse. They also learn that sometimes a No can help you find your way to a Yes.
Here, Allison Gauss, defines the 9 types of fundraising nos and what to do with them.
At some level, every fundraiser knows that alumni engagement is an important driver of alumni giving. At the same time, the advancement profession seems perpetually perplexed by how to measure engagement and apply those measures to increase philanthropy. Why is that?
Generally speaking, advancement offices have access to a pretty accurate picture of who alumni were as students, but very little information on who they are now.
As a result, advancement professionals are primed to treat alumni as former students instead of getting to know them as mature adults. This leads to false assumptions about current alumni needs and the relevant steps a school might take to increase engagement by addressing those needs.
Different from alumni affinity, Dr. Jay Le Roux Dillon describes “Alumni Role Identity” in this series of blogs – a measure of a graduate’s level of connection to their alma mater and an indicator of their inclination to donate to same.
Part 1: https://www.salesforce.org/alumni-engagement-weve-gotten-wrong-fix/
Part 2: https://www.salesforce.org/higher-education-fundraising-culture-sameness-busting-3-massive-myths/
Part 3: https://www.salesforce.org/alumni-role-identity-new-way-alumni-donor-psyche/
Part 4: https://www.salesforce.org/past-webinars/alumni-engagement-scoring-science-tell-us-webinar/
Unsuccessful fundraisers don’t understand qualification. They don’t recognize its power. They wait for the next wealth screened list. They fiddle with it in Excel or in some other database. They make a few calls. They don’t get any appointments. They give up. Then they say the list was no good.
Unsuccessful fundraisers don’t use the qualification process effectively. They don’t recognize the fact that understanding qualified supporters in-depth is crucial. When they call, write or visit them, they ignore their interests, passions, desires, and needs. And, too often, they ignore them entirely. They don’t call, write or visit them at all.
Here, Greg Warner provides seven easy to follow steps to help you qualify your prospects.
Wealth advisors need to understand wealth trends in relation to their client’s investment strategies. Their companies have the necessary resources to provide that insight for them in the form of studies and surveys. Surveys dealing with wealth allocation are particularly useful for estimating wealth.
In this blog, Kenny Tavares has come up with a list of three resources that can be accessed for free to begin creating your own wealth estimates. Aside from having the data we crave, these reports provide great information on current wealth trends.
GDPR note: Just because data is available in the public domain does not necessarily mean that it can be harvested and used for other purposes. Although you may not have to obtain consent to use it, please check with your data protection officer or seek legal advise before undertaking prospect research.
What’s it like to give away a billion dollars?
One of the few people who know is Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder, chairman and chief executive of Blackstone, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms.
He has given away more than that already, mainly to causes related to education, culture and the arts, but – with a fortune put at more than $16bn (£12.8bn) – is likely to go far further during his lifetime.
His latest big donation, in June this year, was a £150m gift to the University of Oxford to establish an institute dedicated to the study of ethics in artificial intelligence.
He realised very quickly that “the UK was unaccustomed to philanthropy on this scale. During the course of the day [that the donation was announced] I learned that my single gift was about half of the £310m given by all philanthropic individuals to arts and culture in England during 2017-18.”
The UK lags well behind the US, both in terms of the number of wealthy people who make sizeable donations to good causes and in terms of the scale in which they donate.
Ian King, Business presenter on Sky News examines the socio-economic reasons behind the different attitudes to charity in these two countries.
Shaun Horan starts this thought piece with: “Nothing splits a room like asking this question: should you ask for a gift from a prospective donor on the first meeting?”
So, what are his reasons? Click below to find out.
For a long time, philanthropy has been defined as “the giving of money to nonprofit organizations.” However, this definition is quickly becoming obsolete.
It’s evolving towards a meaning that is more appropriate to today’s giving paradigm and less industry-driven: that philanthropy is “the action of transforming the social wellbeing of others through generosity.”
The fundraising pyramid has long been the gold standard in the nonprofit industry to “group” donors. But it’s an odd way to represent a community of philanthropists — it’s a misrepresentation of what’s actually taking place through the process. The evolution of philanthropy forces us to re-imagine this structure.
Community Funded explains more.
Propsect researchers should already be adept at verifying their sources but is that good enough to spot fake news?
In this blog, Jennifer Filla shares her method (including a Venn diagram).
Discovering your best fundraising prospects does not boil down to a single piece of criteria. There are several qualities that can help identify the potential donors who can give the major gifts that will lead to your organization’s success.
Here, Kim Becker Cooper – Marketing Director at DonorSearch, shares her five key identifiers.
How to deal with rich people? John Baguley writes in this blog:
“I have worked on many highly successful capital appeals and a few that didn’t quite reach their target. Time and again that failure was due to the inability of the team to engage with wealthy people as human beings and not as representatives of all that is wrong with society. The feeling was often that they ought to give because they were rich, with no thought about real engagement over time with their kindness and goodwill.
“Crucially, this sometimes manifested itself in the act of asking, which I have seen done almost as an act of bravado to show the person asking was not afraid of the task but, unfortunately, that resulted in a slightly offensive demand lacking any humility.”
Read this blog for John’s tips on dealing with the rich.
Most organizations have plenty of donor prospects, without having to go outside and look for prospects who aren’t connected to you.
Claire from Clairification Fundraising Coach suggests you don’t start with the most out-of-reach prospects. You can be a major donor prospect rainmaker without having to go outside or reach too far.
Even small current donors may be juicier prospects than “whale” donors with no connection to you or your cause.
It’s as easy as ABC: Access. Belief. Capacity.
It all boils down to this:
- Who you know you can get to.
- Who believes in your mission.
- Who has capacity to give.
These are the folks with whom you’ve already got a foot in the door. They are your best prospects for upgraded giving, presuming you’ve treated them well.
For more details, visit:
The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) recently launched Good Asking – a report on why charities research and process supporter information. They worked with leading academic Dr Beth Breeze from the University of Kent, to survey over 300 fundraisers to understand why they process and research information about their supporters, and what the benefits are for donors, charities and the wider public.
The purpose of this report is to shed light on the importance of fundraisers and their work. If they are to be successful, fundraisers need to conduct research to facilitate the efficient and accurate matching of donors and the causes they might wish to support, and to do so in a way that makes the experience as pleasurable as possible for the generous donor.
THE REPORT FINDINGS INCLUDE:
- 90% of fundraisers believe that conducting research enables fundraisers to better communicate and tailor their work to the interests and priorities of donors
- Most (88%) fundraisers believe that conducting research reduces the levels of unwanted or irrelevant mail sent out
- A representative survey of the general UK population found that almost two-thirds (60%) of those who prefer charities to communicate in a tailored way with them, think that charities should be able to use information that is publicly available, for example doing Google searches or drawing on newspaper articles, in order to tailor their approach to their supporters.
The report also highlights that:
- Two-thirds of major donors believe that a ‘more professional approach’ by fundraisers has been a key factor in the development of philanthropy in the UK
The reference to mind tricks makes this blog by Dr Travis Bradberry sound a little sinister, but making yourself more astute and aware of your surroundings, and the way people engage with you, can give you an edge when dealing with prospects.
As soon as you become aware of these 11 tricks, they start popping up wherever you look. With minimal effort on your part, their unconscious influence on behavior can make a huge difference in how you handle your prospects and in your day-to-day life.
How do you set the right tone when you meet a donor or prospect for the first time?
Martin Leifeld has recorded an 8 minute video in which he discusses how you can pose meaningful questions, combined with gratitude and compliments to effectivley engage with your prospect.
Raising mega-gifts may be the fastest way for charities to achieve a step-change, but securing such large donations is easier said than done.
Matthew Ferguson and Gemma Peters provide invaluable insight into how major gift fundraising from those who have a net wealth of at least £50m is very different to other types of fundraising.
Impact investing, which aims to generate measurable social and environmental impact as well as financial return, is a wealth management buzz term right now. Yet while wealthy individuals and foundations are drawn increasingly to impact investing to advance their social missions, it is creating a few tensions in the philanthropic community. Some argue that impact investment does not always complement philanthropy and could even harm it. Others say it cannot replace donations.
Sarah Murray explains on this article from the Financial Times (subscription may be required).