Fundraising Resources
Ten tips every board member should know about raising money in today's world.
1. Work from the Perspective of the Marketplace
  • The days of hand-wringing and arm-twisting are drawing to a close. Today, successful organizations invite donors to invest in a worthy cause.

  • What the organization does well-or what it can do as a result of a gift is what matters to your prospects.

  • How does your organization's strengths compare to what other organizations have to offer?
2. Know How to Attract Donors
  • Build a case that makes the donor feel that investing in your program will make life better for them, for their children and for future generations.

  • Present a vision for the future of your organization: one that is attractive, achievable, and worth working for.

  • Prospective donors must be inspired and challenged to play a part in making that happen.

  • Share success stories with your prospective donors.

  • Share examples of planning with donors. This shows prospective donors that your organization is managed in a businesslike way.

  • Bottom line is that donors want to know that their gift will produce results!
3. Leadership Qualities to Look For
Involve people in your organization who have these qualities:
  • Affluence--The ability to make a substantial contribution

  • Influence--The ability to attract others to volunteer and to make substantial contributions

  • Availability--The willingness to give priority attention to the organization

  • Team Spirit--The willingness to provide volunteer leadership and to accept professional direction.
4. Set the Pace for Giving
  • All organizations should have a written fundraising plan.

  • If you seek average gifts, you get below average results.

  • Organizations make the mistake of wanting everyone to at least "give a little something". When word gets out that the objective is just to get everyone to give, no matter how much, many people will give as little as they can.

  • A financial commitment to your organization that really counts is not the average one or token one, it is the leadership gifts that make things happen.

  • Remember that 90% of the funds usually come from 10% of your donors.

  • A board should continually ask, "What is the status of our top ten?"

  • Just as a salesman concentrates on his "big" customers, an organization should spend time cultivating major donors.

  • Staff can help board members by setting up appointments with potential donors.

  • An experienced volunteer should be available to meet with a board member and a potential donor.

  • An outreach of a personal fundraising meeting is always valuable even when a gift is not made.

  • Those board members who are uncomfortable about asking for donations may want to start at phoning donors to thank them for gifts.
5. Why Board Gifts Are Important
  • All board members should make an annual financial contribution to your organization. The Board Chair and CEO should be "in charge" of the solicitation. Each board member should be given the opportunity to share concerns, enthusiasms and thanked for their past service. A lunch meeting is always welcomed and good way to spend some quality time talking about the organization.

  • Until board members are asked personally themselves, they will not understand the power and dynamics of the personal ask.

  • A board member or any volunteer who solicits others for funds but hasn't made a personal donation to the organization is like a Honda salesman that drives a Nissan. Do they really believe in the organization if they are unwilling to personally make a gift?

  • Board gifts are a clear indication that those who know the most about the organization, do believe in its value and respect its leadership.

  • Give Board Members the tools they need to be successful to ask others. (Gift History, concerns, etc.)
6. Build an Infrastructure for Giving
  • Provide various ways of giving for donors.

  • Ask for pledges for one year instead of a one time gift.

  • Provide recognition for donors

  • Provide incentives for donors.

  • Promote planned giving to donors

  • Create annual fundraising goals-You can't get results if you don't know where you are going.

  • Set Goals

  • Set Deadlines

  • Place milestones along the way

  • Take one step at a time
7. Ask and You Will Receive
  • People give to People

  • Create a strategy before you ask

  • Know your prospects

  • Face to face fundraising works the best
8. A Donor Deserves a Good Steward
  • Don't just ask for a donation---Develop a Donor

  • Businesses just don't want to make a sale, they want to make a customer.

  • Acknowledge gifts promptly. Large gifts should receive a phone call from the board chair.

  • Let the donor know how their gift was used.
9. Creating the Spirit of Philanthropy
  • Don't beg for money.

  • Organizations should never feel ashamed or apologize for asking donors to become a partner through giving.

  • Giving provides ordinary people with opportunities to do great things.

  • We must challenge and inspire donors

  • We must involve donors.
10. Smile--and pat yourself on the back once in a while

Your hard work and persistence in fundraising will help Hawaii become a better place to work, live and play.

2004, Creative Fundraising Associates