fundraising

4 Ways Of Finding Society Donors

Nonprofits will gladly accept a donation of any size but when it comes down to it receiving a gift from higher-priced donors are much more helpful in the fundraising enterprise.

The most sought after gifts come from what are called Society Donors. These individuals tend to make the biggest donations and, as such, are the biggest catch for any fundraiser. During the 2013 Blackbaud Conference for Nonprofits, George Durney and Page Bullington of Marquette University discussed the best ways to secure a gift from a Society Donor. The process should involve a careful, dedicated program of cultivation.

Based on surveys taken at 12 institutions of higher learning over a 20-year period, Durney and Bullington offered the following reminders when going after Society Donors:

  • Have patience. On average, it took 13.2 years for a donor to make their first $1,000 gift.
  • Keep donors engaged and giving. Those who gave $1,000 in fiscal year 2009 gave in about 73 percent of the years they were on file.
  • Have a cultivation plan. Some 57 percent of donors made a first gift of less than $100.
  • Establish donor potential. The higher the first gift, the quicker they became a higher-level donor/

Webinar: Can Nonprofits Raise Money With Social Media?

It's the age-old question for nonprofits: Can you raise money using social media? While studies done over the last three years show that the answer is generally "no," that doesn't mean organizations should abandon ship.

The NonProfit Times, in partnership with the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), is proud to present "Can Nonprofits Raise Money With Social Media?" This webinar, which is happening on October 25th at 1:00 p.m. EST, will show how social media is a great way to deepen relationships with your community and eventually turn them into donors, featuring expert opinions by Allyson Kapin of Rad Campaign, Lindsey Twombley of the Human Rights Campaign, and Danielle Brigida of the National Wildlife Federation.

Here is just some of the information you will take away from this special event:
  • Strategies that can help you move from single to multi-channel ways to engage and fundraise;
  • A suggestion of tools that help you move agilely in a rapidly changing environment; and,
  • Information about future trends to help keep your marketing mix fresh and innovative.
This special premium webinar event puts you directly in conversation with expert panelists. Take advantage of our advance registration discount: purchase your registration at our online store by October 20th to receive the early-bird rate of just $49. Full registration after October 20th will be $69.

Register today at the best rate so your organization can be on top when it comes to social and digital engagement.

Webinar: Social Media, #GivingTuesday and End-of-Year Fundraising

UPDATE: The webinar begins today but it's not too late to register! Sign up today to learn about this important topic.

Every nonprofit wants to be a part of the social media scene. Not only will it increase your organization's visibility, it could potentially lead to an increase in donations. But beware: Being popular on social media doesn't automatically mean you will be seeing improved fundraising.

Join us along with Salsa Labs for "Social Media, #GivingTuesday and End-of-Year Fundraising," a free webinar on September 26 at 2:00 p.m. Roz Lemieux, CEO of Attentive.ly, Drew Bernard, founder and CEO of ActionSprout.com, and Christine Schaefer, VP of Community and Marketing at Salsa Labs, will be speaking about how your organization can turn your social media success into guaranteed donations.

Whether it's on #GivingTuesday or end-of-year fundraising, these three speakers will walk you step-by-step through how even with just a small team and some technology tools you can easily plan, execute and measure to segment and target the right people with the right message at the right time.

This webinar might not be for another three weeks but it's never too early to register. Sign up for free today so you can learn how to turn online popularity into dollars.

Campaign Brings $91 Million To SDSU

San Diego State University (SDSU) just had the most successful fundraising campaign in the school's 116-year history.

The institution announced Thursday that its annual Campaign for SDSU bought in more than $91 million during the 2012-2013 fiscal year, which ended June 30. Overall, the campaign has reached $413.8 million of its $500 million goal.

“We are grateful to our generous alumni and community supporters whose gifts continue to fuel our development as a leading public research university,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. “This record breaking year is a critical milestone in the development of our culture of philanthropy.”

During 2012-2013, SDSU raised nearly $58 million for student scholarships, endowed professorships, and program support. These gifts will enhance the broad institutional goals set forth in “Building on Excellence,” SDSU’s new strategic plan, which builds upon SDSU’s areas of strength and pride: student success, research and creative endeavors and community and communication.

Some of the more notable gifts from this year's campaign include:

  • A gift of $3 million from Charles and Chinyeh Hostler to support international programs in the College of Arts and Letters;
  • A gift of $1.5 million from the Campanile Foundation board member Terry Atkinson to establish an endowment that will strengthen SDSU’s ambitious research agenda by supporting faculty research; and,
  • A $1.5 million endowment from the late Professor Emeritus Donald G Wilson for the College of Engineering.
The Campaign for SDSU, the first campus-wide fundraising event in the school's history, was launched in 2007 as a way to provide new opportunities for students. To date, The Campaign has received more than 43,000 gifts from alumni, friends, faculty, staff, parents and community partners, including 78 gifts of $1 million or more.

You can find more information about the campaign at http://campaign.sdsu.edu/campaign/ 

Poor Fundraising Derails $28M NJ Community Center

Plans for a $28-million Jewish community center have been halted after fundraising for the project ran dry. Only six more weeks of construction were required.

According to a report in The Times of Trenton, plans for the community center, which was being built by the Jewish Community Campus (JCC) Council of Princeton Mercer Bucks, are likely finished as the organization has been unable to secure more funds.

“We’ve been trying to get this back on track,” Howard Cohen, president of the JCC, said in an interview with The Times. “So far, we haven’t succeeded, which means short of a miracle or something else, we can’t continue.”

Planning for the new community center began in 2006 after the old JCC, which is now the Ewing Senior and Community Center, was sold. The Council secured approval from the borough of West Windsor to build the 77,000-square-foot community center in 2007, the construction of which was made possible by using the money from the sale of the old JCC and by borrowing $11 million.

Since the Jewish community in West Windsor had been talking about a new community center for many years, Cohen told The Times he expected that donors would line up to contribute. The donations were not as plentiful as anticipated, however, and construction halted in mid-October when the JCC could no longer pay the construction bills.

According to the New Jersey Jewish News, the JCC is not only short on its construction funds, it also lacks the money to pay back the $11-million loan it received at the beginning of the project. Approximately $6 million of that loan is due in December.

While the Council is attempting to restart the project, Cohen said that he is not optimistic. “At this point, I’m not sure what kind of help there really is,” he said. “The odds are not in our favor.” He also noted that the property could soon go into foreclosure.

You can read the full story in The Times of Trenton.

Making The Switch To Monthly Giving

Monthly giving programs are on fundraisers' radars these days as some nonprofits have found it to be a great source of revenue and engagement. That doesn't mean it's easy to switch to it when your nonprofit is already practicing annual giving.

During Fundraising Day in New York 2013, sponsored by the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Valerie Arganbright of Appleby Arganbright and Jason Lott of Human Rights Campaign, discussed the challenges organizations can face when switching from annual to monthly giving. They warned that adopting a new fundraising method means learning a new way of doing business, which means you should learn the following rules:
  • Asking, who is the business owner for the monthly giving?
  • Deciding how and when revenue will be recognized.
  • A decision about monthly giving as the number one ask and one-time giving as the only other option.
  • Consistent branding.
Arganbright and Lott also said that nonprofits should make the following considerations when evaluating the pros and cons of a monthly giving campaign:
  • Monthly activation rates, particularly by channel;
  • Decline and attrition rates;
  • Average gift of new monthly donors by channel; and,
  • Actual performance against budget.

Making The Switch To Monthly Giving

Monthly giving programs are on fundraisers' radars these days as some nonprofits have found it to be a great source of revenue and engagement. That doesn't mean it's easy to switch to it when your nonprofit is already practicing annual giving.

During Fundraising Day in New York 2013, sponsored by the New York City chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Valerie Arganbright of Appleby Arganbright and Jason Lott of Human Rights Campaign, discussed the challenges organizations can face when switching from annual to monthly giving. They warned that adopting a new fundraising method means learning a new way of doing business, which means you should learn the following rules:
  • Asking, who is the business owner for the monthly giving?
  • Deciding how and when revenue will be recognized.
  • A decision about monthly giving as the number one ask and one-time giving as the only other option.
  • Consistent branding.
Arganbright and Lott also said that nonprofits should make the following considerations when evaluating the pros and cons of a monthly giving campaign:
  • Monthly activation rates, particularly by channel;
  • Decline and attrition rates;
  • Average gift of new monthly donors by channel; and,
  • Actual performance against budget.

7 Elements Of A Successful Fundraising Event

Every nonprofit wants a successful fundraising event but are they doing the right things to have one? According to one expert, this is not always the case.

During a recent international conference on fundraising, Vivian A. Smith of Liberty Quest Enterprises said that a diverse fund development program should include events, but urged organizations to incorporate them thoughtfully into their overall strategy. They should not, she said, be viewed as standalone initiatives used just to raise money.

To be successful, planners of an event must consider:
  • Event Purpose. Is it just money, new prospects, increasing public awareness, gaining attention or some other objective?
  • Prospective audience. Think of characteristics and demographics, as well as the size of the group and the kind of appeal that is appropriate.
  • Type of event. It should meet the goals and reach the target market. It should be mission focused. Is there competition?
  • Resources needed for the event. This includes staffing, leadership, volunteers, time, skills, budget and a contingency plan.
  • Cost per dollar raised. This includes both direct an indirect costs.
  • Evaluation. Think of event goals, net revenue, staff commitment and volunteer impact.
  • Outcome. This is not just dollars raised at the time of the event. It can also serve as an opportunity to build team spirit among volunteers and staff.

Nonprofit Galas Breaking Fundraising Records On West Coast

Nonprofit galas in the Bay Area are breaking all sorts of fundraising records this year, bringing hope that organizations could soon be returning to pre-recession fundraising levels.

A report in the San Francisco Business Times reveals that many San Francisco-based organizations are getting a big boost in revenue from their annual galas. For example, Meals on Wheels (MoW) raised almost $2.17 million for homebound seniors at its 26th annual Star Chefs and Vinters Gala in April. That amount was the most ever raised by the organization for that particular event. In total, it netted $300,000 more than last year's gala, as more than 1,000 guests showed up to sample a spread of food made by gourmet chefs.

MoW Executive Director Ashely McCumber told The Business Times that she believed the success of this year's gals stems from a couple of factors: Strong donor relationships and an increased confidence in the economy, as people are feeling more comfortable giving once again. He added that most of the money from the gala came from individuals while corporate donations remained the same. Around 200 businesses and individuals participated in the gala's live and silent auctions.

While Habitat for Humanity San Francisco has not yet had its annual gala, Executive Director Phillip Killbridge told The Business Times that he is confident it will also break fundraising records, especially after Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage wrote the nonprofit a $25,000 check.

Are your nonprofit galas and special events seeing similar results? Let us know in our comments section.

You can read the full story in the San Francisco Business Times.

5 Ways To Keep In Touch With Monthly Giving Donors

Your work is done just because you got a donor to join your monthly giving program. Far from it; in fact, as fundraising consultant Pamela Grow explains, your work is just beginning.

Grow says that it's up to you as a fundraising professional to make sure your monthly donors are made to feel special. As a member of an exclusive club, these individuals are going to be expecting world-class treatment. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to keep in constant contact with them.

In her e-book, "The Lifetime Donor Attraction System," Grow shared five tips on how to keep in contact with your monthly donors:

  • Don’t stop communicating. Keep sending emails, as well as offers to upgrade their monthly commitments. These donors are also excellent prospects for planned giving, having demonstrated dedication to your nonprofit.
  • Send monthly donors special versions of your regular communications. Make sure they reference the donor’s membership in your monthly giving program.
  • Give them special opportunities, such as events, guided tours and access to your organization’s executives. Make sure they know the opportunity is exclusive to monthly givers.
  • Send special thank-yous. Think about including premiums in your thank-you correspondence with monthly donors.
  • Don’t neglect your regular correspondence. Follow up if a monthly sustainer’s renewal lapses or if she suspends payments.