3 Fundraising Best Practices from Development Director’s Crash Course

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Via 3 Fundraising Best Practices from Development Director’s Crash Course.

Posted by Dan Quirk

3 Fundraising Best Practices from Development Director's Crash Course

Earlier this year, longtime fundraiser and nonprofit director Jeanne Minnicks stopped by DonorPro headquarters to deliver a crash course on fundraising. Her presentation, “Fundraising Fundamentals” was extremely enlightening for new members of our team just entering the nonprofit sphere and a great brush-up opportunity for our veterans.

Perhaps you or someone you know is interested in jumping into the development world. Maybe you’re looking to work for a cause or find a job that makes a difference. Understanding the fundraising best practices and the basic principles is essential before moving forward. In this blog, let’s take a closer look at 3 key points from Jeanne’s talk.

  1. What Donor’s Expect When They Give
Donors give out of the goodness of their hearts. They give to meet needs and to influence a cause they believe in. They don’t want gifts in return or presents. If they wanted that they’d have spent their money at the mall instead of donating it. Donors want five things in return for their generosity and it’s up to nonprofit stewardship programs to make sure they all happen in a timely and congruent manner:
-Prompt thank-you letters and calls. Depending on the size of the gift, it’s important to have a policy in place for how thank you notes are sent out. Some combination of automated emails, personal phone calls, and hand-written notes must be sent to donors upon every gift.
-Opportunities to be engaged other than just monetary donations. Invite your donors to volunteer once in a while. Ask major donors to join your board of directors or an advisory committee. Sometimes, giving money isn’t enough for people. They want to jump in with two feet and help change the world with you.
-Information on results achieved with their gift
Everyone wants to know that their money is making a difference. It’s important to measure and communicate statistics on how funds are being used and how impact is being realized. It’s a perfect opportunity to encourage recurring-gifts.
-Communications with staff whose programs they supported
This is especially important for mid-sized to larger organizations who have program managers and annual gift officers who steward specific groups of donors.
-Compliance with terms of the gift
When donors give to a specific campaign, fund, or cause, they want to know that it really was used at the intended place. If a church member gives specifically to a fund for Haiti, they don’t want their contribution going into building updates.
[We wrote a whitepaper specifically about nuturing your prospects and donors. Read it here!]
  1. Similarities between Marketing and Development

When compared side by side, for profit marketing and non profit development are almost identical. With the recent explosion of online giving and more development teams using social media and other online tools as major growth drivers, their more similar than ever. Here’s a quick summary.

Marketing v. Development
-Researches and identifies customer needs v. Researches prospect giving potential and interests

-Positions product to correspond to customer characteristics v. Creates case for support and giving opportunities that match donors’ interests.

-Dedicates significant portion of budget to Advertising and PR v. Communicates in a variety of ways to build awareness

-Trains employees to sell v. Trains volunteers board members and supports to solicit
  1. The 14 Hats Development Directors Must Wear

We’ll dive into each of these hats another time, but here are the 14 hats that development directors (especially at smaller nonprofits) must wear in order to run a dynamic fundraising department.

Strategist , Tactician, Financial planner, Marketer, Party planner, Market researcher, Networker, Competitor, Trainer, Cheerleader, Diplomat, Psychologist, News Junkie, Communicator


3 Fundraising Best Practices from Development Director's Crash Course

Business Case for Integrated Fundraising

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