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Gail Perry Fires-Up Fundraising

Gail Perry ‘wrote the book’ about transforming your nonprofit board members into a ‘fired-up’ fundraisers by putting their passions into actions. She will be in Kalamazoo on April 28 to share her wisdom and 7-step process for creating excitement about your organization’s potential and enthusiasm to generate the resources to make it happen. She’ll explore ways to change board members’ perception of fundraising from “asking for money” to “changing the world.”

Her presentation will be held at the Fetzer Center, Western Michigan University, from 8:30 to noon, followed by a networking luncheon (optional), and is co-sponsored by ONEplace@kpl and the Association of Fundraising Professional’s West Michigan Chapter. Registration information is available at ONEplace or AFPWM. Put it on your calendar, invite board members and fundraising staff, and register today!

If you aren’t yet familiar with Gail, she is always on the lookout for stimulating and, often, counter-intuitive fundraising ideas. Following is a summary of ‘pearls’ she gathered at the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ International Conference in mid-March—and a taste of what you can expect at her April 28 presentation. For the complete idea, follow the link to the originator.

16 Provocative Ideas That Will Raise More Money

1. Go All Out for Monthly Donors On Your Home Page

Monthly donors are worth gold to you. On average, they will stay for 10 YEARS. Put the ask right on your home page. The ideal monthly appeal ties a monthly ask to something specific. “$31 a month will do xxxx.” (Harvey McKinnon)

2. Focus on Fewer – Not More Donors

You don’t make more money by having more donors. The more donors you accumulate – the less profitable your fundraising program. (Penelope Burk)

3. Encourage Restricted Giving

Restricted asks raise more money. Period. We are holding our philanthropy back, because we are asking for unrestricted rather than restricted. (Penelope Burk)

4. Get Rid of the Words

Put your whole message in the first 150 words. The rest of your copy just backs it up. (Tom Ahern)

5. Get Rid of “Unmet Needs,” “Programs,” “Services”

Write like you are an outsider to your organization. Get rid of the boring, obtuse jargon. Jargon is a flame retardant! (Tom Ahern)

6. Make Your Case Like a Series of Ads

Add photos while you get rid of words. Create your case or your fundraising materials with the fewest words and the best photos. (Tom Ahern)

7. Hire More Fundraisers

Saying, “We can’t hire any more staff” is stupid. Each additional fundraising staffer upticks gross fundraising revenue. Period. (Penelope Burk)

8. Give Your Fundraising Staff Raises

Money is the #1 reason fundraising staff leaves. Investing in retention of staff will make you money. Retention boosts profit. Extend young staff from 18 months to 30 months saves you money. (Burk)

9. Get Rid of the Raise Money Now Mindset

31% of fundraisers who are planning to leave their jobs will leave because of an unrealistic “old school” culture of fundraising: ie, “you HAVE to bring in the $ NOW.” How much more money could you raise if you took a long term, strategic approach? (Burk)

10. You Must Give Your Staff Management Training

Success in business is 95% in the management of other people. But we cut staff training first whenever there is a shortfall. Training is essential. There’s not enough management training in nonprofits.(Burk)

11. Get Rid of Lousy Board Members Now

Allowing a lousy, nonperforming board member to serve out their term is, two words: “Chicken S***” (Simone Joyaux)

12. Be Blatant

Try this: “With your help, all these amazing things happened. And without your help, they won’t.” You‘re selling the impact of the donor’s gift. (Tom Ahern)

13. Stop Talking About The Money You Need

You choose: A case is about the opportunity you‘re putting in front of the donor. OR A case is about your organization‘s need for cash. (Ahern)

14. Become a Shrink

When dealing with volunteers, you are a psychologist not a fundraiser! (Laura Fredricks)

15. Don’t Believe Your Prospect, When...

If he says, “I’m just a plain ole country boy,” it really means he is a wealthy prospect! (Eli Jordfald)

16. Close Down Some Programs

Leaders will close or giveaway a program or activity that is no longer profitable and has little impact.

So were these ideas provocative? Would they challenge your status quo? Remember fundraising is changing. Donors are changing. Doing what you’ve always done the same old way will get you yesterday’s results. Go for it! Change is good. Use this article to rattle some cages! –Gail Perry

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Comments

Bobbe, What brilliant ideas! We all need to work together to achieve our fundraising goals. You are right about being forthright and not shy! Melissa K
you all do an amazing job. keep it up and luck meeting your goals

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