Although we’ve never met, I consider Penelope Burke a mentor. Her research on donor-focused fundraising is comprehensive and validates the three tenants of my fundraising philosophy:
Donors are not dollars. They are people. People who want to make a difference with their contribution of time, passion and money. Until you connect with your donors as philanthropists, you will not maximize your impact.
In my last blog post, I explored ways to use technology to connect with and create relationships with new donors. Today let’s talk more about cultivation and how to nurture relationships with individuals, organizations, and businesses that share a passion for your mission. A solid cultivation plan is critical to your long-term fundraising strategy.
There are two key elements to cultivation: communication and engagement.
You’ve done your homework and have identified some potential corporate partners that align with your organizational values, share a passion for your mission and have a product or service that is marketable to your stakeholders. Now what? How do you connect with these potential partners in a genuine way?
A warm introduction to a contact in the company can be much more effective than a cold call. The goal is to develop long-term, win/win affiliations. How do you begin? By getting curious and engaging in honest, organic conversations about creating mutually beneficial partnerships. Both organizations must know, like and trust the other to create long-lasting investment.
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for opening doors to building relationships with corporate partners. A quick search of the company and its employees allows you to see connections you might have. Encourage your board members to search their networks as well. This is a wonderful way to engage them in...
I participated in an Instagram Masterclass today to better understand how to use the platform for marketing. KellyAnne Zielinski, Founder of Self Leadership Global shared her perspective of social media marketing that absolutely shifted my mindset on digital marketing. Here's what she said..."Our social media platforms are our little corner of the internet where we get to make a difference."
This SO resonated with me. My sales philosophy is, and has always been, contribution first and I'd much prefer to connect with people in person. But digital platforms allow me to connect with more people in more places! Rather than focusing on the "sales" aspect of social media, I choose to use these digital platforms to share information, connect people and build relationships with others that share my passion for social impact and the greater good. I have found that a contribution first model results in the connections that lead to contracted work.
This social media...
Although fundraising and development go hand-in-hand, they are not one and the same. Each supports the other in building sustainable revenue for nonprofit and social impact organizations.
How are they different? When talking about funding nonprofits, we primarily use the word fundraising. But most of work falls in the development category. Here is an easy way to discern the difference:
fundraising = transactional
development = relational
Fundraising describes an activity that is transactional in nature. The focus is on immediate solicitation - The ‘ask’ or as I like to say, The Invitation.
Development on the other hand, is the building and nurturing of life-long relationships between the donor and the organization that results in revenue through donations AND advocacy in the community on your organization’s behalf. These relationships are cultivated and nurtured based on education, curiosity and attentive stewardship AND include solicitation - but on...