Post-Workshop Resources: Basic Principles of Fundraising

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Post-Workshop Resources for the eager fundraiser!

In our workshop with fundraising expert Marcia Hovious we learned that people will support the organization (or charitable project) that loves them the most and reviewed: the keys to successful fundraisers, ideas for cultivation and stewardship, Moves management, Contact reports, and discussed other fundraising principles. To better help you in your pursuit of funds for your organization or project, I've gathered a batch of additional resources that may help you in your fundraising endeavors. Best of luck to you all!

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by Prosper Fundraising Strategies

One of the principal truths of fundraising is that if you do not ask for a gift, you will not receive one. In fact, studies have shown that the number one reason an individual does not give to an organization is because he or she has not been asked. And what is the most effective method of obtaining a major gift? Personal solicitation. A face‐to‐face ask is 10 times more effective than mail and 5 times more effective than a phone call. 

Personal solicitation is both an art and science. As with most things, experience is the best teacher. The more you actually solicit gifts, the more comfortable and effective you will become. As fundraising guru Jerold Panas says “You don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great.” 

Below are a few guidelines or best practices to follow to help you hone your skills. 

Know everything you can about your organization or project: mission, vision, values, future projects, strategic plans. 

Know your donor. Prior to the solicitation, arm yourself with as much information as possible about the donor. Read database notes and review paper files. Ask your CEO and board members what they know about the donor. 

In a perfect world, we would all have involved, active volunteer leaders to help with major gift fundraising ‐‐ thus, the old adage, “select the right person to ask the right person at the right time for the right amount in the right way for the right reason.” If you do not have active volunteer leaders, try not to let this philosophy get in your way. Sometimes the right person to ask is the person willing and able to do the job! 

Make sure to plan who will actually make the ask. Prior to the solicitation meeting, determine what role the volunteer will play and what role you will play. 

LISTEN. To be a good solicitor you need to be attentive, sensitive, thorough, thoughtful, responsive and respectful of the needs of the donor. 
Listen with a purpose, do not interrupt, provide feedback if appropriate. 

Be prepared for objections. Imagine the issues the donor might raise and come up with appropriate answers. 

If the donor is not receptive to the ask, gently probe for reasons. Is it the timing? Is the project not a good fit? Is it the amount of the ask? 


1. Introduction/thanks for visit. 
2. Small talk. Be cordial but respectful of the donor’s time. 
3. Purpose of visit. 
4. Case building. 
5. How the individual can help. 
6. How this action will achieve the mission. 
7. THE ASK. Ask for a specific amount or range. 
8. Be quiet. Let the donor absorb the information presented. 
9. If the donor needs time to think it over, set a clear time to follow up. 
10. Thank donor for his or her time. 
11. After the meeting, debrief with staff. What worked? What did not? 
12. Send a thank you note. 
13. Send any material that was promised. 
14. Follow up at agreed upon time. 

Original source:

The 4 Phases of an Effective Peer-to-Peer Campaign

Money doesn't magically find its ways to the best causes; people make decisions about whether, and where, to give. This free E-Book gives a comprehensive guide to planning, launching, and implementing a wildly successful peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. 

Why p2p is the fundraising method of the future
How to set yourself up to raise as much money online as possible
The qualities you need to break through fundraising plateaus
The secrets behind multi-million dollar online campaigns

Download the 40 page Guide HERE

And check out their article "Tips for Successful Fundraising":

“7 Tips on Asking for Donations — It’s Intimidating, We Get It”
by Marc Koenig | |  2014

When it comes to asking for donations, most of us head for the hills. We get it. It’s intimidating to ask other people to part with their hard earned cash. They might ask, “Why?” And we might not have a great answer. At its heart, fundraising is helping others connect an existing passion directly to your cause. 

We don’t convince donors. We help them realize that they already care. Once donors believe that your cause truly matters, giving almost becomes an afterthought. Of course they’ll give! The question simply becomes how much to ask for. But until then, you won’t have to sweat your fundraising ask if you follow the article's seven tips.

Moves Management Grid Template

The 2016 Nonprofit Fundraising Strategic Plan Guide

The best fundraising strategic plan tells a complete, organized, and analytics-based story that your team can actually use to help your campaign be more successful. The 2016 Nonprofit Fundraising Strategic Plan Guide explores the fundraising planning process and breaks down each of the necessary elements that will allow you and your team to elevate your next campaign. (Bonus: some helpful examples and templates to put this into action now.)

Just a heads-up: this is a long read. Link to the Guide is below.


"15 Fundraising Success Metrics to Start Tracking"

By Bill Tedesco, CEO of DonorSearch | 2015

Measuring your performance is a crucial step that nonprofits must take to succeed. There’s no better way of isolating and troubleshooting any ongoing problems. And worry not, there’s no shortage of methods of measuring performance. They’re called fundraising success metrics here, but they are also often referred to as key performance indicators (KPIs). These metrics are the analytical tools nonprofits need to continue raising more and more funds.

The list of 15 has been split into four separate categories. 
general fundraising metrics
giving level metrics
engagement metrics
online performance metrics


    Guide to Annual Giving: 
    Prospects and Approaches 
    Identifying, cultivating and ranking annual giving prospects 

    Donor Search | 2015

    Downloadable eight page guide:

"Finding Your Funding Model" 
By Peter Kim, Gail Perreault, & William Foster |  2011

Many nonprofit leaders seek reliable funding but are not sure how best to pursue it. Four guidelines provide a road map for leaders to identify and develop the right funding model for their organization.

This article is a response to requests for the “how” of funding models—the basic principles through which organizations can understand and investigate their long-range funding options and then develop a realistic plan for choosing and implementing them. The principles are born out of research by Stanford Social Innovation Review as well as consulting experience with dozens of nonprofit clients that have sought pathways to growth and financial sustainability.


Fundraising Policies
and Procedures
Best Practices for Accountability and Transparency

by the Association of Fundraising Professionals

This 80 page booklet offers samples of key fundraising policies and procedures that nonprofit organizations should consider adapting and using for their fundraising programs. 


Giving USA 2016 Infographic

Giving USA 2016: The Annual Report on Philanthropy©, is the longest running, most comprehensive report on philanthropy in America. The Report affirms 2015 as a steady and strong year in philanthropy. Giving rose 4.0% to $373.25 billion in 2015 contributions, a record high. Our infographic of this annual report provides insights for your organization — and just a bit of entertainment — to help cultivate your efforts of serving the common good.


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