Jim Nabors. Gomer Pyle. Is there a fundraising lesson there? You betcha. The Indianapolis 500 is this weekend and for those of us who can’t be there, it is really not the same since they abandoned radio for a television broadcast. The sheer artistry of the five radio announcers, painting a picture for the listener as they “sent” the lead car around each turn on the final lap toward the checkered flag. It was thrilling. When Jim Nabors finished his run as Gomer Pyle he retired to Hawaii, bought a huge piece of land and became a macadamia nut farmer.
85% of all fundraisers are clueless about, or intimidated by, planned giving. That may not be spot on but it’s close. What a shame. 85% of all planned gifts made every year come from plain old wills and bequests. Simple. Easy to understand. Gifts from the donor’s will, planned for now, to be made in the future, are so easy to understand, that’s why donors love them! And use them. Far more than any other planned gift vehicle that you pretty much don’t need to worry about. Because if you focus on inviting your donors to remember your organization in
“There are no shortcuts to planned giving.” I cringed when I saw that. That tweet only serves to perpetuate the myth that planned giving is a secret land unreachable to most fundraisers. The truth? 85% of all planned gifts made in America today are plain old bequests that donors included in their will or estate plan. They did so because remembering a cause dear to them in their will is simple. They understand it. So can you. What have we established so far? Two things. If you focus on inviting your donors to remember your organization in their will you
The fundraiser was feeling frisky one day. He was certain his school raised more money each year than any other school in their network around the country. He set out to confirm his suspicions. The first call was to New York. Did they raise more money? “Nope.” The fundraiser smiled. Cleveland. “Not us.” Los Angeles. “Good for you! Not us, for sure.” The fundraiser started feeling cocky. Three more calls, and he was almost there. Then he called Cincinnati. “It’s not us but it’s not you, either.” “You’re kidding! I was sure! Who, then?” “Red Cloud Indian Mission School in
Are you afraid of planned giving? Many development officers are. It’s the “Great Unknown” of our profession and, well, we just don’t want to go there. Let’s write another grant request, make another visit, or plan another event.
Many of these same concepts can be applied to preparing the budget of the overall nonprofit organization. [bctt tweet=”Cost of fundraising as a percentage of your gift income goal will yield your total development budget for the year.” username=”TheWkdBriefing”] Number One: Income First! The biggest mistake we can make in preparing our budget is doing the expense side before we establish our income goal for the year. The well-run shop knows it must live within its means. Make a chart listing your primary sources of gift income; direct mail, grants, events, major gifts, etc. Assign a goal to each gift
What are the magic words a donor will respond to when you’re looking for a visit? A banker sent me this email. The words and tone are perfect. I hope they work for you! (Person’s name), hope all is well (or some light intro). I am sure your schedule is very full. Any chance we can share a cup of coffee soon? If so, would you suggest a few dates/times when we could meet? I can be flexible. Thanks. Regards, (your name)
In September of 2008, in the teeth of the Great Recession, the Weekend Briefing asked eight of America’s best fundraisers to share their thoughts. What should advancement officers do during the most challenging fundraising climate in memory? Every single person responded. Their wisdom is as meaningful today as it was then.