FRDNY 2016 LIVE BLOGGING
Blogging during Fundraising Day New York is both as pleasure and a challenge. The depth of the information and the pace at which it is delivered makes it hard to do each session justice. But I like getting my ideas and thoughts to you as soon as possible. So we will do our best.
Thought I'll be live blogging during the day I promise to go back through the-the blogs over the weekend. At that point, I'll be able to clarify ideas and clean up any pesky typos. Typos are inevitable when live blogging so I do hope you will understand. I feel it is better to get the idea out to you while it is fresh than to worry about you grabbing your red pen.
So I am off to breakfast and then my first session -
With John Hicks
The session is really filling up which is a great sign for the first session of the day!
The three word summary KEEP IT REAL!
Keep fundraising organic. It should be natural to your organization not just the hottest new technique.
You have to Plan, Plan, Plan.
Set you in the right directions.
The Macintosh Way
Figuring out not just the right way to do things but the right way to do things. We sometimes know exactly what to do but we don't always know the way to do it. Combining the way is the key. In order to figure out the right way or the right thing we have to have realistic goals.
We have to have realistic goals based on 4 things - operating, program, investment and sustaining. Not just the amount of money you raise but how will it be used? How will it change the organization.
Sustaining money keeps the lights on.
Investment money is about enhancing or growing the organization.
Funding Mix- Where does it come from now and where might it come from. Every organization will look different. Figuring out how to expand where you are strong and push out where you don't presently have the most reach.
What Donor Markets make the Most Sense to us?
Setting goals and keeping it real.
Buildout on what you are strongest at. And then set a realistic goal for each of your funding pots.
He has a great chart that shows the Constituency, Last Year, This Year's Goal, Budget and Rationale. The goal is what you are striving for the Budget is what your finance dept. is looking for you to raise.
Then choose the right campaign activities. Figure out what will speak to your donors and do that first. Work least to most time consuming, and least to most expensive, most to least touch.
Proposals to proper Founations
-Use your talent well.
OUTSOURCING and INSOURCING
When you bring someone in they should be creating system that you, the organization's fundraiser can maintain. Is there knowledge transfer.
FROM ALL OF THIS YOU CAN CREATE AN ACTION PLAN.
Without and action plan know knows what you are doing. Measure of success is not just money but what you are doing.
Once you have the plan- you need to monitor it and create metrics. If your sole metric is how much money you raised then you probably not doing your job. We need to measure by money and the relationships you have built and sustained.
We have to look at the intangibles.
Willingness to risk
Monitoring the progress
Be bold, view asking for money as an invitation to be part of something bigger, invite volunteers to be a part of your fundraising journey.
There were a lot of great questions. But you really needed to be here for those.
This was a great session I am still trying to choose between two different sessions.
That was a great session! And the end of a great AFP for me. I'll be spending the last session working the NYU Heyman Center booth. I teach at NYU and they were kind enough to allow me to come to today on one of their passes. I do hope you got a taste of what Fundraising Day New York has to offer. I understand that next year it will be on June 23rd. I can't wait.
Gertrude Stein was right right right.
Repeating things makes them matter more. We mail to people multiple times asking them for donations. It is considered perfectly normal to mail an appeal and then "follow-up" a few weeks later. We may even ask for second or third gifts from our donors all in the same year. We subscribe to an "Asking" repeating model. But what about thanking donors?
When it comes to thanking donors for most organization's once per gift is enough - but is once enough? We have to provide every donor with an official letter noting the date and amount of their donation. Could we be doing more? I say yes, we ought to thank, thank, thank our donors. I subscribe to a "thanking repeating" model.
How does this work? Simple, I find every opportunity I can to thank donors before they make or renew their gift. Acknowledging previous contributions in solicitation letters, in an official thank you receipt letter and once a year in a general thank you that does not have an ask are all ways to thank your donors more than once.
I have even seen people use their social media to thank donors in mass. Social media posts do not have the same effect as a personal letter, but the post will let others know that you have donors and that you appreciate them.
Though it can be time-consuming, I try and write a handwritten note to every donor over a particular giving amount each year. If you write one or two a day, it makes it less of a burden. In fact, you can even get a volunteer to write a few letters from their perspective. The important thing is to thank, thank, thank your donors. Then you thoughtfully, follow a "thanking repeating" model.
It Occurs To Me
Since writing the last post, I have had to come up with definitive language concerning vaccinated guests at an event. The decision was made to say on the invitation "For the safety of all of our guests we are requesting proof of vaccination upon arrival at the theater." The idea is to accept either the CDC vaccination card or our state's online pass." We will see what the response will be to the invitation and at the event. I will keep you informed.
Please leave a comment, thoughtfully.