The more money that individuals and companies have in their pockets, the better it is for charities, period. If you are a fundraising professional or nonprofit who is relying on tax deductions as a motivator for donations to your charity, then you are not doing what you should to become sustainable. That is…
- to have programs that are always working to achieve greater and lasting results (donors give for results)
- maximize the use of every marketing and communications channel to communicate those results, and engage donors and prospects
- set out to treat ALL donors and volunteers as if they are major donors (you will never know the sacrifice that some are making to make a small gift to support your work)
- encourage monthly giving, no matter how small the gift
- seek out opportunities to engage and recruit volunteers to bring donors and outsiders closer to you nonprofit and its work
- leverage Board, Associate Board, staff, donor and volunteer relationships to expand the organization’s network of constituents
- set your development staff free to engage the public and build relationships
- create an entrepreneurial work environment where ALL ideas for improvement and opportunities are welcomed and discussed (remember the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge”?)
- work your database to include all of the organization’s relationships, and record as much information about individual, corporate and foundation donors, volunteers, staff and others that is necessary to build growing and lasting relationships (done correctly, your DRM will be a modern-day goldmine)
- listen to donors, volunteers and others, and fashion your communications to represent their interests and passions
- using this information, never stop matching donors and prospects with the nonprofit’s needs and visions
- create and/or build the organization’s endowment.
Asking for the gift becomes less intimidating and more strategic when this to-do list is followed. You will also find that your nonprofit will become less dependent on government funding and tax-deductions to sustain your work.
In 2018 I will take each of these bullet points and address them separately. I look forward to your feedback. Happy New Year!