Five Things to Focus on for Success in Fundraising
While doing trainings in California, Atlanta, and Tennessee and coaching executive directors, people have been asking for strategic direction for their work. Within this context, I have prepared a list of five areas to focus on to build or re-build an organization for the long term with sustained revenues and a culture of giving.
As we strive to achieve long term sustainability, consider focusing on these qualities in your organization's work;
1. Deepen relationships – Personalize and extend yourself with current and new donor and grantee partners. Listen and acknowledge where people are at with their process in the new climate while educating them with stories, facts, and content that is relevant to the work of women’s funds.
2. Build a culture of philanthropy – Introduce conversations around money and assets within your own fund and its grantees. Discuss what legacy means to people, and engage donors in a public setting to speak in a salon format about what giving means to them. Institutionalize practices of celebrating gifts received and be creative in your acknowledgement of gifts.
3. Promote your use of best business practices – Review charitynavigator.com and guidestar.com for best practices for ratios and expenses. Showcase your funds’ work in these areas, and educate donors about program and management cost ratios. Discuss your models of business/grant evaluation as well as the growing trend of investing in capacity and operations.
4. Be transparent and authentic - Showcase your staff’s efforts, celebrate with donors, and listen to their concerns. Be open with your leadership and investors about your questions and planning. Ask for the advice from people outside your field who can offer insight into new business practices.
5. Showcase your passion and vision - Stay positive and informed. Read grantee letters out loud at meetings and extend yourself to other women’s fund colleagues to hear their successes. Register for a webinar or training to stay in a learning environment. Be the kind of leader an investor will bet on and any board member peer would respect.
If you or your organization would like an evaluation consultation on where you can best use your energy and resources, feel free to contact us.