The 4 Myths that keep homeless service organizations from major gift success

Working with over 200 organizations that focus on serving people who are homeless, hungry, and living in poverty, I’ve come to conclude that there are 4 myths that keep organizations like this from achieving their full potential in major gift fundraising. As you read this post, maybe you’ll recognize some of these myths. Maybe you’ve […]

Upcoming Presentations – #MCHConf

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be presenting two sessions at the upcoming Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless annual conference. This year I’ll be presenting on Raising Major Gifts for Homeless Service Organizations, and Creating Effective Fundraising Offers.

Both sessions will help fundraisers in the homeless services / domestic poverty space to more effectively identify, engage, and solicit high value donors…and ultimately raise more money for their causes!

If you lead a homeless service org in Minnesota or fundraise for one and aren’t yet registered for this conference, there’s still time to sign up! Use this link to register.

And when you attend one of my sessions, you’ll also get a free copy of my book, Rainmaking.

I hope to see you there!

 

18 Steps to Maximize Year-End Giving

Make the most of your Q4 fundraising efforts!

Over the next three months nonprofits will raise over 30% of their annual revenue. Some of you might even raise as much as 50% of your budget between now and year-end. With that kind of opportunity in front of you, it’s essential that you’re focused on the activities that will get you the most leverage […]

Rainmaking notes from the field

It was such an honor today to get this wonderful endorsement for our book Rainmaking from Joy Olson, CEO of Blockbuster Fundraising:

Wouldn’t you love to be referred to as a Fundraising Rainmaker?

A ‘Rainmaker’ is the key figure in the nonprofit organization, not merely just a fundraiser, but a Major Gift Officer who is highly regarded within the organization because they bring in big donor dollars and win the trust of donors almost by magic. They easily and comfortably engage current donors to give higher amounts to the mission and to support new projects.

Rainmaking: The Fundraiser’s Guide to Landing Big Gifts is a road map for development directors to hone their ‘rainmaking’ skills that will enable them to bring much success to their organization’s major gifts mission, goal, and bottom-line.

If you want to separate yourself from the average fundraiser or development manager to become the Major Gift Officer that everyone wants to hire, read Jones & Olsen’s book now! They’ve been working their magic for five decades and now share that magic and those proven examples in this how-to book that enables you to immediately become a Fundraising Rainmaker!

Get your copy of Rainmaking today — you’ll be glad you did!

Is Your Fundraising Agency Screwing You?

Do you know how to tell if your fundraising agency is screwing you? Are your needs and goals primary in the relationship, or is your agency acting in a way to advance their priorities above yours?

I’ve been meeting recently with organizations who, for lack of a better way to say it, have been getting screwed by their agencies. Here are some examples that you should look out for in your agency relationship too:

Organization A: Their agency recommended mailing their deceased donor file as a way to get gifts “in memory of” their dead donors. Not surprisingly, this approach doesn’t yield much in the way of revenue or engagement, AND it can be incredibly insensitive to the families of your donors. But…it does increase the mail quantity and income for the agency.

Organization B: Against the specific instruction of the nonprofit, the agency included managed major gift prospects in their mail program. And because the agency was managing the segmentation and mailing with minimal oversight or input from the nonprofit, this was entirely unknown until this organization changed agencies and their new partner uncovered this. It made their direct mail results look great, but did nothing to advance meaningful relationships with their major donors.

Organization C: This organization’s agency mailed 9-12 solicitation appeals per year to their existing donors. Six of those mailings generated ZERO net dollars for the organization. But they generated a lot of money for the fundraising agency.

Organization D: 30%+ of this organization’s donor file that are so low value that they will NEVER generate positive net revenue for the organization (sure, there may be a very small number of donors in that 30% that do generate net, but the majority will not). But the fundraising agency continues to mail these people every month, regardless of the fact that their values are so low — and they generate no net revenue for the nonprofit.

What all of these examples have in common is that they and their agencies have competing economic incentives. The nonprofits’ goals are to maximize net revenue to deliver more services to more people in need. But the fundraising agencies are compensated for every piece of mail they put in the mail stream — giving them little, if any incentive to restrict mail in any of the examples above.

Let this be a lesson and a warning — if your nonprofit’s economic incentives aren’t aligned with those of your fundraising agency, there’s a good chance you’re being done a disservice, whether intentionally or accidentally.

 

Middle & Major Donor Fundraising Success for Social Service Orgs

Mel Trotter Ministries raises nearly $1 million in six weeks!

As an adviser to 60+ nonprofits across the U.S. and Canada, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is, how can we better engage our middle and major donors through direct response to generate more revenue and deepen our relationships? This is a question that my good friend, Dennis Van Kampen, President/CEO at […]