By Derrick Feldmann
- Does the community understand the value we bring?
- Are we consistent with our CVP?
- What methods and communication tactics do we use to educate the community about our CVP?
By Derrick Feldmann
By Derrick Feldmann
Yipes. So what do you do in this situation? Some of you already are getting that awkward feeling. Well, here is our analysis of the situation.
So, after putting both the pros and cons out there, we think you should not friend your donors unless you use your Facebook as another dedicated platform you have to communicate your organization’s message. That means no other uses for your Facebook account except to promote the organization.
So what do you think – Yes or No- Would you friend your donors?
Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot
But the Grinch who lived just North of Whoville did not!
The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
The Grinch is trying to steal your Christmas. Seriously. The Grinch is lurking around just waiting to snatch your Christmas. The Grinch hides behind “Buy 1, Get 2 Free!” signs, in the corners of department stores and roams mall parking lots. The Grinch has stealthily taken on a new identity and just might nab your Christmas if you aren’t careful.
The Grinch has transformed into the Stuff,
And got us to think that we never have enough!
Yes, the Grinch has transformed into the Stuff and is looking to steal the true joy of Christmas from you, your family and our community. Thankfully, our hero Philanthropy (he likes to go by Phil), is here to put the kibosh on the Grinch.
Oh joy! Our friend Phil is here to save the day!
To protect Christmas from the Grinch! To show us the way!
Here are two easy ways that Phil can save your Christmas from the Grinch:
#1: Throw the Grinch a curveball, throw him for a loop, Instead of giving alone, give as a group!
Fundraisers; make sure you are asking those questions to your donors. And be sure to concentrate more on listening than talking when you are meeting with a donor!
With Phil’s help, we can protect Christmas from the Grinch!
While the Grinch’s heart may be two sizes too small, Let’s use Phil to take Christmas back from the mall!
Have you ever sat in a board meeting and heard a staff or board member present a plan for a fundraising project or campaign. It appears well thought out, it links to and supports the organization’s strategic plan, it fills an important need, it is likely to engender nice gifts and all seems well. The chair calls for discussion of the Plan. There are comments like: “yes, this sounds good,” and “sure, we think that is a great way to go,” or even “absolutely, go after it!” There are just a few questions and they focus on mechanical or tactical considerations. The vote is called for. The motion to approve passes and the board goes on to new business.
Our experience tells us that is when you should be very concerned. That might be called the Unanimous Approval Syndrome.
When this has happened, it is likely that the board members do not feel as though they are the “owners” of the Campaign. They have said it is ok to proceed assuming that others will make the gifts and do the hard work associated with making it succeed.
Has the board asked probing questions? Has the topic of what is required of them come up? I remember a discussion by a University board of trustees about five years ago. There had been a well done presentation, the board had asked some questions and the chair was just about to call the question. One trustee raised their hand, looked around the room to their colleagues and asked: “Does this mean each of us must make a personal gift? And does it mean we will likely be asked to make the largest gift to the University we have ever been asked to make?”
It was a stunning moment. The room was quiet for a brief while. The campaign planning committee chair then spoke and said: “thank you. It does mean both of those. I have already made my commitment and yes, we plan to talk to each one of you if you vote to approve this resolution.”
That led to more discussion and a much more informed decision.
That Campaign has gone on to great success— and in large measure because the board did not merely say: “sure, that’s fine.” They considered what it meant to be owners of the effort — and it made all the difference.
Additional information on this topic can be found in “Chapter 24: The Trustee’s Role in Fundraising,” written by Ted Grossnickle, in the newly released book Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, 3rd Edition available for purchase online at Amazon.com at this link or at other online retailers.
By Derrick Feldmann
You might call it an occasional weakness for fast food. I call it market research for nonprofits.
Well, OK, maybe that’s stretching things a bit. The truth is, I do enjoy the occasional visit to the “Golden Arches.” Usually, I heed the McDonald’s call when I’m on the go – dashing from one meeting to the next, driving across the state or passing through an airport.
What’s interesting about these varied visits (and this is where I claim to be doing important market research) is that every experience is essentially the same. Whether I’m making a quick stop along the highway, killing time between flights in a major metro airport, or grabbing a snack in the mall, I know what to expect, from the fries and shakes to my interaction with employees. Regardless of whether you like McDonald’s, you have to admire the chain’s ability to uphold the standards Ray Kroc created to ensure that your experience is consistent.
Can you say the same about your organization’s fundraising practices? Or do you have a few things to learn from the people at McDonald’s? Consider these basic lessons.
Build a consistent donor experience. At McDonald’s your experience will be consistent. How about your donors’ experiences with your organization? Review the donor experience from first contact to giving and beyond, and work to ensure a consistent experience. Set standards for the experience, and create metrics that allow you to maintain those standards. Donors who receive a consistent and exemplary experience will be motivated to give and engage in your work again.
Create a system for the annual fund to operate effectively. The consistent McDonald’s customer experience is built on a foundation of systems. Every restaurant process and customer interaction is guided by this system. Because most of us don’t have the luxury of fundraising departments with more than 3 or 5 staff members, it’s even more important that we have similar annual fund systems to yield consistent results. Think about it another way: If you left for two weeks, would your current fundraising system continue to generate resources? Or is the system dependent on you at all times? If so, step back and develop a concrete system, one that provides the structure and process required for reliable, consistent experiences. But here’s the thing: This system is not simply about making sure everything stays the same. It’s also about freeing up your time to experiment with new trends, craft new approaches and visit with major donors who might yield larger resources.
Create peak performance indicators for performance and experimentation. The McDonald’s system didn’t simply occur to Ray Kroc on day one and remain the same ever since. On the contrary: It has been the product of a steady and relentless system of experimentation. Think of all the McThises and McThats we’ve seen over the years – some successful and some not. Just as McDonald’s has indicators and clear expectations for how each employee should perform his or her job, the company has created and perfected benchmarks for experimentation. As a fundraiser, you should create similar benchmarks to help you determine whether you are reaching your peak performance. If you’re experimenting with a new fundraising strategy, create at least three indicators for benchmarking results, and develop for your board a clear indicator for measuring new approaches. This will help you assess experiments, change direction as needed and build long-term and ongoing fundraising success.
Oh, yeah: And as you put these three practices to work, consider one other lesson to be learned from McDonald’s: In a crowded marketplace, customers (and donors) have plenty of options. Give them a reliable and consistent experience, and the odds are that they’ll be back again and again.
So, there you have it: Deliver a consistent, high-quality experience. Systemize your fundraising. Create measurements for all performance and experiments. It’s a model that has brought more than 99 billion people to the Golden Arches – don’t you think it could help you build your organization?