In events that fundraise through peer-to-peer, improving your communications to fundraisers can (and should be) a never-ending process. There’s always a better way to say something, or new programs and successes to share with your constituents. But it's common that organizations don’t update their messaging annually. We know how overwhelming your to-do list is and realize that updating notifications isn’t at the top. So we’ve done some research on this and prioritized each notification’s importance for fundraising. By just updating the top three, you can see a major improvement in your event totals.
The Giving USA 2015 Report is out today and shows a big positive swing for nonprofits. Overall giving is up 5% with $358 billion donated. Broken down, individual giving is up 5.7%, foundation giving is up 8.2%, bequest giving is up 15.5% and corporate giving is up 13.7%. Corporate and bequest giving have made big rebounds from down years. Overall giving in all sectors is up, which we feel shows the sound health of philanthropy in general. The strongest growth in giving was to arts, animal welfare and environmental causes (all smaller categories, 8% of all giving) when compared to religion, education and human services (those three combined are 60% of all giving.)
When the economy is going well it can cover up a lot of faults with signature events. A good economy may have served your event so well that you didn’t notice problems developing. But those issues become obvious when the economy goes sour and the money gets tight. As Warren Buffett said: when the tide goes out, you find out who’s naked. Low tide happened for many signature events across North America that weren’t run well. They had a lot of money coming in because the economy was good and it covered up the fact that the event was growing unhealthy.When the economy turned sour, it became the scapegoat for all the event’s problems. Now that the economy is getting better many the events are not recovering. That’s because they still have these common faults we’ve seen that they haven’t dealt with.
When your event revenue comes up short, it can be disastrous for your organization. If you can find a quick fix for that shortage of money, that’s great. But it doesn’t really help fix the problem for next year and the years to come. And it’s a problem you must fix for the long-term success of your organization.
This article gives you a series of questions that can help you determine where the problem lies. Don’t worry about blame. Just answer honestly so you can spot the problems.
When you work for a nonprofit you know the importance of making the ask. But in peer-to-peer fundraising it’s your supporters who make the ask. Not everyone is an expert and many times it can be frustrating that they seem reluctant to do it. Here are some proven methods DonorDrive clients are using to get better fundraising performance from their event and campaign participants.
If you think you’re “bothering” your supporters by contacting them when not asking them to give or to participate in your event, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. Today’s supporters, especially Millennials and Boomers (probably 50% of your supporters base), expect more engagement from your organization, not less. If you’re not engaging to their expectation, you’re not building the relationship.
The day after your signature event, what you’d really love to do is take a vacation. But that’s usually not in the cards. There’s always so much to do with wrapping up all the lose ends, evaluating the successes and failure and jotting down notes for next year’s event. So we’ve created a schedule to make the process go more smoothly and make sure things get wrapped up tight.
As an executive director, before you can build that better board, you’re probably stuck with your current board for the time being. Let’s assume you have a worst-case scenario and have a difficult bunch on your hands. Maybe you’ve just started with this organization and inherited them. Or maybe you’ve fought with them for years and now realize you need to make peace in order to keep your job and make the organization work. While the relationship won't magically change, there are some things you can do to dramatically improve it.
The right board members that bring the right resources are a necessity to your organization. But it’s also important that you have the structures and protocols in place that help maintain the balance you’ve built. Executive directors can often feel that each committee is just another headache to manage. But having the correct committee structure can make your life (and your board's life) much easier. Committees are also good proving grounds to weed out problem supporters and for proving board candidates.
Diversity is what builds healthy ecosystems. In the same way, resource diversity can build a healthy board that can make your organization thrive. A board full of check writers no longer works. But a board full of volunteers who give time, but no money—that won’t work either. Your board’s resources need to be diverse and balanced.