Taking it Easy on Donors

Donors have a giving heart. They are asked more often than not to consider giving. Ask a donor, “What can I do for you?” and they will probably sidestep the conversation. It’s not something they’re comfortable discussing. It’s not supposed to be about them in their mind because it’s about others.

Understanding how a donor feels is important. You show a quality mindset when you take time to understand their intent and then provide opportunities for them to benefit. It is a nice way to “give back.” These six powerful words, “what can I do for you,” have the ability to transform a situation. It’s a way to shift the discussion and put the energy back on making someone else happy. In this case, it is your donor.

Consider this – more than half of all people who visit a nonprofit’s website do so from a mobile device according to Mobilecause.com. This is an old statistic so the numbers are much higher now. What does your website look like on a mobile platform? Check it out on your phone and make sure it is user-friendly. Is there a donor button? It’s not just about having a “donate now” button because a “donor” button is more about the emotional component of why they give. A donor button is about telling your story, and also about sharing with donors the benefit of why giving to your organization is important. The button explains what’s in it for them? This is that uncomfortable situation again. But, it’s true. What’s in it for them? They can feel good about giving to a cause and get a spiritual kudo just about anywhere. They can get a tax benefit for specific kinds of donations. Sure, this works. But, they can also GIVE to any organization to get the same rewards. Why would they give to yours?

Setting yourself up for success begins on the backend. It’s your opportunity to set the stage first. Begin by doing this:

  • Check your mobile platform for your website’s format and message. This is the the way most people are seeing you. Connect with your website designer as necessary to update for mobile changes
  • Be up to date on social media, other online sites, and with phone messaging systems. Call yourself and your answering system through the office. What message do you hear? Do you have recent posts on social media and on your website? It takes time and is often put on the bottom of the list. Dedicating a couple of hours each week to this process, or finding a volunteer to do it, makes the world of difference in the end
  • Make a list of the ways you’re giving back to donors and add to the list while remembering, each donor is different and it takes some time to discover the intricacies of what’s most important to them. This is about taking the time for discovery and then taking the time to establish a plan to let your donor know they are your most important asset.

The people you serve are most important to your mission. The people who help you serve are your greatest asset. An asset is the people volunteering, working for you, or those who provide a means for your service. A donor, a sponsor, or a foundation provide the means by giving money for your mission to continue. Taking it easy on donors is key to your success.

For additional information on coaching through the fundraising process – connect with SOAR with Network Fundraising. The programs are cost-effective and focused on your mission. There’s not a cookie-cutter approach to taking it easy on donors, providing the right message or opportunities to be involved, and engaging the public. Each situation is different. SOAR coaching offers the training and then the follow up. The Leader’s Program creates sustainability through a year-long program. Click Here!

Developing a Fundraising Plan – Raising Money is Always About Your Next Move!

The fundraising plan is first and foremost, the most NECESSARY document needed to raise money. Get a team together to discuss short and long term goals. Then, take small steps to open the right doors.  

  • Team

__________________________

__________________________


  • How much money by when?

____________________6 months

____________________12 months

____________________24 months

____________________36 months

____________________48 months

____________________60 months


  • Methods for raising money

Past 

____________________

____________________

Present

____________________

____________________

Future

____________________

____________________

  • Timeline for each method (each fundraiser has its own schedule)

Name of fundraiser: _____________________________________

11 months out: _________10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 month out…three weeks…two weeks…one week…three days…two days…one day…day of…day after…week following…two weeks following…three weeks following & start over again!

  • Participants (fundraising team, volunteers, invitations to activity)

Past:                                             Future:

___________                           ___________

___________                           ___________

  • Resources (location, activities, marketing, door prizes, etc)

Have:                                                                               What’s needed

_____________                                                          _____________

_____________                                                          _____________

  • Tracking mechanism (spreadsheet or donor management software)
  • Maintain focus with your team

Monthly meetings, contact via email and calls, keep the goals visual, provide task-oriented participation to be checked off upon completion and follow the timeline to a T!

SOAR coaches organizations through the development of a fundraising plan during a 10-day process. Cost is $199 for a one-year plan. Learn more – click here!

Keeping Donors In This Ever-Changing World

“I’ve donated to the same organization for fifteen years and now I’m getting thank you notes addressed to the ‘donor’ of the house. ‘Dear donor’ just doesn’t work for me!”

Technology allows us to do the whole process of thanking donors quickly. You get the form letter ready, merge the database, print the mailing label and run the closed envelope through the stamp meter. This happens so easily and quickly, anyone can do it.

Do you remember the days of five to seven days for a letter to be delivered? Now, we can deliver a message instantaneously. Email and text messages provide a new opportunity. A mobile system, which takes being remote and mobile to a new level.

A quick thank you message followed by something more lengthy is recommended. On donation forms collect:

  • Emails
  • Mobile phone numbers (include a box for the donor to check designating text messages as okay)

Develop a system for replying to donations. A quick email/text message looks like this: “Thank you for your donation to (organization). We appreciate your commitment to our program, which helps people (describe service). An official receipt will be sent to you over the next couple of weeks. Processing takes a bit more time on our end. Let me know if you have questions.”

The official receipt is sent to a donor along with a thank you letter, which nonprofits usually have as a template for anyone to use within the organization. It is important to write a personal note on the form letter but when this is not possible write a note card with your message and send it separately.

“I get a thank you letter for my donation and then the organization ignores me until they want my money again!”

Face it, nonprofits are usually so busy because they lack resources. Ignoring a donor is not something they do on purpose. It just happens when a hospitality program is not in place.

Hospitality, in some cultures, comes first and it truly is a benefit when a nonprofit adopts this culture. A volunteer initiative to provide hospitality to donors is not only fun for the volunteers but creates an atmosphere of family for the donor. People love their family! They are more understanding of their actions and stand beside them when the chips fall in a different direction.

A meaningful ‘thank you’ and developing a family culture are our two main recommendations for keeping donors in this ever-changing world.

Nonprofits Giving Back

Giving is something people do for nonprofits. Giving back is how the nonprofit returns the favor, so to speak. We feature in articles how people give back to others. It opens the door to a giving mentality, which is good in any walk of life. Interested in sharing how you give back? Send an email to iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com/ This opportunity is open to anyone!

Operation Care International

Operation Care International is a homeless and impoverished ministry providing personal items, blue jeans, winter gear, bottled water and bibles in the streets of Dallas. Susie Jennings is the Founder and President of the mission. It all started with her mission to give blankets to the homeless under a bridge in 1993.

Susie, how does your organization give back to donors and sponsors?

  • We thank them with personal phone calls
  • We give them a photo album, which includes them serving at our event
  • We send a video and report of the event
  • We send testimonial videos
  • We put their names in event programs
  • We make them honorary chairs
  • We take them to lunch
  • We send cards on holidays and birthdays
  • We visit them
  • We ask them to be part of the program

Susie, what simple thing can a person do to create a feeling of community?

  • Bring personal care products in your car
  • Buy some gift cards from fast food restaurants and keep them handy
  • Have a directory of places where the homeless can go in your area
  • Connect the homeless to community services, which can help them

Susie, what does Operation Care International do?

Our signature event happens on the 3rd Saturday of December when we hold a birthday party for Jesus honoring our homeless and impoverished children and families in Dallas, Texas.

The heart of the ministry is sharing the love of God to the people.

On the day of the event we provide our trademark activity of foot washing; emulating the character of Christ and also:

  • Evangelism and prayer
  • Bibles
  • Socks and shoes
  • Medical, dental and vision services
  • Personal care items (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Clothing, coats, sleeping bags, blankets
  • Hot meals
  • Haircuts and makeovers
  • Praise and worship teams/Entertainers
  • Free phone calls
  • Homeless service providers (lawyers, jobs, housing for kids)
  • Toys
  • Back packs
  • Books
  • Food

Susie Jennings is the author of 31 Days of Mountaintop Miracles. She began Operation Care while also being a full time RN. Her story is amazing. Truly a life of miracles. Contact Operation Care at 972-681-3567 or info@OpCare.org

Keep Fundraising Costs Minimal for the Best Return

You know, fundraising costs money. A development professional advances a nonprofit’s mission when the org has the money to hire one. Not everyone does. The average devpro stays on board for eighteen months because, let’s face it, asking people to give up their hard-earned cash is a tough job. There’s a lot that goes into setting the stage.

SOAR with Network Fundraising offers an annual coaching program for $800. A fundraising program, in our world, is counter-productive if it breaks the bank.

SOAR offers the following services with a money-back guarantee.

600 minutes of coaching on Raising money/Marketing/growing Market share
Individual and group trainings each month
Digital guide – steps for increasing dollars by 126% in 4 months
Direct line to call for immediate feedback
Facebook tools/Social Media coaching
Monthly tips – Newsletter
Regular Progress reports

Pay $800 to start today! Click here

Refundable within 72 hours of purchase. Your first call is with the founder and CEO of SOAR, Gayle Gross. Together, a decision is made for how the program best suits your needs. No fit? Money back!

WHY SOAR?

“Gayle knows not only the non-profit sector, fund-raising and networking but is able to pull together all three to create a sustainable platform for current and future funding for non-profits. Her method is unique but not complicated and able to be implemented through the various levels of an organization. She is an excellent presenter and her system allows organizations to recognize their strengths and grow naturally.” Carrie D. Clarke, JD, ACC Certified Business & Executive Coach, Lawyer, Author, Co-founder of Hangar Tonight


A training Webinar is sent each month:

  1. Building Networks for Raising Money – Tools are provided, which help an organization grow their market share, which in turn raises more money. Proven methods are established and shared.
  2. Developing an Advocate ProgramAdvocates are people who help you share your mission, stand beside your cause, and become part of your mastermind group.
  3. Growing your V-formation (volunteer program) to Increase Awareness – A leader for your mission brings everything to greatness. Be the coach for Advocates and lead them to success.
  4. Impactful Collaborative Networking Events – A strategic opportunity for working together with other businesses is shared during this session.
  5. SOAR – the Acronym for Developing and Maintaining Relationships for Fundraising – SOAR is explained and examples are shared to assist you in growing your fundraising program.
  6. Networking Events – Putting Together the Right Event to Grow Market Share – There are simple and easy ways to create success in your program when you partner information with networking. Learn how!
  7. Deepening your Volunteer Program – How you give back in your fundraising program matters. This training is geared toward creating opportunities.
  8. Migrating into a New Fundraiser – A fundraiser is described and you’re taken through the process of implementation, step by step. This is NEW!
  9. Donor Inclusion to Enhance the Endgame – Including donors into your program is key to accomplishing the best possible result. Strategic plans are introduced and a working plan discussed.
  10. Nonprofit Cooperative Opportunities – How you work with others in the community (nonprofit and corporations) comes together in this session. Collaborative opportunities discussed.
  11. Becoming the Expert – A reflection from a trainer and fundraising professional to show you how to become the expert in your field.
  12. Managing the Fundraising Process – Project development, start to finish, in order to maintain your momentum and to achieve the desired results.

There’s a Monthly Call:

Twelve 50-minute calls are scheduled as part of the program. Imagine having the ability to share your ideas and get feedback from SOAR on a regular basis. 100% of the people SOAR coaches increase their fundraising. Many times – it’s double the dollars with half the effort!

People call anytime something comes up and they need help. A real person talks to you! You get the following.

  • Training as it relates to your mission
  • Goals developed & discussions on ways to maintain momentum
  • A follow-up report is provided after each call. Share this with your board!

Over the TOP Fundraising Team

coloraful V of peopleDon’t go alone! How long have we been preaching this to our kids. “Partner up!” It’s that simple.

The V-formation develops and runs your fundraiser successfully. What in the world!? A V-formation is a group of birds, flying in a flock, to get to where they want to go. That’s not me!

Are you sure? Wouldn’t you get further if you led a V-formation (Volunteer Formation)? It’s about managing your time effectively. WE ARE ALL TOO BUSY. Of course, we are. We don’t have time to hover over the nest. There are bigger and better things for fund raisers to be doing. Like…meeting new people and developing relationships.

We recommend building your V-formation first: Assigning roles and managing the process. BE THE LEADER!

SOAR helps people develop roles and manage processes. Learn more about SOAR’s leadership, the expert in fundaising.

V-formation is Everyone who…

  • Shares the cause and tells the story of how they are connected to your mission
  • Engages donors and sponsors (increases donations and lower costs)
  • Answers the following question with yes – “will this decision help us raise more money for our cause?”  If the answer is no, spending time on that item is avoided

Sample Roles for your team

1. Event Coordinator

2. Marketing Collaborator

3. Hospitality Chief

Building a strong V-formation depends on communication. There are lots of ways we communicate. People do have preferences. Figure them out!

$800 Leaders’ Program = Rounding out the Numbers!

One year of support for improving your fundraising program.

Learn more about SOAR participation by clicking here.

The Business to do it First in a Community WINS!

Step one: One person decides they want to spearhead the cause marketing program in their community and they are backed by their company to explore the ROI. It’s a perfect opportunity for a community relations person in a marketing department. It’s the way to develop a lasting, sustainable way to improve business, and it comes out of the goodness of your heart! It’s people to people marketing, relationship development, at its best.

SOAR opens doors for a new business owner to expand their market.

Look at this great list of perks you get when you choose to develop a nonprofit cooperative:

  • You are the only one being trained by SOAR in your county to implement the cooperative (as long as you remain in the program)
  • SOAR backs the program with 100% positive results for growing market share
  • You’re introduced to a philanthropic tool to market a business (cause marketing)
  • You learn a proven method to grow your market and achieve success
  • There are opportunities to create social impact
  • You’re guided to establish your role as the “Community Connector”
  • You become spotlighted as a prominent organization in the community because you’re giving in a sustainable way to a vulnerable segment of society
  • A reflection of change is prepared, through monthly progress reports, for the leaders of your company

Pay $15 and schedule the call to get started with increasing your market – click here!

We help you:

  • Establish communications within your community for the cooperative
  • Put together an effective growth plan

WHY A NONPROFIT COOPERATIVE?

Small communities (county population under 30,000) have put together nonprofit cooperatives to enhance individual success through group success. It’s the philosophy of giving back in order to move forward. Gayle Gross, founder and CEO of SOAR with Network Fundraising, lives by this philosophy. She gives nonprofits in small communities an opportunity to create their own success by developing a cooperative program. This program is usually spearheaded by a business hoping to create social impact by becoming the “community connector.”


BENEFITS OF A NONPROFIT COOPERATIVE

The Nonprofit Cooperative relieves donor fatigue. People get tired of being asked over and over again for money. Imagine – you are the business, which relieves this stress for other people in town. They will admire your effort. You become a hero in their eyes. Your business becomes the one people frequent and refer people to.

Donor fatigue happens a lot in small communities. It’s where the ratio of nonprofits to potential donors is lopsided. It is quickly apparent, the Nonprofit Cooperative lessens burnout for fundraising professionals. There’s an immediate support system among peers, nonprofit events cease to overlap, and people in the community begin to see the benefit of their unity. Organizations gain credibility. Marketing is often done together and this helps to reduce costs for the nonprofits who do not have expendable income.


WHO BENEFITS MOST IN A COMMUNITY?

Everyone!

  • For-profit businesses have the opportunity to spearhead the program and they get in touch with nonprofits in the community. All nonprofits have their network of followers. The for-profit also becomes the “community connector” in their area, which is a powerful marketing tool
  • Nonprofits learn how to collaborate effectively to increase their bottom line. There’s greater awareness and opportunities
  • The community is relieved of donor fatigue

what does it cost for a person to implement the nonprofit cooperative?

$15 or the initial call to discuss specifics with SOAR.

$1200 for a year of coaching plus $300 for materials.

Total is $1500 for an organization to learn the system, get training materials and to be coached for a year. (The $15 for the first call is deducted from the coaching fee.)

A person is encouraged to maintain the program for at least three years after the initial startup of the program. Maintenance includes three training calls and any documents, which are updated during the year. The fee is $300 per year. This fee can change. You can lock in the total price when you pay $2400 upfront. In total, $2400 is for four years of coaching to help you develop a sustainable platform for your cause marketing program.


WHY LISTEN TO SOAR’S FOUNDER AND GET INVOLVED?

Why listen to Gayle? It’s in your best interest if you want to grow market share and make money. There’s proven success 100% of the time. It pays to know where your money is going and if it will have the most impact. Follow her plan and it is guaranteed to grow beyond your expectations.

Ready? Make a payment of $15 for a first call (15 minutes) to discuss how the program looks for your community. It is determined during this call to be a good fit or not. Schedule call – click here!

Nonprofits Collaborate in Teller County, Colorado To Create Impact

The Nonprofit Cooperative in Teller County, Colorado is a project of SOAR with Network Fundraising. Organizations represented at the meeting on January 8 were:

  • Mountain Top Cycling Club
  • Teller County Farmer’s Market Association
  • Woodland Park Farmer’s Market
  • Woodland Park Main Street
  • Colorado Phoenix Project
  • Junior Achievement of Teller County
  • Pikes Peak Rotary Club
  • Lighter Side of Christmas Parade
  • Woodland Park Wind Symphony
  • Teller Safe Harbor
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Friends of Mueller State Park
  • UC Health
  • Friends of the Florissant Fossil Beds
  • Pikes Peak Historical Society
  • DayBreak – An Adult Day Program
  • Pikes Peak Lions Club
  • Our Lady of the Woods Catholic Church

Helping nonprofits develop into a collaborative effort is what SOAR is doing in Teller County. Organizations work together and create impact for their community through economic vitality. As a result of the meeting on January 8th, TCRAS changed the date of a fundraiser they have because it overlapped with something Habitat was doing on the same day.

Participants of the cooperative effort receive training on how to be impactful. It’s not a membership organization, it’s people who choose to work together for the better good of the organizations they represent.

Cooperative means everyone gets a vote, decisions are made as a group, and there’s greater potential for success while everyone works in tandem. Do you want to learn more about bringing this project to your small community? It increases exposure, opportunities, and market share (fundraising). Set up time to learn more about the program and how to be a participant. Email: iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com

Moving forward, an organization in the cooperative of Teller County has 23 opportunities to market their program. This includes attending trainings, collaborative networking events, participating in together-marketing campaigns, and attending happy hours.

The goal is to make SOAR’s project available in communities with less than 30,000 people. Be part of the movement and connect today.

Email: iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com

Event Planning, Marketing and Fundraising Through Events


Event Planning

Start with the idea and a simple plan. This is what you present to the people who will help you implement the idea.

  • Idea and simple plan (what, when, how, cost). Make sure to check the community calendar to make sure there’s no overlap with another event
  • Present to the people who will help to implement (include time commitment, role, and what’s in it for them). This is usually your board and/or volunteer team

Prepare to “give back” in a way that’s meaningful to the individuals helping you. It is important to know what this is before you ever ask anyone to do something for you.

Events are most-successful when the person leading the charge is not bogged down in the details. The “leader” becomes the person managing relationships and conducting follow up amongst the team.


Marketing An Event

  • Reserve marquees & sign space
  • Add to Community Calendars
  • Create social media posts and ask people to help by sharing (peer to peer)
  • Determine where you want to distribute advertisements (poster, banners, fliers) to determine quantity
  • Design and print marketing materials at least one month in advance and distribute (Have a catchy title and KNOW why people want to attend – make sure they understand WHY!! Make it personal)
  • Personal invitations to key stakeholders at least three weeks out (call is best) explaining the benefit to them for coming to your event. This could be a marketing initiative for them. They may get recognized. Your team can come up with a “script” and sit down to make calls together. This makes it fun
  • Keep a running list of people coming and provide a follow up message or call a few days before the event

Fundraising Through Events

  • Get to know the people attending your event
  • Have a volunteer with you, assisting with keeping track of the people you (leader) speak with. Write down suggested follow up, which is meaningful to an individual
  • Collect contact information from people who attend, a drawing can help if there’s no registration process
  • Develop a cultivation plan for deepening relationships with the people you meet (Thank you mailed, follow up email with something of interest for them, invitation to join organization’s Facebook page. These are all a good start!)
  • At your event, have information about the NEXT event/activity people can attend. It’s important to always have something coming up to invite people to. This can be a collaboration with another organization if you want. Think about who you’d like to partner with

Follow up is ongoing once a person becomes a donor.

Help a Donor Choose your Cause

Details below are given to businesses in order to help them choose a cause for their donation.

Excerpt from blog by Abby Quillen.

With more than 1 million non-profit foundations and charities in the U.S., it may be daunting to decide on a cause to support. Paradoxically, the more choices available, the harder it is to make a decision and act. Use these tips to find a cause that fits your company and gets results.

  • Find a charity that aligns with your company’s values
    What does your business do? What is your mission? If you’re in food service, for instance, maybe you’ll reach out to a non-profit focused on urban food insecurity or recycling. Or if you’re in the financial sector, you could look at one of the many nonprofits devoted to increasing financial literacy. Finding a charity that aligns with your company’s values is a great place to start.
  • Focus on impact
    Do you want to help women start small businesses, communities rebuild after disasters, children learn to read, or needy families have access to nutritious food? Visit a charity evaluator website, such as GiveWell, the Open Philanthropy Project, or the Foundational Research Institute, to compare the costs and effects of different interventions.
  • Do your research
    Before you commit to a cause, make sure it’s legitimate by checking a charity watchdog site such as CharityWatch, Charity Navigator, or BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Ideally, a charity should spend a majority of its funds on programs, not fundraising or administration.
  • Pay a visit
    By partnering with a local non-profit, you can help people in your local community and make it a better place to live. You’ll also have opportunities to sponsor team volunteer work days or local charity events. Before you partner with an organization, visit and observe their work first-hand.
  • Verify tax-exempt status
    Donations that meet certain requirements are tax-deductible. Before you commit to a cause, verify the non-profit group’s tax-exempt status by checking with the group or visiting the IRS website, and talk to your tax expert.

IMG_3399Gayle Gross developed a way for people to SOAR. Very valuable information is shared above, which is an the excerpt from the full article linked here at Zerocater.  Aligning a non-profit with a business to create social impact is paramount for today’s cause marketing approach. Gayle knows this and works with organizations to determine the best way to move forward in developing collaborative networking. There’s a program she helps organizations implement. It is the Nonprofit Cooperative. Contact SOAR to learn more!