Keeping a development professional longer than the average 18 months is important to a successful run at growing community and raising money. The Founder of SOAR stood in the shoes of a development professional for a corporation and also a non-profit for many years. Corporations call fundraising “increasing market share.” Non-profits call it creating sustainability.
UNTIL SOAR developed there was stress, loss of sleep, and she was driven to work long hours UNTIL a successful system was put into place. She discovered following four simple steps created results and kept her focused. Other people in the organizations where she worked were not worrying about how the money was raised. They just wanted the results.
The development professional – SOAR’s founder – was in a very unhealthy situation UNTIL the successful system (SOAR) created astounding results – WINNING results – quickly and efficiently within four months. STRESS & LOSS OF SLEEP ended immediately and the role of the development professional became a job of managing relationships instead of begging for money. There were people helping to raise money! Dollars continued to increase as community began to GROW.
The truth is, people liked the process so much it increased the market share 126% in four months. SOAR’s program was published and a membership program built. Now, development professionals come to SOAR for support. They pay $34 a month for the privilege of having a fundraising professional in their corner.
Support with SOAR membership looks like this (three highlights):
- Group contact with other fundraising professionals to get ideas AND see what really works prior to investing too much time and energy
- Trainings and meetings for development professionals are organized – you just show up
- SOAR is available for your call – you can share what you’ve having trouble with and SOAR offers advice on the best steps to proceed
Ready to spend $34 on your future success with fundraising – click here!
Unsure of how SOAR fits into your current fundraising program? Schedule a brief strategy call – click here!
We love this statement by Amy Clinton, “The overall success of a grant writer should ultimately be measured by whether or not the organization for which that person is writing grants is building relationships and program credibility with funders and achieving incremental increases in grant funding revenues.”
Recently, an organization in our community saw the deletion of a grant they depended on. It was something they had received for years and at the end, the $125,000 they received last year, just went away without warning. That destroys programs and, it did! The program it funded was shut down.
Relationships and program credibility – how are you building them?
Tip #1: Share your message as often as you can with as many people as you can in the most-effective way.
Tip #2: Offer opportunities for people to be involved in your program and even invite the people within the organization/foundation granting money. They are not likely to attend but will appreciate the thought of inclusion to see how their money is being used.
Tip #3: Accept the way people participate in your program. This helps you to keep momentum going and maintains a positive perspective. A happy person says good things and can provide a testimonial for you later on. This looks good on applications.
Tip#4: Respect and appreciate everyone within your community. By this, we mean anyone associated with your mission and your organization. The same is true with those organizations offering similar services. Maintain the feeling of abundance. There’s enough to go around. Be thankful. SOAR (acronym for relationship development, which is outlined above).
Consider the following data, also provided by Amy Clinton (see her full article):
1. If an organization is submitting applications to already-established funders who know them well, they can expect:
a. For existing programs, high success rates, up to 90 percent
b. For expanding existing programs, good success rates, up to 80 percent
c. For new programs, lower success rates, generally 30 to 40 percent
2. If submitting applications to NEW funders, an excellent success rate would be 30 to 40 percent
3. If submitting applications to a combination of existing and new funders, an organization should expect a success rate of between 50 and 60 percent.
#soarwithnetworkfundraising assists organizations and individuals when they are determining the best way to GROW Community among their constituents. Increasing market share and raising money goes hand in hand. It’s easy when you choose to SOAR.
Basically, “in the bag” means your fundraising is secured! You know it’s true because you’ve already accomplished the goal. Whew – a sigh of relief.
Last quarter of the year…is it really in the bag or are you kidding yourself?
As a nonprofit, it can be hard to focus on year-end goals when it’s only August. You undoubtably wear many hats in the organization. It can be even harder to decide what you need to do to achieve success when you’re still trying to meet Q2 or Q3 financial goals. Q4 builds powerful momentum for 2019. Speaking of ways to do this:
1. HAVE A CONSISTENT STORY TO SHARE
A story builds trust in your mission. It has the potential to increase donations when the story is one people repeat to others. The same story has time to build momentum, and you’ll also save resources when you avoid creating something new. ALL. THE. TIME.
2. CUSTOMIZE HOW YOU COMMUNICATE
A donor is different than someone new learning about your program. Look at your connections and specifically at your monthly donation amounts. Align the way you communicate with different donor segments. Check your social media accounts to see which posts get the most engagement, and build articles for newsletters and subsequent posts based upon those topics. Share with people donating to your organization (time, money, resources).
Customizing communication increases trust in your organization.
3. APPRECIATE DONORS AND VOLUNTEERS
Connect with highly engaged donors and volunteers, who frequently support your mission. They are your advocates. They share your mission with others in a GOOD way when they feel respected. Now is the time to make sure there’s a program of appreciation in place, which is well-developed within your organization.
4. CONNECT WITH BUSINESSES AND SPONSORS
Increase awareness and revenue for your nonprofit when you grow the awareness of your organization within your community. Meet with people and share your mission. This is not asking people for donations unless they are ready to give.
Get to the top of your market because people have confidence and trust in you. Take the test! Prove it. Here’s a quick way to decipher your trustworthiness:
- Do you serve the best interests of others?
(Not your own interests)
- Do you communicate all the information people need to be successful?
(Don’t make assumptions about what you think “they can handle”. Leaders who underestimate the intelligence of their teams generally overestimate their own.)
- Do you keep your commitments?
(Leaders must watch their words because even a casual comment can be interpreted as a commitment.)
Keeping commitments is very important to establish trust.
SOAR is dedicated to helping businesses, non-profits and donors build community. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
A list, compiled through donor interviews, is below. These are the common answers for what a donor wants in order to feel good about a donation they make.
- good community standing for the non-profit they donate to
- a non-profit that works with others to pool resources
- respected fundraising tools
- fiscal responsibility of how they spend the gifts they get
- not being asked again and again for gifts to fund the same purpose
- donation they make reflect positively on themselves
- a feel-good system in place for everyone involved
- a well-outlined strategic plan for the future of how the money they give now impacts the future
- a realistic fundraising plan with resources already in place
- realistic and clear goals determined by the non-profit
- financial report to share
- legitimate mission, vision and purpose defined
- adequate service area in the community
- impact metrics for when their donation is made
- a way to connect the donor to the mission
- updates on progress as well as outcomes of their gift
- ways to create a personal connection for the donor
- respect for the donor (thank you’s and acknowledgements done promptly)
- a trustworthy cause to give to, meaning the non-profit accepts responsibility, and stands by their decisions
- attention to solicitation requests made – the number sent, the messaging, and the follow through afterwards
- Transparency of the organization and all systems (they do not want to be asked by more than one person for the same thing)
- a way for the donor to make a difference with whatever they give
- heart-warming stories
- clear explanation of need so there’s no guessing
- excellent customer service
- a way to solicit donors for advice
- a way for donors to be heroes
- online systems – updated and accurate
- good communications
- photos of how dollars are impacting society – the results
- an organized way to volunteer their time
A person who feels good about their donation opens the door for others to give because they share their great experience. It also gives them the idea to give again, and to potentially give more.
SOAR is a relationship program, an acronym, which covers all the bases for helping non-profits coordinate the above list. It’s a way to grow market share and increase dollars.
S – share your message
O – offer opportunities for involvement
A – accept the way people want to participate
R – respect and appreciate others
People who SOAR spread their networking arms, expand their market, and increase the dollars they raise. They SOAR – all of the time with practices they implement. To learn more – email@example.com
- You have choices to make.
- You weigh the options while educating yourself.
- You make a choice.
This is an ideal scenario but it’s not always the way it goes.
A corporation growing market share (AKA raising money) often limits their options to what they’ve always done and then expects different results. You’ve probably heard a quote, often attributed to Albert Einstein:
“Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results.”
Insanity is a BAD choice when it comes to building confidence in your community for increasing market share. People wonder why an organization is STILL ASKING for money. Why have they NOT MET their financial goal? Will they ever be sustainable? Are they using their dollars wisely? Many times a development professional at an organization becomes the scapegoat. In reality, it costs more money to replace that professional than to work on building them into the model fundraiser. Most times, an employee challenged with raising money is so lost on what to do, they lose sleep at night, and their health deteriorates. Their self-esteem suffers. They feel they’ve let the organization down. They stop trying because it’s too painful.
Organizations choosing to SOAR lighten the burden on their fundraising professional. SOAR is an acronym for a system. People who have followed the program double awareness within two months. They increase fundraising 126% in four months. The metrics in every scenario are off the charts. SOAR only works with organizations and a fundraising professional who are willing to step outside of their box and see relationship building as a necessary tool for raising money.
CAUTION: Grants and donors seeking tax benefits are NOT guaranteed. Recently, a client lost their $100,000 block grant. It’s something they’d received for many years. Now, GONE with the blink of an eye. Fortunately, they are growing their program with SOAR. They’ve found ways to educate people about their mission. They are developing a culture with people in the community. They will survive.
Your choice is to SOAR for success. Discuss options. Schedule a quick call by clicking here.
People who follow up in a timely manner achieve greater success. It’s a bold statement. Do you agree? Take a look at someone who is doing well in growing their future. They share their message and then what?
OFFER opportunities to be involved. It’s the “O” in SOAR. First, you share your message and then make an offer. A person must follow up with individuals they shared their message with. The follow up includes an offer for the person contacted to participate in something for free with “no sale” involved. This is required for the next step in developing a solid relationship.
Timelier follow up is best. Meet today, call tomorrow, benefit forever. Does the benefit mean it’s a sale? Benefits arrive in many ways. Consider the basic fact and keep this with you, we feel joy within ourselves when following through on something. The act of contacting someone, preferably via phone because it allows for two-way conversation, brings enlightenment. Again – in many ways.
There’s one thing, which rings true time and time again. You’re encouraged to take notice. Following up gets put on the “low priority list” nine times out of ten. People get too busy with what’s next and forget about what’s happened. Those “easy” leads coming forward lose power over time. The longer we wait the more we lose.
Following up is truly THE KEY for moving forward in growing just about anything. This is a bold statement, in bold lettering, for a reason. People are encouraged to address the underlying reason for why they put less effort into following up when IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP in building trust for relationships.
Take the scenario of follow up calls – Have you been a procrastinator? Hands going up. YES, we all tend to put off for today what we can do tomorrow. The following list has been helpful for people wanting to shake this
- Set up a favorite spot to do calls and go there with the intent of ONLY doing calls
- Get comfortable with your favorite coffee or tea
- Avoid distractions (i.e. when doing calls happens at home, avoid doing laundry at the same time)
- Jump right in – the sooner the better (Meet today, call tomorrow, benefit forever)
- Always have something to invite people to participate in. This is the next step. This is offering opportunities. This comes in many forms.
SOAR offers 10 – 15 minute calls to anyone interested in talking more about growing market share. This is the next step we offer to you for increasing your market share. Schedule a call through this link and speak with the founder and CEO of SOAR.
Reality – we impact and are impacted.
Social impact is something we hear a lot about. Businesses are choosing to give time, dollars and resources to organizations who create impact and offer value in return. During your next board meeting – make a list of the ways you’re giving back to the people giving to your organization. This goes for everyone! Every business has other people involved. A client gives any business they frequent their support. This, in turn, raises money.
Everyday reality changes. Let’s talk about how you do business. Stuck in what worked twenty years ago? Stuck in what worked a year ago? You know everything is time sensitive in this ever-changing world, right? You may have noticed what has worked in the past is not working as well any longer. It’s because we’re not in the same space any longer. It’s the impact of reality.
Staying on top of reality takes balance and the ability to move quickly. Stuck doesn’t work anymore. SOAR works with boards to create reality through natural talents and focused directional shifts. Something, which always remains true is the desire for success. The reality is – it’s something we can impact and it will definitely impact us!
By Gayle Gross
Companies are more cautious about revealing too much about their philanthropic activities, for fear of:
- being inundated with requests they cannot fill.
- raising the expectations of potential beneficiaries in a good year.
- angering shareholders who may perceive the company’s charitable activity as giving away profits, or who don’t approve of the organizations or causes supported.
- losing public support by giving to something considered controversial.
http://granspace.org is a great resource. The information above was borrowed from their website for this article.
Companies giving gifts requires a delicate balance. Engagement on behalf of the non-profit is important PRIOR to an ask.
I worked for a bank and EVERYDAY new requests for donations came in. EVERYDAY is not an exaggeration. I could add 1 – 3 new requests every day and on average it would still be correct. People the bank didn’t know came walking in the door with all of the right tools. The request letter, statement about their need, and a brochure about themselves.
Eventually, companies get the the point where there has to be a “giving back” component to the ask. What is the non-profit giving in return? Over time a strategic system began to develop at the bank. In 2017 the system was named and training others on the program began. There’s one catch. YOU have to SOAR and not be afraid to leave the ground!
At the bank, giving changed. Requests came in and they were strategically organized by which ones we could truly help. The reality was, we didn’t have a lot of money to give at the time. Instead, we did something new. The request would be for $5000 and we’d give $1000 along with resources (training) on how to fundraise $4000 more dollars. I’d sit on non-profit boards, and represent the bank through development functions. In the end, everyone grew market share! People saw the bank helping others in a new way.
SOAR goes above the basics for fundraising and lifts organizations into collaborative partnerships. Businesses, large and small, partner with non-profit(s) to create social impact where everyone benefits.
See what SOAR is…
Gayle Gross is the founder and CEO of SOAR. It’s time more businesses connect to increase market share. Collaborative Networking Events are making it happen! Email Gayle to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org
“87% will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about and 76% will refuse to purchase a company’s products or services upon learning it supported an issue contrary to their beliefs.” Talk about pressure for businesses. This was taken from a communication case study in 2017.
Corporate social responsibility was defined and now businesses must pay attention. How are businesses you know impacting society? People are paying attention to the causes they support and businesses, in turn, are being more strategic with the money they donate. Talk about pressure for non-profits.
Let’s be real. Even SOAR thinks strategically about the best connections when preparing for a Collaborative Networking Event. We offer an opportunity, which puts businesses and non-profits together. Consider it a selection process or a way to support multiple organizations for growing their programs. A Collaborative Networking Event supports leaders in the community, non-profits and businesses. People interested in having these kinds of events have two options to learn how to do them.
- There’s the 1:1 with SOAR ($225 per month) for as many months as it takes to develop the program. The organization paying the invoice determines when they are done.
- Or, an organization takes part in a virtual workshop ($129 one time).
We encourage clients to pre-plan how they want to engage in the program. A client is a for-profit or non-profit business – period. They can come onboard individually or together.
FAQ – What’s the best way to learn the system? Depends on who’s learning. The visual presentation through the virtual workshop is great. It does include a follow up call. You just don’t get the 1:1 coaching like a person paying the $225 though.
FAQ – Can we purchase both programs and get the coaching calls included with each? Of course. There’s one call with the virtual workshop and two calls with the 1:1. That’s three calls! Sounds like a smart move. The cost for both. Well, you can do the math!
Learn more about workshops HERE and see if this is what you’re interested in. You are also welcome to send an email with specific questions about 1:1 coaching. email@example.com