Tag Archives: Learning how to raise money

Engage business partners when fundraising to get the best results

Build fundraising into the framework of engagement for local businesses.

  • Meetings and activities for SOAR’s Co-Op happen within brick and mortar business locations to promote developing partnerships and potential sales/service
  • In-kind donation opportunities by a business help to offset the frequent “ask” for donations, which is a common complaint contributing to donor fatigue

Use it as a platform to develop a model for giving back

  • SOAR’s Co-Op increases communication, which promotes being on the same page as well as resolving conflicts
  • The Co-Op becomes a central donation/distribution hub when the right parameters are in place. This relieves businesses from constantly being asked and potentially feeling that if they do not comply they will lose business
  • Communities thrive when people give back in meaningful ways. Meaningful depends on knowing each other’s likes and dislikes and caring enough to always make it a positive experience.

Offer the program as a marketing opportunity

  • Trainings and networking events are built into the program, which promote the development of professional relationships
  • People have an opportunity to “be the trainer” and at the same time promote their business. This is when getting to know the business owner or who they have working in their shop truly makes a difference. Someone operating a cash register may have previous experience in event planning. They can be the experts in the field when it comes to training nonprofits on the topic at Co-Op meetings. It’s shining the spotlight on talents and creating goodwill at the same time

Added Bonus!

  • The fee to participate in the Nonprofit Cooperative is adjustable. The total left over at the end of the year is equal to a fundraiser.

The participation fee does not raise a lot of money although there are ways to expand upon the model to make fundraising more affective. For example:

  • Events have sponsors
  • Activities and increased sales at Main Street business locations develop into positive stories. Use these when writing grant requests

SOAR works with organizations to implement the Nonprofit Cooperative

  • SOAR shares the message of how the Co-Op benefits an organization’s mission
  • An organization chooses to develop a Nonprofit Cooperative in their community, which adds a longer philanthropic arm to their mission
  • SOAR analyzes the potential for success through discovery with key stakeholders and additional research. A proposal is presented when a better than average rating is achieved.
  • A partnership develops between SOAR and the organization, which normally lasts through the implementation phase or up to one year

Fundraising Goals – In the Bag!

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 iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com with questions.

 

Raising Money? A Result of Good Choices.

  • 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.

 

 

 

Seeking 5 Innovative Fundraisers

SEEKING 5 innovative fundraisers to become winners with SOAR!

SOAR gives back and now, one fundraiser in each of the 5 areas of the U.S. will be selected to learn SOAR’s system without cost. Send an email with “why you” described.

Send no more than 200 words by April 20 to iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com Put “Innovative Fundraiser” in the subject line.

SOAR’s system has the potential to increase gifts 126% in four months and 371% in sixteen months and we want you to WIN the opportunity to participate. The value is $8000! Your simple reason for why you’re a good selection is important. We will do phone interviews beginning April 23.

Areas for selections are diagramed below:

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Ready to Give Up on Fundraising? TALK

Have a simple conversation. There are two kinds – Motivational and Informational. They are both important when you’re ready to throw in the towel. You make these conversations happen in order to increase your enthusiasm.

Motivational conversations are with people who are: 

  • Supportive of our mission – who is that? Can you think of a couple of people who are interested in the work you do?
  • While thinking of names think about – is this person positive? Are they going to see things from a good perspective? Ask yourself – will they raise my spirit?
  • Creativity is important. A person with the ability to see the big picture and come up with ideas to help you get through the valley of doubt. KEY player!

Informational conversations remind us why we do what we do. They also increase our desire to achieve success because they happen when we are sharing our mission with others. These conversations are with people we interact with spontaneously. They are: 

  • People in stores, at restaurants, coffee shops, at the park and anyone we begin a conversation with while passing by.
  • Members of groups where we spend our time. This could be at work, church, during extracurricular activities and hobbies, or at networking events.
  • Someone we talk with at events and parties.

A conversation reminds you why you do what you do and how important your role is. NO DOUBT there are times when the amount of dollars you have to raise is overwhelming and you’d rather shut down and run to where there’s comfort. Go there, for sure, but only for a short time. Consider it an opportunity to refresh.

Need a good conversation? Schedule a complimentary motivational call with SOAR. See our calendar.

SOAR with Network Fundraising helps people all of the time! Here’s a Feb. 2018 testimonial:

Crossing the Gap of Fundraising

Answers to the following questions are your framework for crossing the gap:

  1. How do you educate people about your organization?
  2. What action steps do you have in place already?
  3. Where do you position yourself in the market?
  4. How do you plan to achieve your fundraising goal? Refer to your fundraising plan.

We began working with an organization February 8 who answered the questions the following way. The updated answers follow (2 months in).

  • How do you educate people about your organization?
    • Feb. 8 – We share our message through newsletters. We invite people to come into our office and we show them around. We do pretty good with our Facebook page. We are members of the chamber and go to events.
    • April 5 – We invite people to a networking event and facility tour at our location each month. We reach out to our partners, invite them and encourage them to become advocates because of the benefits we offer in return.
  • What action steps do you have in place?
    • Feb. 8 – We invite people to come in and learn about us. They can volunteer too.
    • April 5 – We designed a postcard invite for our networking events and tour. We give these out to people at events, and encourage advocates to share. We developed benefits for our advocates and share this with people. We train people on how to talk about our services. We talk more about our services and invite more people in. There’s momentum building.
  • Where do you position yourself?
    • Feb. 8 – We help people who are ____________. We have grown so much these last couple of years as more people have gotten to know who we are but our fundraising program is struggling. We host an annual event and two years ago we had 300 people attend. Last year we had 200. We have not met our fundraising goal but feel changing our event to a dinner will help.
    • April 5 – As a leader in the community. We educate people on services and we help people to get back on their feet. I love my job. It’s super, super busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • How do you plan to achieve your fundraising goal?
    • Feb. 8 – We will host our annual event in six months. Most people cannot come during the day so we’re doing a dinner instead of a lunch. We’ve already secured a speaker and the location. We will host in six months. Invitations will be sent to our mailing lists.
    • April 5 – Continue moving forward one day at a time. Keep this system that’s building active, among all of the other things I have to do. Our level of success is when we continue to move toward the goal. The process will take time but we will get there and it will be beneficial because of the relationships we’re building.

The statements above were paraphrased. The organization mentioned here learned about the program described in the book “SOAR with Network Fundraising” on

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February 8. They have chosen to begin hosting networking events and to follow the system through consulting.

SOAR

  • Share your message with others
  • Offer opportunities for people to be involved
  • Accept the way people want to be involved
  • Respect and appreciate all people, ideas, and decisions

 

networkingeventadvocates

SOAR offers monthly, six month, and year-long programs. There is also a fundraising workshop during the summer, July 6 and 7, in Colorado. This is for people to learn the system and resource the tools to help grow a fundraising program. Learn about the different avenues to be involved through this link. 

Simple Steps for Building Networks to Raise Money

Collaborative Networking Events – THE way to spread your wings and SOAR! This is when you partner a business, nonprofit, sponsor and attendees. The business and the sponsor may be one in the same.

  • Business – provides location
  • Sponsor – pays for event amenities (food, etc)
  • Non-profit – featured during presentation
  • Attendees come to NETWORK and will see the presentation

The Collaborative Networking Event is a mix n’ mingle partnered between two presentations. SOAR is an acronym for a relationship management style. Network Fundraising is the system. SOAR with Network Fundraising is described in a book – by the same name. There are also educational platforms described on the website. soarwithnetworkfundraising.org

Why network at all?

  • Develop relationships for business
  • Grow market share
  • Create sustainability

When does networking really work?

  • Growth happens within your network because of reciprocal services you provide to others
  • Reciprication happens when you’re giving back in meaningful ways because you know what someone values.

Networking methods – there are many. The one to consider, which happens officially in three meetings, is 1:1 networking.

  • Meeting #1
    • Learn more about the individual
    • Listen to ideas
    • Determine where there’s an overlap
    • Mutually share information about networks
  • Meeting #2
    • Offer support in meaningful ways
    • Add value
    • Determine how to recognize
    • Provide network leads and opportunities
  • Meeting #3
    • Determine the best way to develop a collaboration
    • Make the ask

SOAR with Network Fundraising – the book on Amazon – Click to order

Let’s connect on Social Networks

  • soarwithnetworkfundraising.com (FB)
  • gaylegross.com (FB)
  • gayle_gross (Twitter)
  • Linkedin.com/in/gaylegross (LinkedIn)

The V formation for Fundraising

The V formation is a volunteer format. Think of birds flying in a flock.

V Formation is a pattern most often used by a flock of birds. Birds maintain a healthy balance and do not get tired while flying because they lift each other up. Their wings create an updraft as the flock works together to reach its common goal. They soar.

Leaders and Followers are part of the V formation for birds. They have a leader at the head of the V formation and there are many followers, which form the flock. The leader drops back into the flock when they become tired. Another bird takes over the lead when this happens in order to continue the momentum.

Building a V formation for your fundraising efforts starts with you, the leader of fundraising. There’s a three step process, which involves meeting with a person you’d like to bring on board. We (SOAR with Network Fundraising) suggest putting the process into three months because it takes time to build relationships but you can change it. Each situation is different.

Month 1: Leader meets with an individual to learn more about them, listens to their ideas, and determines where the organization and individual overlap. In addition, they also share information about the networks where they each belong. This is considered a one to one (“1:1”) networking meeting.

Month 2: Leader supports the individual in ways, which are meaningful for them and adds value to their business or other interests. The Leader determines how this new person likes to be recognized, and provides network leads and opportunities.

Month 3: Leader determines the best way to integrate the new person into the formation as an Advocate and makes the ask with an established role already in mind.

  • People want to know how much time they are committing to you for your V formation
  • They want to know what their job description looks like
  • The biggest and most important thing to remember is that these people are giving of their time to you and to your organization. This is energy they can spend elsewhere – be appreciative

 

 

The 8th thing to do when asking for money!

1.) KNOW the person/organization you’re asking. AND, know why they will say yes when you ask for a donation. Ideas for getting to know them:

  • Invite them to attend activities you’re hosting (when you’re not asking for money or anything else in return) so you can talk and learn
  • Take a genuine interest in the things they do
  • Get involved in things they support
  • Attend something of their choosing

2.) Discover a general overlap of interests. This helps with building lasting relationships. It is always good to focus part of your appointments on a friendly discussion. Ideas:

  • FORM – family, occupation, relationships and mission/message

3.) Avoid boring anyone with information they already know. ASK for perspectives upfront. Find out what is already known and what participants would like to learn. Questions to ask to get clear:

  • What would you like to get from today’s meeting?
  • How would you see me being more involved in your mission?
  • Do you have a specific interest in the mission I’m involved with?

4.) Set an agenda for your meeting. Let anyone involved with the meeting know the meeting’s agenda. Also, ask anyone involved to add items ahead of time. Tips:

  • Set the agenda one week in advance
  • Send the agenda to everyone with a deadline date for adding new items
  • Always have the last section scheduled for new business and setting the next meeting

5.) Determine mutual benefit. Share this when asking for an appointment. What will the attendees gain through your meeting?

6.) ASK for the donation. Realize the benefit of giving to your organization and feel good about someone doing so. When you know why they will say yes it is time to ask.

7.) Thank everyone involved with a phone call and/or hand written note. Respect and appreciate others for the time they give to you.

If we were to add #8 it would be to attach yourself to a system for fundraising. Whether it is one you develop or one you adopt from someone else. A system is the way you implement fundraising. SOAR lays some groundwork below for our system.

Share your message with others.

Offer opportunities for people to be involved with your mission.

Accept the way people want to participate.

Respect and appreciate others.

We also have a networking event, which helps organizations increase their volunteer base, engage people interested in growing the program, and see the benefit for being involved. Want to learn more? See this link.

 

 

Raising Money & Building Networks!

“The more people you know, the more places you’ll go.” Sounds like a familiar quote, right? It’s close but not quite the same as Dr. Seuss (if you’re wondering).

Building networks goes hand in hand with raising money and increasing market share. Take the text literally. The more people you know and share your message with, the more growth you’ll have. NOW, the caveat. There are ways to do this without appearing overt and this is where developing your skill comes in.

“I want what I want, not what I need” may seem familiar if you know the band The Federal Empire. Take this text literally and ask for what’s needed while also giving what’s needed to the person you’re asking. Confused? You’re not alone. What a person needs is not always what they ask for because they ask for what they want, remember? There are ways to get everything sorted out to put yourself on the right path toward achieving fundraising success and asking for what you need. There’s a simple system, which you may not want to do BUT it is what you need to do!

Organizations go through growing pains – that’s right – growth in fundraising through a new system causes the same pain you feel while growing in other ways. The good thing is that it doesn’t last long. The reality is 4 – 8 weeks and then, the process and persistence pays off. It’s happening now. Statistics prove raising money is done through building networks. SOAR is the way to go when you’re ready to fly.

FREE strategy sessions available – Schedule Now – Click Here!