Tag Archives: V-formation

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.

Coordinating a Process to Recognize Donors

Claire Windsor volunteers with the Heart Start Foundation (“HSF”) and has helped them retain 69% of their donors because of a donor-recognition program they now implement.

21% of donors say they never receive a thank you note. It’s the first step. A thank you lets a person know their donation was received. A simple thank you card, sent within 48 hours, is a good rule of thumb.

Don’t always ask for money. Invite your donors to events that are free and include the people you support. People really enjoy these because they see your work in action and they know you’re not going to ask for money. An example is the popular talent shows we have at HSF. Donors come because the voting is people’s choice. They get to be involved!

Keeping things organized and manageable. We keep an excel spreadsheet of the year’s activities, which includes the activity, date, cost, sponsor, and Volunteer Champion. There’s one Champion per activity. We use online calendars to create tasks. We just started using Trello. It’s an online project management tool. There’s a free version, which allows Champions to share progress with the foundation’s director.


These simple tools are provided “Cause We Care” and value the success of others. Send an email to iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com if you’d like to be represented in one of our articles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Successful Fundraising IS Being a Good Leader

You may be wondering how you can tell if you’re a good leader at fundraising. Well, let’s look at what you’re doing now to raise money.

  1. Do you have a process for raising money and if so, have you taught other people how to use the process?
  2. Are you currently meeting with a group of people focused on helping you with your organization’s mission? Do you consider those people partners in helping you to raise money? If so, can you gauge their involvement and see the results (in dollars) of their participation?
  3. Can the people helping you carry on the fundraising mission when you’re not with them?

There are five total questions.

  • Three “yes” answers = leading effectively
  • Four “yes” answers = leading others and getting results
  • Five “yes” answers = It’s time to back off and bring others up to your level – make them leaders. That’s what leaders do. GROW leaders around them and let them lead.

3D Leadership CrosswordWE are at five “yes” answers at SOAR and we’re ready to raise people up to lead! Why…

  • Raising money is a challenge, and we have alot of the answers, but not all of them. Other leaders will bring new perspective.
  • SOAR is a fundraising acronym, which reminds a person to do four things. We believe it’s time more people know how simple raising money can be when they follow an easy pattern
  • We consistently shift the natural pattern of I/we WANT to I/we HAVE and there’s no reason why more people can’t learn the system

Getting people to be leaders with SOAR – We provide a SOAR membership and it’s so inexpensive  – $15 /month or $180 per year. You get support to grow your community and raise more money. Learn more about membership here: Click Here!

We are willing to let a person sign up for the year all at one time with 20% off the cost.

If you want to pay for the year and get more value with 20% off – send an email to iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com and mention the SOAR 20% special.

 

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.

 

Getting donations because your non-profit gives the donors what they want

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
  • honesty
  • 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 – iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Partnering for Social Impact Includes Raising Money

“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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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. iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com

 

Need Help Raising Money? Do a Monthly!

A monthly…what is that? It’s a no-long-term commitment month of time where you get what you need to raise more money because WE’VE been in your shoes for a very long time. We’ve heard:

“Double gifts within the next six months.” (Double $23,000, oh my…)

“Raise $7000 within the next two months.” (There’s nothing in place for where to begin, oh my…)

“Raise enough money to cover your salary.” (Oh my, oh my, oh my…)

Losing sleep was the problem for CEO and founder of SOAR, Gayle Gross. She was working in relationship development and fundraising, just like you. The goals were high and they had to be met quickly, which she was able to do…by developing a system. But, that’s not why you’re here.

There’s a program we offer, which helps to get you on track for reaching your financial goal. We call it a “Monthly with SOAR.” There’s no strings attached, no continued commitment. We begin by doing an audit of your current systems because that’s where we find the simple tweaks you can make to shift momentum! Honestly, we do what we do because not everyone has the ability to see things close up, and it’s hard to step back to see things objectively.

You begin a “monthly” by answering a questionnaire. Here’s the beginning:

  • What is your current individual goal for dollars raised?
  • By when would you like to achieve this?
  • How do you prepare for an ask?
  • What happens after the ask – when you get the money and when you don’t get the money?
  • And, so on…

We include a Link to pay in an email when you decide to move forward. But, talk to us first to see if it is a good fit. It is $225 for a month of focused direction to achieve your goal. This includes:

  • Open lines of communication, which means calls are welcome and encouraged. We take and answer questions related to your fundraising program and what you’ve hoping to accomplish
  • An audit of current systems, which includes suggested areas to tweak for better results
  • Steps are determined to accomplish goals. And, we put the parameters in place based on the audit and what we work on together
  • There’s an in-person visit (video conference for people outside Colorado Springs area) and at least one voice call scheduled for coaching
  • Fundraising templates are shared based on what you need

Businesswomen have a breakDenise at ESM in Colorado Springs said just yesterday that the calls really help her focus. She always has so many things going on and we talk once a week for twenty minutes. She feels it helps to get her back on track. She has also taken the bull by the horns and is hosting SOAR’s networking events to get the word out. Again, this is for another day!

Email iwantto@soarwithnetworkfundraising.com with your questions or schedule time to chat about a Monthly with SOAR. See the calendar by clicking this link. Gayle is the founder and CEO of SOAR. She takes time to work with everyone to accomplish their goal.

One more example: A major gifts officer from a local college just began this program. The goal is to come to you where you are, metaphorically. We begin at whatever level you’re at; beginning fundraiser or advanced officer with a desire to freshen things up.

Why People Donate & Why They Avoid You if You’re Asking for Gifts

Have you ever asked people why they give? This can be a donation of time, money, or resources. It is crucial to know why a person gives if you’re looking for donations. It is also important to know why some people may avoid you!

The top reason a person gives, believe it or not, is because someone they know has asked them to give and they want to help. Simple and sweet!

The next eight reasons for why people give, according to experience:

  1. Usually a person or someone they know is affected by what the mission is helping. They donate with a feeling to alleviate need.
  2. People give because of what they get in return. It could be a good feeling, tax benefit, recognition, or some sort of driving force they achieve for another mission
  3. People often feel emotionally moved by someone’s story. It becomes a personal connection and they have a desire to help
  4. A person wants a sense of closeness to a community or group
  5. There’s a desire to memorialize someone
  6. Charitable family traditions – it’s the way a person was brought up
  7. A person wants to leave a legacy
  8. The feeling of being fortunate and wanting to help others

Going back to the TOP reason about why people give; people asking people they know AND getting the donation.

The reality is – there’s a downside. People get tired of being asked again and again to give. The sense of obligation soon subsides and a person being asked begins to avoid the person asking. Take a simple test:

  • Are your calls going unanswered, again and again?
  • Do you feel the notes you send get lost in the mail?
  • Do you leave a lot of voice messages, which are rarely returned?

Answering yes to any of these questions shows there’s a problem. We can help. There’s a quick remedy. Read on.

Develop a fundraising system, which does not rely on the same people giving over and over again because the group you ask continues to grow AND you know them. When you ask – they will give!

At SOAR we work with progressive people and organizations. Become part of our network, Get Free Tips – click here!

We also offer a look at your fundraising system through this quiz. Click here!

 

 

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: