When talking about a fundraising campaign the first question usually is, â€œWhatâ€™s the goal?â€ The higher the number the more impressed we are. I have enough grey hairs to remember when a billion was a big deal. Now a billion seems quaint as USC continues its quest for $6 billion. In the hyper-competitive world of higher education fundraising can the $10 billion campaign be far off?
In the middle of all of this â€œmy goal is bigger than your goalâ€ activity I came across a campaign with no goal at all: The Great Give at Florida State University. A 36 hour on-line campaign, donors could select from 24 programs. There was no overall goal - only a cost next to each program.
Despite the campaign having the misfortune to be launched at exactly the moment the world was focused on the police closing in on the Boston Marathon bombing suspects (April 18-19), it raised nearly $114,000. $57,000 a day is not too...
The 2013 State of the Sector Survey, conducted by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, has a wealth of data regarding where nonprofits are today â€“ and more importantly â€“ where they are heading. Today I want to focus on the survey question pertaining, â€œFinance & Operations Actions in the Last or Next 12 Months," and in particular the 39% which answered yes to â€œChange the main ways in which you raise & spendÂ moneyâ€ in the last or next 12 months.
While 39% is impressive, what I found even more striking was the year-over-year change â€“ 15%. Clearly nonprofit leaders are getting tired of doing the same things and being disappointed when they donâ€™t get different results.
What kinds of changes can we expect? A clue is the number one answer â€“ â€œAttend conferences or network to build relationships.â€ People are hungry for answers, but they are also looking for fresh ideas and perspectives (or at least 58% of them are). The 46% planning...
One of my favorite lessons about faith is the story of a man caught in a flood praying to be saved as the water rises. Two boats, and a helicopter, come and are sent off as he trusts that his prayers will be answered. When he eventually drowns and goes to heaven he asks - why did you not answer my prayers? The simple answer, "I sent two boats, and a helicopter."
I am reminded of this story when I hear about what fundraisers, and others involved in philanthropy, say is needed to be successful. There never seems to be enough information, technology, personnel, and good donors. Imagine telling this tale at the pearly gates. I'm not sure aÂ sympatheticÂ audience awaits.
Do you really want to make the case for information being in short supply? Is the technology available not amazing enough for you? Good people seem hard to find, but how many good people have left your organization in frustration? And with...
The IRS report on unrelated business income at colleges and universities reminded me of the potential perils of creating revenue from activities unrelated to your mission. I am not thinking about the tax consequences; I will leave that to the folks in Washington. I am pondering the consequences to the mission, and by association, fundraising.
This issue first came to my attention while I was working with a well-known university. We were discussing the giving patterns of affluent alums when a major gifts officer lamented about people who only made a gift in a year when they went on the alumni trip.
These were not ordinary trips. They were 10-14 day adventures combining exotic locations and encounters with famous people. Faculty who were experts in the areas being explored rounded out the experience.
Soon after this I was at a museum delivering their screening results and heard the same comment. Edu-cations had become all the rage and it certainly made sense for the...
A recent study by SEI Private Wealth Management revealed insights into what would make U.S. Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (average wealth of $11 million in this case) give more. Before we get to that, letâ€™s first look at the potential upside:
The average increase across all segments is 63%! So how do we make that happen?
The first two items are out of our control, but the next two are right in philanthropyâ€™s wheelhouse â€“ passion and impact â€“ or at least they should be. One would think given their wealth these individuals are being approached by a number of organizations and their alma maters, so whatâ€™s missing?
With all of the need in the world (and all of the organizations saying they will meet those needs), hearing people say they are not able to find something to be passionate about and want to more clearly see the impact of their giving, is frankly depressing. We have the greatest product in the...