Tag Archives: Moves Management

What Can You Do to Raise Money Today?

The pandemic’s effects do not seem to be easing. We are quarantine fatigued, still social distancing, and, even in states which are re-opening, we are confronting unemployment rates that have not been seen since the Great Depression. Nonprofits have been furloughing or laying off personnel, and, in some cases, eliminating staff positions, all in an effort to reduce expenses. There are justifiable concerns that donations will be down, membership dues will go unpaid, and pledges may go unfulfilled.

So, what can you do to raise money today?

  1. If you have not checked in with your donors, members, volunteers and other important supporters, do so ASAP. As with all stewardship, you don’t want every contact to be an ask so just call to check in.
  2. Consider donor pledges, grant applications and current grants that have yet to be paid. For each commitment due by June 30th, make a phone call. Some will tell you that everything is still on track, some will tell you they cannot honor the commitment, and some may be unreachable because your program officer or donor has been furloughed. If you cannot reach them by phone, then try an email. But remember, this is a time to make a personal connection, not just shoot off a quick note and hope they will give you the $50,000.
  3. Assess your top 50 donors. Are there any that have yet to give a gift this year? Maybe they gave last in December or, perhaps, they skipped a year? Do you know if they are still able to give a gift this year?
  4. If you are looking for immediate funds, you can consider asking this group if they could make their gift early this year to help you meet your current, extraordinary needs. The ask should still be based on the essential elements of an ask that you would use at any time of year in any financial climate. Include a story that will humanize your need and what their gift will provide. Specifically:
    1. Why should they give to you?
    1. Why should they give to you now?

General need, outside of organizations performing emergency relief, is not enough. They will want to know:

  1. What services are you currently providing?
  2. What are your service plans for the next six months – with or without opening your doors?
  3. What are your financial plans for the next six months – with or without opening your doors?
  4. Is their gift going to make an impact? That is, if you need $500,000 for the rest of the year, how do you plan on raising the remaining $490,000?

If someone can no longer give or has shifted priorities, do not take it personally or act disappointed. Today, people are split between those who can give and give more right now, and those who will give less or not at all. The only thing you can do is continue to keep a good attitude and keep stewarding, and then, asking your donors. The stronger the relationship, the more likely you will be to receive a donation.

If you have not been strong in stewardship in the past, now is the time to connect with people in addition to the donors you will ask for an early gift. Plant the seeds for long-term growth. If you only focus on the people you are asking for a gift now, you will have no one to ask down the line. In other words, consider how to “raise money today” in six months, a year or many years down the line.

Challenge: Major Gifts Moves Management

Last week we published a Major Gifts Moves Management Field Guide.  This week, we challenge you to pick 3 donors or prospects on your list with potential for growth.  Create a full year of moves for each individual or couple.  Use the Field Guide to help with provide suggestions.  Remember to track your results.  We promise that if you do this in earnest, the results will amaze you.

Moves Management Field Guide

Strategic thinking for moves managmentMoves management is the process during which you create individualized plans that focus your energy toward ”moving” donors from where they are to where you—and they—want to be. There are many types of moves you and your team can make but I have broken them down into 7 categories that will hopefully aid you in considering what goals you will achieve with each move.

The field guide that follows, while far from comprehensive, should enable you to find 5-10 moves (from the 30 listed below) for each of your prospects to include in your donor-centric plan for next year.

  1. Meaningful contact
    • Name as host for an event
    • Email with some specific program notes that you think may appeal to the donor
    • Personal call thanking the donor for a gift
    • Recognizing the donor at an event
    • Publically thanking the donor for a previous gift
  2. Moves that provide new information for the donor
    • Newsletters
    • Personalized email
    • Clipping of article related to recent conversation
    • Videos produced for or by agency beneficiaries
  3. Moves that provide new information to the organization
    • Coffee/lunch/drinks
    • Volunteer forms
    • Invitation to attend an event where all attendees will be asked to fill out basic information forms
    • Phone calls to invite to an upcoming event
  4. Moves that deepen the connection
    • Unique experience with organization’s beneficiaries
    • Request to host event at their house
    • Nomination to Board
    • Invitation to be on host committee
    • Ask him/her to speak on behalf of the organization
    • Behind the scenes tour
  5. Moves that help present the case for giving
    • Ask for their opinion on your “draft” case for giving (that will always remain a draft)
    • Ask for their opinion on your strategic plan
    • Participate in feasibility study
    • Event that highlights the case for giving
  6. Moves that help introduce leadership
    • Meeting with CEO/program staff/Board Chair
    • Invitations to private or special events
    • Ask if they are interested in joining a specific committee
  7. Moves that result in an ask/gift
    • Stewardship move for previous gift
    • Follow up phone call from an recent event
    • Personal appreciation of the prospect/donors’ time and money
    • Conversation about friends or colleagues whom they think could help support the organization