Treating An Annual Fund Like A Capital Campaign

100 donors in 90 days - ipod imageWeek 11 of 100 Donors in 90 Days continues to help listeners find new donors outside of the proverbial box. No buying lists or cold solicitations here.  Instead, this week we look at how Marc A. Pitman helps find new major donors for your nonprofit.

Marc suggests you try treating an annual fund like a capital campaign.  If you were to give as much focus to your under million-dollar annual operating budget as you would to a multi-million dollar campaign – what could you achieve?

New Donors?  Donors you have wanted to get involved for a long time?  A lot more income?  More stability?

Before you add (with some bit of sarcasm) that the one sure thing you would get out of this type of exercise would be board and staff burnout, consider that the stronger the fundraising, the more money that comes in.  The more money that comes in, the more staff can be hired to sustain the new income.  The more income, the more programs and publicity which translates into stronger board members that can give time and money for your well functioning and flush organization.

Let’s break it down further.

Often, as consultants, the first step of a campaign is to conduct a feasibility study.  Time is spent determining who should be interviewed.  Who are the current donors, prospective donors, past donors and dream donors that are or should be involved with your organization?  Marc’s theory is that you should create this list for your annual fund and then ask them for advice.

As appealing as it would be, it will not be helpful to pick a list of the top 50 donors in your community and think they will automatically be supporters of your nonprofit.  There should be some organic connection that makes each name on the list a logical choice – just as you would need in a capital campaign.

What do you ask them about?

Marc suggests that there might be pieces of your budget that are new and exciting but will not happen without any one individual’s support.  Then, ask each and every one for ideas, thoughts, suggestions, about the project and what would make this program more interesting, more appealing and more fundable to others.

As the saying goes, asking for money gets you advice.  Asking for advice gets you money.  And I will add, asking for advice from prospective donors will get you annual donors.  Or so the theory goes.

Want to hear the conversation in entirety?  Purchase your copy of 100 Donors in 90 Days here.