Wednesday, October 10, 2012

PASSION: The Secret to Successful Fundraising

My church launched its annual stewardship campaign last week.

This is a time when every member of our congregation is asked to reflect on our time, talent and treasure and determine how we want to give back.  While we're supposed to reflect on the use of all of our resources, stewardship campaigns always turn into fundraising drives, because in the end of the day, churches - like nonprofits - need MONEY to pay for programs, salaries, rent, etc.

Let's not begrudge this fact.  Let's simply become better fundraisers!

So how do we ensure that our stewardship and fundraising campaigns are a success?


Say it after me.  "Fundraising is all about tapping into another person's PASSION for a cause."  It doesn't matter what the cause is - feeding the poor, finding alternative sources of energy, or healing broken hearts.  PASSION is the underpinning of philanthropy.

Thus, a first step for all fundraisers is to LEARN what makes our donors feel great!
  • Why are they excited about our work?  
  • What makes their hearts' sing?   
  • What inspires them to be more generous?
In the for-profit sector, we conduct market research to understand what people want, how they want it, when, and why.

We need similar analyses of donor motivation in the charitable sector.

Money for Good: The U.S. Market for Impact Investments and Charitable Gifts from Individual Donors and Investors by Hope Consulting is a great start.  Check out this excellent report to learn more about what motivates donors and use this information to segment your database and create relevant communications, activities, and events that inspire more giving.

Here's the point: Don't fly blind when it comes to understanding why your donors give.  Instead, ASK about and LISTEN to your donor's concerns and fill your appeals with more PASSION!

Happy Fundraising!



claire axelrad said...

Jocelyn, we totally agree.
It's all about passion. And I do whatever I can to help folks remember what inspired them to become involved in the first place. I posted a blog article today on the subject. I think we must be in each others' heads!
Nice post. ;-)

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