Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Fundamentals -- The Key to Fund-Raising Success
Fundamentals -- The Key to Fund-Raising Success
JUDY @ SCCC * Judy Johnson
Wed, 21 Oct 1998 12:48:00 -0800
For a district or council finance plan to have staying power, nothing can
replace embracing the fundamentals. Trick plays, shortcuts, and a run of
good luck might get you to your goal, but for long-term results, attention
to the basics gets the job done every time.
Here are six key points that serve as a litmus test for building a solid
DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If dealing with a prospective individual donor, get as
much information as you can: i.e., his or her Scouting experience, interest
in youth concerns, public record financial information, his or her sphere
of influence, circle of friends, associations and clubs, etc. If
considering an activity, ask these questions: What other organizations
have a similar event? Will it bring a new circle of donors and not wear
down current donors? What are the overhead costs? Can we generate enough
support and enthusiasm from our committee or board? Does the staff time
required measure up against possible financial return?
CASE FOR SUPPORT. Nothing sells like success. Individuals and businesses
like to be aligned with an organization that has a reputation for getting
things done. Accentuate the positive by putting together an annual report
or brag piece that lets people know about the meaningful things your
district or council has accomplished on behalf of the youth of your
FIND ENOUGH OF THE RIGHT PEOPLE. Central to any fund-raising strategy is
recruiting enough of the right people. We can build a world-class prospect
list for any campaign or event, but without a strong core of well-trained
and well-informed advocates, we will fail every time.
COMMUNICATE YOUR MESSAGE. You don't get a second shot at letting
prospective donors know that you are an organization with purpose and
integrity. Well-written proposals or event brochures that scrupulously
follow requested guidelines, are loaded with "sizzle," express
appreciation, are error-free, and -- most importantly -- concise, are
well-received by prospective donors. If called upon for a face-to-face
meeting, signal the importance you place on the meeting by being on time
and well-informed. If possible, take a volunteer along who is articulate,
influential, and can make a strong positive impression.
PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS. We've heard the line a thousand times that "People
give to people." Establishing links between potential funders and your
district or council leadership is critical. Even with Scouting's large
alumni base, we often encounter the financial gatekeeper who has no history
with us or no real passion for our program. We can build a bridge with
this individual if we find out who we are close to that the prospect might
respond to. Likewise, as we individually cultivate prospective donors,
paying attention to them through periodic reports, sending pictures of
youth enjoying the program, offering a tour of the office, and sending an
invitation to a special district or council event will go a long way in
cementing a relationship.
RECOGNITION. Many donors like to become visibly identified with the
projects they fund. The rule of thumb is to always find out what they
prefer and design a plan that makes the donor feel both comfortable and
appreciated. there are donors who like anonymity in public but deserve and
expect your private appreciation in a timely and sincere fashion. Every
time we say thank you, it is another opportunity for us to reach out to our
donors and perhaps pave the way for a future gift to Scouting.
Stay with the fundamentals and you will be well on your way to fund-raising
taken from ProSpeak October 1998 page 137.
Copies of this message were sent to 106 users.
Senior District Executive
Mene Oto District
Santa Clara County Council, Inc.
Boy Scouts of America
(408)280-5088 Ext. 21