[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]

August 22, 2016

Get Everyone in the Game

imageEffective fundraising is about more than asking for or receiving the next gift. Your organization's purpose and mission - not desperation - should drive all fundraising activities. Above all, your donors' desire to make a difference in the world through your mission should be the constant motivation for raising funds.

Regardless of the size and scope of your staff, it takes a diverse team of relationship builders who are knowledgeable about the organization and willing to advocate for its reputation and value for those you serve. Everyone has a role to play: frontline staff, board members, volunteers, and other team members - even if most of them will never participate in a major gift solicitation. Here are tips for cultivating a culture of philanthropy in your organization:

Start the Conversation
Not every board member may be comfortable asking people for money, but each of them can start a conversation. Everyone has a circle of influence and contacts who may be interested in the mission. For those individuals who seem hesitant to pursue new prospects, you can help take the fear out of fundraising by teaching them how to initiate a meaningful conversation, one that can lead to something more.

Build the Relationship
Once the conversation has started, have them officially connect a prospect with someone who can strategically build the relationship deeper. This can be as simple as discussing the mission on a regular basis. If you are asked to cultivate the relationship, be prepared to talk about the nonprofit's goals, successes, and urgent needs in a way that is genuine and compelling. As importantly, listen. This is how, over time, you can turn casual prospects into committed donors.

Pass the Torch
For individuals who are uncomfortable asking friends and family for gifts, pass that task along to a campaign consultant or development officer. Getting new people to the table is a challenge, but even timid volunteers can introduce a new prospect to someone in the organization or, even better, someone on the fundraising team.

Everyone can and should have a positive role to play in impacting the organization's fundraising success, even if only a few individuals ever make the ask.

Geoff Burns, Vice President (Columbus, Ohio) [email protected]


logoJoin Us on the Growing Philanthropy Tour

Next stops on the road to achieving Hartsook's mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:

New Orleans
August 24-26, 2016

Boy Scouts of America Top Hands
Matt Beem
Ross Pfannenstiel
Tammy Weinman

Brussels, Belgium
August 30-September 2, 2016

CASE Europe Annual Conference
"Outstanding Fundraising: Just What is the Role of Boards?"
Adrian Sargeant

Washington, D.C.
September 15, 2016

NonProfit Times Power and Influence Gala
Hartsook Sponsor

Kansas City
October 26, 2016

Shepherd's Centers of America
National Conference
Karin Cox

Kansas City
November 2016

AFP Mid-America Chapter
National Philanthropy Day
Hartsook Sponsor

November 18, 2016

National Philanthropy Day
"Relationship Buidling: What Works and What Doesn't"
"Donor Retention and Loyalty"
Adrian Sargeant

November 22-23, 2016

Directory of Social Change Fundraising Fair 2016
Adrian Sargeant

Oklahoma City
August 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
"Relationship Building: Where Do We Go From Here?"
Adrian Sargeant

August 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
"Massive Fundraising"
Adrian Sargeant

Past Stops on the Tour

Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle

Keep up to date on the latest fundraising trends with the Kindle ASR Media collection:

Book Deal of the Monthimage

Hartsook President and CEO Matt Beem's book Performance-Driven Fundraising: Taking Control of Your Success shares decades of fundraising insights and features campaign success stories. Performance-Driven Fundraising will help accelerate anyone's learning curve and serve as a valuable reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers. Go here for a special price of $10 (plus shipping and handling).

On the Web


Blogs and articles. President and CEO Matt Beem and Founder and Chairman Bob Hartsook regularly share simple, but powerful messages about philanthropy, fundraising and the power of relationships.


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Visit the Hartsook website for:
- Educational opportunities
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- Conference/workshop speakers

Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, [email protected]. If you'd like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact [email protected].

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