[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]

June 20, 2017

Advancing Your Mission

imageAdvancing your organization's mission through philanthropy has less to do with lots of activity and more to do with targeted research and relationships. While raising money is always part of fundraising, dollars raised should be a natural byproduct of strong relational equity.

Relational equity
In real estate, leveraging one's personal resources and skill sets is referred to as investing sweat equity. In fundraising, leveraging your personal resources of relationships and relationship building is relational equity. Since your board members should be individuals of affluence and influence in the community, and because they already know about the great work you do, leverage those connections to broaden your base of support.

It's about trust

Once they know about the organization, prospective donors need to trust that their dollars will impact the mission in a positive and quantifiable way. They want their money to do more than "good things for people"; they want to know how you are going to spend the money and the specific outcomes to come. Transparency is crucial to showing both the need for support, how gifts to the organization will advance the mission and evidence that these outcomes are taking place. Don't just "expand capacity," "expand capacity from serving 1,000 families this year to serving 1,500 families next year."

It's about who you know
When it comes to volunteer fundraisers, it is about their relationships with the nonprofit and other friends of the organization. Successful nonprofits benefit from the relationships their board members, staff and volunteers have in the community. Everyone plays a role in growing philanthropy for the organization. Engaging personal relationships is a key method of increasing both donations as well as your pool of volunteers.

Nonprofit organizations need to do more than "work hard" and "do more." They need to use their relational equity to leverage opportunities to advance their mission and generate specific, measurable outcomes.

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:

Bangkok, Thailand
June 26-28, 2017

IFC Asia International Fundraising Congress
Jen Shang

July 4, 2017

IoF Fundraising Convention 2017
Great Fundraising Events
Adrian Sargeant

Richmond, Va.
July 19-20, 2017

Virginia Fund Raising Institute
Innovating Philanthropy
Karin Cox
John Warren
Presenting Sponsor: Hartsook

August 2, 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
Massive Fundraising
Adrian Sargeant

New Orleans
August 24-26, 2017

Top Hands
Boy Scouts of America
Matthew J. Beem
Ross Pfannenstiel

Oklahoma City
August 2017

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

Rogers, Ark.
September 20, 2017

AFP of Northwest Arkansas
Matthew J. Beem

September 21-22, 2017

Blackbaud Executive Summit, University of London
Adrian Sargeant

Las Vegas
September 26-28, 2017

14th Annual Association of Donor Relations Professionals International Conference
Adrian Sargeant

Scotland, U.K.
October 23-25, 2017

Alan Clayton Associates
Great Fundraising Masterclass
Adrian Sargeant

Scotland, U.K.
February 7-9, 2018

Alan Clayton Associates
Great Fundraising Masterclass

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:

imageBook Deal of the Month

Reality Fundraising (ASR Media) - features ideas, insights and lessons learned through hundreds of best practices from nonprofit professionals nationwide. Go here for a special price of $10 (plus shipping and handling).

On the Web


Blogs and articles. President and CEO Matthew J. 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:
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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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