[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]

October 19, 2017

It's All About the Money...or Is It?

imageAt the end of the day, we fundraisers have a role to play for our organizations with a very clear measure of success (or failure): did we raise a buck? It's refreshing to go home after work and know whether or not we did a good job. Achieving and exceeding our fundraising and benchmark goals are very good indicators.

While raising the money that sustains our organization's great mission and changes the world is our most valued goal, there are other objectives that should be considered high priorities.

Three tips for measuring success:

Build a culture of philanthropy

To achieve fundraising success for your organization, consider short- and long-term strategies to build a philanthropic culture. Relationships are the key to a healthy development program. Donors may initially give because of who asked them or because of the focus of the campaign, but building strong relationships will keep them giving throughout their lifetimes and beyond. The board sets the pace for others. Therefore, habitual giving and "stretch" gifts are convincing models of behavior to share with external audiences.

Focus on the mission, not the money
When fundraising is too focused on money, it is easy to get sidetracked and make prospects feel uninterested or as though their money is all you want. But when volunteer leaders focus on the good work that will take place as a result of the gifts given, they will garner much more interest and funding to support the mission.

Grow donor loyalty
Building and maintaining donor loyalty is a challenge. Many organizations report "losing donors" at an alarming rate (mostly due to poor communication and appreciation). We all know it is more cost effective to retain a current donor than to develop a new one. This takes a strategic effort on behalf of the development staff and board leadership to ensure donors are engaged in a meaningful way.

Although raising money will always be the most obvious and most immediate goal, we will help our organization grow philanthropy and advance the mission for years to come by building a philanthropic culture, focusing on the mission and growing donor loyalty.

Janell Johnson, Senior Vice President (Wilmington, N.C.) [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:

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

Alan Clayton Associates
Great Fundraising Masterclass
Adrian Sargeant

Kansas City
October 26, 2017

Nonprofit Connect
Building a Culture of Philanthropy
Karin Cox

Kansas City
November 9, 2017

2017 National Philanthropy Day KC Honorees
AFP Mid-America Chapter
Presenting Sponsor: Hartsook

Fayetteville, Ark.
November 15, 2017

2017 National Philanthropy Day KC Honorees
AFP Northwest Arkansas Chapter
Presenting Sponsor: Hartsook

Wichita, Kan.
November 16, 2017

AFP Greater Wichita Chapter
Supporting Sponsor: Hartsook

Winchester, Va.
November 17, 2017

TriState AFP Chapter National Philanthropy Day
John Warren
Supporting Sponsor: Hartsook

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

Alan Clayton Associates
Great Fundraising Masterclass
Adrian Sargeant

February 28-March 3, 2018

ALDE IGNITE International Conference
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:

imageBook Deal of the Month

In Nobody Wants to Give Money Away! (ASR Media), Hartsook Chair Bob Hartsook, details his nine principles for raising major gifts, starting with, "Nobody wants to give away money." Learn the principles that helped him raise billions of dollars. 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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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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