Scaling individual donor cultivation for funding diversification

“Any reliance on a single funding source is sometimes unavoidable, but the vulnerability it creates for a nonprofit should be the impetus to strive for diversification,” says Cynthia Reddrick of Philanthropy Journal in her post Individual giving key to stable funding yesterday. She goes on to highlight several recent stories about well-known organizations that grabbed national headlines and provide cautionary tales.

“Nonprofits need to be mindful of seeking balance among their funding sources and moving toward more robust fundraising management,” she adds. “Individual charitable giving should be a key element of the funding equation for nonprofits.”

To be sure, Ms. Reddrick is right. And just as sure as she’s right, her comments will not surprise any Executive Director or Development Director. All will readily admit that they want more diversified sources for that funky dollar bill regardless of their current funding mix.

The issue isn’t lack of will or understanding of the value of a diversified funding base. More often than not, it comes down to how many tick tocks are on the clock and the overall capacity an organization has to make the fundraising magic happen. It’s one thing to invest time cozying up to a single, well-heeled donor for $100,000. It’s quite another to spread the love to 5,000 donors for $20 each.

Can I get an amen from somebody on that?

How do you spread the love far and wide so the cash can flow from hither and yon? When you ask that question, you’re talking about scale. And when you’re talking about scale, you’re talking about needed efficiency gains so you can hit up bunches and bunches of people for cash. They need to be able to easily swipe their credit cards to give you that cash, you need to instantly record those donations once they do, you need to thank them effusively from the moment they cough up the cash, and you’ve got to keep their contact information handy to reach out to them later on with news and additional funding appeals.

So, I’ve got one question to ask you: Are you and your organization standing on the verge of getting it on when it comes to scaling fundraising efforts? Are your online donation and back office tools floating and connecting in the cloud so the dollars can swing down, sweet chariot, and let your mission ride? Or are you in need of the Mothership Connection to move your online fundraising strategies lightyears ahead?

Not sure? Let’s use this as a test: if you were to walk out of your office right this very moment for a month-long vacation on some beatific beach with no internet access, when you walked back into your office four weeks later, would you have an automated report ready and waiting of all of your online donations while you were gone, who gave them, how much they gave, the comfort of knowing they already were thanked, the joy of having their contact information all set for further follow up, and the beauty of easily shared charts and graphs demonstrating overall fundraising campaign performance?

If the answer is no, you should postpone that vacation until you check out this video and hit us up. When you do, you can call us Starchild and be prepared for your online fundraising strategies to get funked up.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 at 11:51 am and is filed under Non-Profit Soapbox, NTEN, You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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