Everything anyone needs to know about fundraising can be summed up in a five-step process.
- Find prospects who are concerned about The Problem your mission exists to solve.
- Connect with them.
- Ask them to solve The Problem with their financial support.
- Thank them – profusely – for doing so.
- Report back to them – tell them – how they’re doing in solving The Problem.
Got it? Go to it. All you need to know, right there.
OK, you need a little more detail? Some explanations:
– Prospects – individuals, families, foundations, organizations, corporations, grantors. Any body or entity who shares a concern about The Problem with you.
– The Problem – your case, your mission, your raison d’être – hunger, homelessness, poverty, lack of arts, lack of education, whatever it is. It’s a Problem. It needs to be fixed. That’s why your organization exists.
– Connect – build a relationship
– Ask – Yes, you have to.
– Financial support – If there’s no exchange of money, ever, to help you solve The Problem, it’s not fundraising
– Thank – Gratitude. Effusive, frequent, obsequious gratitude.
– Report – Tell them. How’d they do? Got that Problem solved yet?
Everything else is strategy and tactics. Some tactics are better than others. Some work; others don’t. Some need to be tested in context. Some are downright unethical and cause more damage than good. Some have been tested and proved over and over and over and over again. Know the difference.
OH! I almost forgot Step 6.
6. Repeat. Repeat until The Problem is solved. That may be never.
Go ahead. You got this. It’s simple.