This says everything about the Annual Fund that I love. There’s a lot of emphasis in the industry on Major Gifts and top-of-the-pyramid donors – appropriately so! But it sometimes means that the low and mid-range donors don’t get the attention they need or deserve.
Or if they do, it’s as a means to a different end – how to move them up the pipeline, how to get them to give more, how to get them to make a planned gift. And that’s all right and good and true, but an investment in a strong base-of-support not only provides those opportunities but is an end, in and of itself. A pyramid topples without a strong base.
In the context of this blog, then, “Annual Fund” refers to any strategic, ongoing cultivation, acquisition, solicitation and stewardship of entry-level donors below a major gift threshold. See? “Annual Fund” can mean a lot of different things to t lot of different contexts.
So, this is a place to talk about all matters related to the Annual Fund – acquisition, direct response, digital/online, social media, renewal rates, upgrading, stewarding, donor relations, cultivation, recurring giving and, yes, data! Annual Fund folks very often have the largest portfolios and most diverse responsibilities; here we celebrate multi-tasking, split-brain focus and all things Annual Fund.
And why is it a Lab?
The definition of a laboratory is:
(“Laboratory.” Merriam-Webster.com. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/laboratory)
Well, that, and I have three Labrador Retrievers (The Buck-White Boys) and my non-fundraising life is pretty much lab-centric.