Our Philosophy and Approach
Fundraising and development impacts the daily operations and future sustainability of not-for-profits, either in a positive or negative fashion. NFP leaders need to effectively harness the power of the philanthropic community to allow them to fully achieve their vision and mission. To achieve this their organisations must become more donor-centric. We see a lot of NFPs trying to improve in this area but without support and relevant tools the good intent is lost.
We have developed a suite of fundraising and development tools and strategies based on the latest in fundraising theory and practice to help your organisation instil a donor-centric culture and attract more philanthropic support.
The concept of 'donor-centricity' is all about developing authentic relationships based on understanding the needs of donors and supporters and practicing genuine two-way communication (see here).
Being 'donor-centric' doesn't negate the need to be 'beneficiary-centric', 'staff-centric', etc. It's just been proven to be the very best strategy when it comes to attracting philanthropic support - and it's an area that many not-for-profits need to focus on because there's almost always opportunities for significant improvement.
That said, 'donor-centrism' doesn't address a crucial building block - the integrity and 'strength of character' of your own organisation. If your organisation doesn't meet key 'credibility factors', for example being 'mentally fit' with an open and collaborative culture, a convincing vision and mission, clear positioning and messaging, good governance, effective partnerships and worthwhile programs - then it won't be as attractive to philanthropists as it could be. That is why we combine the concept of 'donor-centricity' with the concept of 'The Foundations of Credibility' (see here). This powerful combination of two concepts drives our approach to strategic planning and program implementation.
In a nutshell - we have developed a suite of fundraising and development tools and strategies to strengthen your organisation's credibility and combine this with donor-centric fundraising and development practices to lift your organisation's ability to attract philanthropic funding. We use the latest evidence-based fundraising strategies to improve the performance of your fundraising programs and ensure everyone in your organisation is "singing from the same hymn sheet".
Our approach works whether we are retained to help with a single fundraising program (e.g. major donors, capital campaigns, trusts & foundations, bequests, corporate sponsorship, commmunity fundraising, etc) or if you have brought us in to establish or strengthen your entire fundraising operation. One thing never changes - and that is our desire to work with you to make 'donor-centricity' part of your organisation's 'DNA'.
Example Fundraising and Development Program
Every organisation is of course unique and an appropriate fundraising model and development plan to leverage its strengths will vary according to circumstances. However, the following program steps are common to many (not strictly sequential):
- Meetings with CEO/Head of Fundraising
- Review fundraising programs, messaging, collateral, ROI and life-time value
- Interview the Senior Management Team to identify issues and opportunities
- Conduct a donor survey to collect engagement preferences and attitudinal data
- Conduct a staff survey to gain feedback about how best to instil a philanthropic culture
- Conduct 'peer research' to find out what fundraising strategies have worked in other similar organisations
- Conduct a Board workshop to discuss survey results; review organisational development opportunities to strengthen the 'Foundations of Credibility'; prioritise key messages; identify potential collaborators; and agree fundraising goals and investment required
- Conduct 'wealth-screening' and 'prospect research'
- Develop a 'campaign portfolio' and draft 'case statements' for high priority fundraising projects
- Conduct community consultation/'feasibility studies' with existing and potential donors (high-net-worth-individuals, corporates and potential collaborators)
- Finalise 'case statements' and a 'case for support'
- Refresh website and fundraising collateral
- Develop a Strategic Fundraising and Development Plan with associated operational plans
- Set up a Foundation
- Set up a Bequest Society
- Recruit additional qualified staff
- Recruit new Ambassadors/Patrons
- Recruit new board members
- Form MOUs with new collaborators
- Secure state/federal govt funding support for new major program(s)
- Launch a refreshed regular giving program; major donor program (potentially including capital campaigns); bequest program; a community fundraising program; a Trusts & Foundations Program; a corporate partnerships program and a special events program
- Review performance against agreed KPIs, conduct follow-up surveys.