Putting the fun in fundraising

Paraphrasing a couple of recent conversations with fundraisers:

“A major function of what a high-end fundraising software program does is track the productivity of the fundraising workers. How many calls, how many visits, how many follow-ups. In many situations, like an alumni development office, the pressure is such that the developers can’t go on vacation without being told to make a few calls on the way. ‘Going to Florida for a week? Be sure to visit prospect X in Miami while you’re there.'”

“We’re scrambling. It is ten times harder than it was a couple of years ago. There are more people in the fundraising game, and they are getting better at it, so the competition for grants is much greater. With federal cut-backs whole programs are closing up shop.

“There is an amazing amount of public-domain information out there about prospective donors. The other day, I was actually given a diskette from a town clerk that contained all the property records and valuations of everyone in the town. Before, I could get this data by looking at printed real-estate records. Now it is either available directly on the Internet, or the towns are required by law to distribute this information electronically.”

“The trick of course, is to use such information with sensitivity. You don’t want to call a prospective donor and say…’Hello Mr/Ms. Jones, I see by the latest property assessment that you are living in a home valued at $450,789. By our calculations, you could afford a donation this year of $12,250 to our program….what do you think?'”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s