An interesting new report, "Fundraising Bright Spots - Strategies and Inspiration from Social Change Organizations Raising Money from Individual Donors", was recently published by the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund and written by Kim Klein of Klein and Roth and Jeanne Bell of CompassPoint. The report highlights a new way of thinking about fundraising through examples and the stories of 16 relatively small social change groups - all of which are consistently and uniquely successful at fundraising. These organizations are “beating the odds” with individual giving and using a four step Culture of Philanthropy. These 16 organizations combined raised $14, 500,000 from individuals in 2014-15.
The following mindsets about distributing fundraising broadly are prevalent across the 16 Bright Spots:
- Fundraising is not the purview of a select group of professionals, but a process, if well-supported, that anyone can engage in.
- Development directors are organizational leaders focused on skill building, culture change, and systems development to support others in fundraising.
- The conversation about fundraising goals and progress belongs everywhere. It’s not contained in a single department or confined to a single team.
While each of the nonprofits is unique, the study looked for prominent patterns across the group and identified four themes:
- Fundraising is core to the organization’s identity
- Fundraising is distributed broadly across staff, board and volunteers
- Fundraising succeeds because of authentic relationships with donors built on strong, trusting relationships among staff, board and volunteers
- Fundraising is characterized by a systematic approach to donor engagement and continuous improvement
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Happy Cinco de Mayo!