[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]

June 19, 2018

We All Have a Story to Tell

imageSharing a clear, consistent, and compelling message – your story – is the most fundamental and cost-effective way to deploy a successful fundraising strategy for your nonprofit.

Here are some first steps for developing and sharing your story:

Ask board members, clients, and donors what drives them to invest their time and money
Turn this information into outcomes that are measured over time and shared freely in person, on paper, and on purpose via social media and news outlets. “Last year, we found permanent homes for 50 rescue animals. This year we’ll exceed that by 10 percent.” “This year, our First Friday Arts Crawl attracted over 100 visitors – more than double the event’s first year.” Don’t just share your work anecdotally. Back it up with numbers.

Collect stories that resonate with those who care about the mission
Train everyone – staff and volunteers – to collect stories at the time that they see and hear them. Don’t kid yourself: “Oh, that was so moving. I’ll remember and share it at the next board meeting.” No, write it down. Take a picture. Get a quote. Do it now. Then create a culture where everyone feels compelled to do the same.

Promote the organization through content marketing that aligns with a digital marketing strategy
Forget what you learned in writing class about not repeating yourself. When it comes to sharing your stories, tell them again and again. Post them on the organization’s Facebook page. Share them with the local newspaper. Include them in your monthly newsletters. When it comes to branding, repetition is a good thing.

An integrated plan should reflect the nonprofit’s brand, including the mission (what you do), measured outcomes (how well you do it), and ongoing stories of success (what a difference you’re making). Taking the time, energy, and resources necessary to develop the plan is worth every day and dollar invested.

Becky Brown, Vice President, Columbus, Ohio

logoJoin Us on the Growing Philanthropy Tour

Next stops on the road to achieving Hartsook’s mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:

Taipei, Taiwan
June 21-22, 2018
National Taiwan University
John List

Canberra, Australia
June 25-26, 2018
BX2018, Australian Government
Keynote: John List

London
July 3, 2018
Institute of Fundraising Convention 2018
Adrian Sargeant
Jen Shang
Panelist: Karin Cox

Richmond, Va.
July 18-19, 2018

2018 Virginia Fund Raising Institute Conference
Successful Campaigns: Raising Million-Dollar Gifts
Karin Cox
John Warren
Lead Sponsor: Hartsook

San Francisco
August 17, 2018

2018 Berkeley Summer School in Environmental and Energy Economics
Field Experiments in Environmental and Resources Economics
John List

Clayton, Australia
August 23-31, 2018
Monash University
John List

Washington, D.C.
August 29-31, 2018
Boy Scouts of America Top Hands

Chicago
September 11, 2018

2018 University of Chicago
Science of Diversity & Inclusion Initiative Conference
John List

Indianapolis
September 19-20, 2018
Science of Philanthropy Initiative Conference 2018
John List

Kansas City
September 26-29, 2018
American Association for State and Local History Annual Meeting
Donor-Focused Fundraising: Letting Research Guide Your Organization’s Philanthropy
Matthew J. Beem
Debbie Bass, National WWI Museum and Memorial

Boston, Mass.
October 5-6, 2018
Boston University
Advances with Field Experiments
John List

Basel, Switzerland
October 16-18, 2018
University of Basel
8th Bernoulli Lecture for the Behavioral Sciences
John List

London
February 7-8, 2019

LSE Annual Behavioural Public Policy Lecture
Grantham Centre
John List

Past Stops on the Tour


Resources for Smart Fundraising Available on Kindle

Keep up to date on the latest fundraising trends with the Kindle ASR Media collection:

  • Reality Fundraising – Ideas, insights and lessons learned through hundreds of best practices from nonprofit professionals nationwide by Bob Hartsook
  • Fundraising Leadership – The definitive source for empowering board members to become pro-active fundraising leaders by Karin L. Cox
  • Getting Your Ducks in a Row – A tool box of strategies for effective campaign fundraising by Bob Hartsook
  • Million Dollar Gifts – Real-life stories of million-dollar gifts that will amaze and inspire your fundraising by Bob Hartsook
  • Closing that Gift – “29 secrets” to closing a gift and avoiding the top 10 solicitation mistakes by Bob Hartsook
  • Performance-Driven Fundraising – Handy, yet entertaining reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers by Matthew J. Beem
  • Nobody Wants to Give Money Away! – Stories, humor and more than two decades of fundraising experience in which Bob explores the nine fundraising truths essential to success by Bob Hartsook
  • On The Money! – An enlightening collection of success stories and lessons learned from nonprofit fundraising campaigns nationwide by Bob Hartsook
  • $231 Billion Raised and Counting – by Bob Hartsook, Matthew J. Beem, Karin Cox and over a dozen Hartsook consultants and clients. Hartsook shares stories and “Strategies for Success” that will educate and inspire

Book Deal of the Month

imageReality Fundraising (ASR Media) features ideas, insights and lessons learned through hundreds of best practices from nonprofit professionals nationwide. Go here for a special price of $10 (plus shipping and handling).

On the Web

image Timely Tips and Tweets! Follow us on Twitter at HartsookTips for tips and giveaways.
image Facebook: Become a Fan and a Friend. Fundraising tips, event photos, news and updates – see what’s new at Hartsook by becoming a fan of us on Facebook. Friend Hartsook Founder and Chair Bob Hartsook, CEO Matthew J. Beem, and Chief Creative Officer Karin Cox for even more updates!

Visit the Hartsook website for:
– Educational opportunities
– Books/reference articles
– Conference/workshop speakers

Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, [email protected]. If you’d like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact [email protected].