[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]
Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook

May 17, 2016

Donors Want to Make a Good Investment

imageSometimes, nonprofits can get too caught up in garnering gifts - and they ignore donor investments. It is wise to keep in mind that donors are not giving solely to be generous; they are making an investment to achieve an objective.

Following are three tips for ensuring your nonprofit is a good investment for your donors:

Focus on specific goals
Whether you are focused on a multi-year campaign or a short, year-end appeal, you will face challenges. Stay positive by keeping your eye on the long-term goal rather than getting bogged down by daily disappointments. Set benchmarks and celebrate wins along the way, whether it is a dollar goal, number of donor calls, or following up on a date on the calendar to deepen a donor relationship.

Train staff and board members
Make sure the organization makes its own investment to train and equip staff and board members. Do board and staff members have a good grasp of the mission, ready stories to share with prospective donors, and an understanding of their role as ambassadors in the community? Do board members understand their fiduciary responsibilities? Make sure they do.

Get creative and stay creative
A constant focus on closing gifts can cause fundraisers to lose the joy and excitement they once had about the organization's good work. This can hinder creativity and cause "Can-do" to devolve into "Do what?" Don't let this happen to you. Focus on the investment the donor wants to make. If donors ask if they can make unusual gifts in new ways, start with the answer. Then get creative and figure out how to make that happen.

Fundraising isn't all about asking for money. It is about relationships - deeper and more connected donor relationships that lead to larger and more significant investments for your organization.

Matt Jones, Senior Consultant (Kansas City)


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:

Kansas City
May 18, 2016

Association of Fundraising Professionals Forum
"Tips for Successfully Completing Internal and External Assessments"
Matt Beem

Leawood, Kan.
May 20, 2016

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Foundation
Karin Cox

Kansas City
May 20, 2016

Nonprofit Connect
Thirty-second Annual Philanthropy Awards
Hartsook Sponsor

San Diego
May 25-27, 2016

2016 Boy Scouts of America National Annual Meeting
Matt Beem
Ross Pfannenstiel
Tammy Weinman

London, U.K.
July 4, 2016

Institute of Fundraising Convention
"Relationship Fundraising: Where Do We Go From Here"
Adrian Sargeant

Washington, D.C.
July 13, 2016

Bridge Conference 2016
"Building Donor Loyalty: Just What Do We Know?"
Adrian Sargeant

Charlottesville, Va.
July 28, 2016

Virginia Fund Raising Institute
"Fundraising Leadership"
Keynote: Karin Cox

Kansas City
August 2016

Inspired Fundraising Summit
Hartsook Institute at Avila University
Adrian Sargeant

New Orleans
August 24-26, 2016

Boy Scouts of America Top Hands
Matt Beem
Ross Pfannenstiel
Tammy Weinman

Washington, D.C.
September 15, 2016

NonProfit Times Power and Influence Gala
Hartsook Sponsor

Kansas City
October 26, 2016

Shepherd's Centers of America
National Conference
Karin Cox

November 18, 2016

National Philanthropy Day
"Relationship Buidling: What Works and What Doesn't"
"Donor Retention and Loyalty"
Adrian Sargeant

Oklahoma City
August 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
"Relationship Building: Where Do We Go From Here?"
Adrian Sargeant

August 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
"Massive Fundraising"
Adrian Sargeant

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:

Book Deal of the Monthimage

How to Get Million Dollar Gifts and Have Donors Thank You (ASR Media) recounts 101 strategies surrounding amazing, real life fundraising gifts of $1 million dollars or more. Click here for a special price of $10 (plus shipping and handling).

On the Web


Blogs and articles. Founder and Chairman Bob Hartsook and President and CEO Matt Beem regularly share simple, but powerful messages about philanthropy, fundraising and the power of relationships.


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Visit the Hartsook website for:
- Educational opportunities
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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, kcox@hartsookcompanies.com. If you'd like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact info@hartsookcompanies.com.

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