By Dr. Nathan A. Schaumleffel, Driven Strategic LLC
From my last blog, the keystone of a park foundation is the fundraising function....because fun cost funds! I told you to forget about gr@#!$ and to start an annual fund. Then, I encouraged you to not do anything else until your organization's case statement is complete and board approved!
Well, your fundraising case statement is complete and board approved! Now, what?
Next, you need to establish a board giving policy as board members need to give at a leadership level! Board members must be recruited and expected to not only give time and talent, but to also give their personal treasure.
After setting a board giving policy, you'll need to assess your organization’s financial needs by reviewing financial statements and program budgets to assist in setting a realistic annual fundraising goal.
Now, adopt and start using a donor management system (DMS) like Blackbaud's etapestry or DonorPerfect. A DMS is an advanced software platform, typically cloud-based, that functions as a database system and more that allows you to systematically manage relationships with prospects and donors. If you don’t have or don’t use a DMS, you’re really hurting your chances of getting off of grant reliant life support!
Once you select a DMS, add as many suspects, prospects, and past donors as possible! Your fundraising efforts including your annual fund are only as successful as your DMS data are accurate.
While you’re entering prospect and donor data into the DMS, you should simultaneously create a list of local employers who offer a matching gift program. When one of your donors gives $25.00 to your organization their employer will match their gift with another $25.00 to your organization. Building a matching gift program is critical to a successful annual fund and building a sustainable fundraising program.
If you weren't convinced before, I hope you now can see that the fundraising function is truly the keystone to optimally-functioning park foundations!
Over the next few blogs, I'll share more actionable steps to establish an annual fund including tips on establishing a direct mail campaign and a donor acknowledgement process!
Consider joining NAPF today! You’ll get the capacity-building resources to start, build, and grow the impact of your local park foundation or friends group!
Please, follow both NAPF (@the_napf) and I (@drschaumleffel and @drivenstrategic) on Twitter! Contact us if you need technical assistance or have questions about park foundations! We're here to help!
Also, sign-up for the NAPF e-newsletter, which is free for NAPF members and non-members, as well as subscribe to the NAPF blog via RSS feed.
Remember, neither Google Chrome or Safari have built in RSS readers. You’ll need to download a free plug-in!
If you found this blog helpful, please share on social media!
© Dr. Nathan A. Schaumleffel, Terre Haute, Indiana, USA
Photo Credit: Creative Commons