This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
12 November 2006
Dear Chapter Leader,
Allow me to echo what I’m sure you’ve already heard from my colleagues in chapter and membership management: thanks for your support of Net Impact, and for taking a leadership role with the organization. Your time commitment and your leadership are truly exciting to us, and I want to offer my sincerest gratitude for all that you do. As you know, part of being a Chapter Leader is ensuring the financial stability of your chapter, and to help raise awareness of Net Impact internationally. No doubt you already have some fundraising practices in place to help you achieve these goals, and no doubt you’re dying to know what more can be done to increase your chapter’s revenue. While I can’t offer a magic bullet to set your chapter’s permanent financial security, I can offer the beginnings of what I hope will be a living document of best practices, success stories, and fundraising tips. The enclosed Chapter Fundraising Toolkit provides several things that will help you start thinking about ways to increase your revenue, and worksheets for setting goals and tracking gifts. To be able to continually support your fundraising efforts, I would like to update this toolkit bi-annually, and I encourage your feedback on its content. I also encourage you to share fundraising success stories you’ve had with me so that I can share them with the network: particularly great events, a successful appeal you’ve designed, innovative ways to attract more members and more dollars are all worth noting, and worth sharing. Should you have any questions as you move throughout these documents, or should you like to see something included that currently isn’t, please email me at email@example.com. Again, thank you for your support of our network, and for leading Net Impact where you are.
William Critzman Development Director Net Impact
NET IMPACT FUNDRAISING – THINGS TO CONSIDER
The Ask Cycle In fundraising, knowing the stages and steps of your ask cycle is key. You must know the following: o When to ask. Find out the company’s FY, ask at the beginning of it. Ask after a positive quarterly report. Ask 3 months before an event, and follow up every 2 – 3 weeks. o Who to ask. Ask companies with whom your school is affiliated, perhaps as a recruiter. Ask companies where your alumni work and where you have a potential in. Ask local companies, or companies who have a large employee or stakeholder base in your community, or your b-school Often times companies have several different pots of money from which they can support you. Perhaps community relations, perhaps PR, perhaps marketing, perhaps CSR, perhaps HR. Ask people. People Give Money to People. If you can find a friend at the company, you are significantly more likely to be able to gain funds. o What to ask for. Ask for an amount reasonable to your event. Do not inflate, but do round up. Ask for something that you know the company likes to give (for example, coffee companies tend to love donating coffee products; same with vodka companies) Be very clear of your value proposition, and what you’re offering in exchange for this donation. o How to ask. Find a friend, an alum, a recruiter, or a company employee who has a relationship with your school, or your Net Impact Chapter. Ask them to make an introduction to the appropriate people. An emailed letter from you. Talk to us at NIC to see if we know them. Communicating with NIC o We’re to help you. We’re happy to review your proposals, help with your strategy, or help you benchmark your requests against other proposals from within the network. We will make an introduction if we can, and we encourage you to use the member search feature of our website to find fellow Net Impact members who work at the company you’re approaching. o What not to do Please review current and recent Net Impact sponsors on the Funders page of our website. Please do not approach any Net Impact sponsors without first talking to us. We’ve got a very active network, and very eager fundraisers. Please don’t ask for any gift in excess of $2,500 without first letting us know. We’d like to help you secure these larger gifts, and we’d like to track your success. Events We have learned that successful events have the following characteristics: o A clear understanding at the outset of what the event’s primary goal is to be: is it for education, networking, raising funds, or promoting awareness of Net Impact and CSR? Without a clear identity at the outset, goals are very hard to achieve. o Very clear logistics and signage, and a great venue. Understanding the importance of branding the event as both Net Impact and as your chapter will have a huge impact on the way attendees view your efforts. o A clear budget, and definitions of what you will pay for vs. what attendees will pay themselves: i.e., don’t spend money buying things people will happily pay for themselves. The clearest example here is a host vs. cash bar; if you feel a host bar will draw people to the event, think about offering only one free drink. o Good follow-up. You’ll want to be in touch with your attendees afterwards to see how they thought it went, and to see how they might be interested in supporting future Net Impact events—maybe a donation, maybe they become a member, maybe the volunteer.
NET IMPACT ELEVATOR PITCH POINTS
Net Impact • Net Impact is a global membership organization of MBAs, graduate students, and professionals using their business skills to improve the way the world does business. • • A membership organization that brings MBAs, graduate students and young professionals together to network, learn, and take action on socially-responsible business issues Net Impact is a tax-exempt charitable organization headquartered in San Francisco with over 130 chapters in 75 cities across four continents.
Net Impact Chapters • Chapters in all top 30 USA MBA programs (according to Business Week) • • • • Chapters in Top 30 international MBA schools (according to The Financial Times and Business Week) 22 city-based professional chapters 21 international chapters 20 largest chapters have more than 100 members
Net Impact Members • Most members are MBA students or MBA graduates, although we have some chapters in other graduate programs with a focus on business, as well as professional members who are not MBAs • • Net Impact members are leaders in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors Net Impact hosts an annual conference—this year at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and next year at the Owen School at Vanderbilt University—for approximately 1,300 attendees
Get Involved • Join as a member. There are three levels of membership for professionals: regular ($50 per year dues), newsletter (on our newsletter lists), or lifetime ($350). To ensure our membership is inclusive and diverse, there are limited scholarship funds available • • • Find a chapter near you, and get involved Make a donation. As a charitable organization, Net Impact relies on the support of corporations, foundations and individuals to keep us afloat Once you’re a member, sign up to participate in one of our service projects Member Ethnicity
Multi-Racial 3% Hispanic/Latino 5% Other 2% American Indian/Alaska Native 0% Asian American 16%
Member Employment Type
Student 43% Black/African American 4% For-profit start-up 4% Government 3% Nonprofit 14% Self-employed 7% Other 4% Not working 2%
This is a generic letter that can be tailored to meet all sorts of fundraising needs. Take it as a boilerplate to get some or our language down, then feel free to modify it to meet your needs. The following page contains several options for an overview of specific Net Impact programming areas. But this is only a start. Please take it where you it! Date Addressee Address Address City, State Zip Dear , I write to introduce you to an organization I think might really interest you. Net Impact, for whom I currently serve as a chapter leader, is a global organization of MBAs, graduate students, and professionals focused on using the power of business to change the world. Our programming focuses on supporting individuals to drive change locally, and we are proud to have over 10,000 members and 125+ chapters in 70 cities across four continents. Simply put, Net Impact members are the future of businesses that both do well and do good. I want you to know that the issues of Net Impact—corporate social responsibility, environmentalism, ethical leadership, and sustainability—are extremely important to me, and I hope they are to you as well. As an organization of chapters and members, Net Impact receives funding from a variety of sources. Today, I am asking you to help support the <LOCAL CHAPTER NAME> during our <APPEAL NAME>. I ask you now to join me in support of this great organization, and to make a gift in support of Net Impact. Specifically, I’d like to ask for your support toward <CHOOSE A PARAGRAPH, OR WRITE YOUR OWN> <FIRST NAME>, I hope you’ll agree that Net Impact is truly a cause worth supporting. I also hope you’ll join in my support by making a gift today. If you’d like to talk in greater length about Net Impact and my reasons for being involved in it, please feel free to call me at <YOUR PHONE NUMBER>. Thank you so much for your time today. Thank you also for considering my request to join me in support of changing the world through better business. Best wishes,
660 Market Street Suite 210 San Francisco, CA 94104 T (415) 984.3300 F (415) 984.3301 WWW.NETIMPACT.ORG
NAME Net Impact Chapter Leader SCHOOL
NET IMPACT LANGUAGE: PICK A PARAGRAPH
Simply copy and paste one of the paragraphs below into the form letter also in this packet. If none of these options seems quite right, feel free to write your own, or contact Will and he’ll be happy to draft one for you. ...Campus Change Initiatives our campus change initiatives. To effect change on the campus level, Net Impact offers programming in two areas important to every graduate student’s life: their curriculum, and their campus. Our Curriculum Change Initiative aims to integrate CSR topics with the core MBA curriculum, and is a joint effort between student members, faculty, and the administration. Based on the same model of collaboration, Net Impact’s Campus Greening Initiative supports our members as they work to create zero-environmentalimpact university campuses. These programs cannot run without the financial support of our donors, and I’m hoping you will help us improve campus activities by making a tax-deductible gift.
…Community Impact Programs our community impact programs. To help get our members out into their communities, and to help them use their business skills for the benefit of the world, Net Impact offers two programs for community impact. First, the Net Impact Service Corps program brings together teams of MBA students and professionals to work with and deliver a strategic project to a local nonprofit. For those individuals who want to dive even deeper into nonprofit service, we have recently launched a Board Fellows program that places Net Impact members on nonprofit Boards of Directors for one-year terms in a non-voting capacity where they too deliver a strategic project. Please help us keep them our community impact programs thriving by making a tax-deductible gift today.
…Drives for Professional Change our drives for professional change inclusive of Impact at Work and our career resources. The Impact at Work program is for members not working in CSR roles, but still wanting to make a difference in the way their company does business. For these members, we offer tools and support to help them have their voices heard and to effect change. Additionally, some of the most valuable tools Net Impact provides its members are our programming and support of their job searches, career transitions, and professional development. I ask you today to help us make sure Net Impact values get into the companies where they’re needed most by supporting our drives for professional change.
…Members and Organizational Growth our members and our organizational growth. With our members at the center of all we do, our success has been due to our dual strategy of equipping individual members for success while simultaneously harnessing their collective talent to generate a larger social impact. Additionally, Net Impact is an organization committed to growth and sustainability. With chapters already on four continents, we are actively researching an expansion to a European office, and ways to offer greater support for international members. While that work that we currently do is great, the sky’s really the limit in terms of what we could be doing.