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Developing a Culture of

Exercise: What if….

I gave you $1,000 to give to any non-profit
organization of your choice (excluding

Take two minutes to decide and write
down your choice on a post it note.
What if…

Why did you pick what you did?
What if…

What are some other reasons people
decide to give to a particular
What if…

How did you first learn of the organization you

What interactions/communication have you
had with the organization?
What if…

Have you ever directly been asked for a donation
by this organization?
What if…

As you anticipate informing the organization
about the gift, how do you imagine they will
respond to your gift?

What do you expect in recognition of your gift?
Now, imagine…

A few days later, you got a phone call from a
Board member or the ED thanking you for your
support – which led to a conversation about what
most interests you in the organization – why you
chose to give to them.
Now, imagine…

The following week, the development staff called
to ask how you would like your name to be listed
in the annual report, and asked if they could send
you occasional email updates.
Now, imagine…

Several months after your gift, you were asked to
join a committee/task force/focus group to give
your input on an issue the organization addresses.
Now, imagine…

A few months later, the director of the area of the
organization you are most interested in sends you
a personal email to let you know they just made a
major breakthrough in their work and thanks you
again for helping to make it happen.
Now, imagine…

Two days later you pick up the local newspaper
and read a wonderful article highlighting the
program/organization you gave your donation to.
Now, imagine…

A year after your gift, you were invited to an
event at the organization. Do you go?
What is Fund Development?

The mission of fund development is to secure
donors, not donations. It’s about loyalty and

Fund raising is not merely about raising
money. The inspired fund raiser understands
their job is to foster greater generosity and
gratitude in the world.
What is Fund Development?

Development is simply the building of value-
based relationships between prospective donors
and organizations. Fund raising is a vehicle for
donors to act on these values, bringing joy to
themselves and others.

Your ability to successfully fund raise is
directly related to your capacity to support and
sustain these relationships.
What is Fund Development?

Fund development is a key competency and a
disciplined, well-managed process that follows a
circular cycle of:

making the case;

identifying likely donors;

cultivating those donors;

making a request for funds; and

recognizing the donors
What is Fund Development?

To be successful, this ongoing process involves the
entire staff and creates a development culture that
respects and values existing donors and thoughtfully
and persistently attracts new contributors.
What is a Culture of

A culture of philanthropy is an attitude that
embraces relationship building. Once you build a
community of believers, the money will follow.

To be truly successful and effective, you must
develop a culture of philanthropy.
What is a Culture of
• The development staff works with employees
across the organization, encouraging them to
consider themselves institutional ambassadors
who demonstrate their respect for donors and
recognize that they owe donors evidence of
good stewardship.
What Does it Look Like?

Employees at these organizations consider
fundraising an opportunity to spread their
mission, not an issue of “asking for money”.

Everyone can articulate a case for giving and
how a gift will be used.

Everyone can answer basic questions about the
Organizations Lacking a Culture
of Philanthropy

Fundraising may be crisis-driven or reactive: chasing
money, rather than following a predetermined plan.

Development activities are viewed as costs rather than
investments, resulting in development effort that is
unfunded or inadequately staffed.

The responsibility for fundraising is assumed by one
or a few people (most often development personnel or
ED) and there are few roles for the Board of
Directors, other volunteers, donors or program staff.
Organizations Lacking a Culture
of Philanthropy

Discreet activities such as special events or direct mail
campaigns are emphasized, rather than a comprehensive
strategy that taps multiple channels for giving.

If major gifts occur, they are usually unsolicited: no one
is charged with making the ask and few face-to-face
meetings occur for the purpose of cultivation.

Donors feel “at arms length”- their involvement is
primarily viewed in terms of contributions. They are
rarely sought out to advise or assist in the development
What is the Goal of Fund

The goal is to work toward the systemic
integration of a fund development culture into the
organization’s overall operations that can be
supported and expanded as needed over time.
Key steps in fund
development planning,
implementation and
feasibility testing
1. Fostering a culture of philanthropy
within the organization
a) Assuring that everyone throughout the
organization values philanthropy and donors
b) Using systems thinking
c) Understanding that most fund development
problems are not fund development programs
but actually are organizational development
2. Identifying potential funding
a. Examining the charitable contributions marketplace in order to
address such issues as:
• level of congestion in fund development
• issues and organizations receiving donor focus
• strategies that have been effective in reaching donors
b. Identifying opportunities for networking with other
philanthropic organizations and donors
c. Identifying current constituents (e.g., volunteers, referral
sources, clients, etc.) and getting to know them well enough to
evaluate if they are potential donors
d. Identifying those who might be predisposed to your cause and
getting to know them well enough to determine if they might be
cultivated into constituents and then donors.
3. Developing the relationship
with potential funders/donors
a) Developing an ongoing process to get to know prospects

b) Understanding their giving interests, disinterests, motivations
and aspirations
c) Identifying the value match between your organization and the
d) Developing communications and cultivation strategies to build
the relationship
e) Building mutual understanding and commitment

f) Providing adequate and appropriate acknowledgment and
recognition for donors
4. Positioning your organization
within the philanthropic marketplace
a) Determining what constituents, community
leaders and those predisposed to your cause
think of the organization.
b) Identifying interests, disinterests, motivations
and aspirations of prospective donors and
determining if there is a value match with
your organization
c) Identifying optimum ways to communicate
and cultivate relationships
5. Organizing to do the fund
development work
a) Outlining the values, ethics and standards for fund
development at your organization
b) Defining the fund development functions, competencies and
skills necessary to carry out fund development, and the
appropriate structure for optimum performance
c) Defining roles of your organization staff, the Board as a
group and its individual members and other possible
d) Identifying training needs for volunteers and staff and
developing appropriate materials
e) Developing the fund development plan
6. Maximizing the return on investment
through the best use of solicitation
a) Determining the appropriate solicitation process,
request and solicitor for each prospect
b) Evaluating interest, readiness and capacity of
prospective donors
c) Estimating the dollars that might be generated, the
cost to do so, and preparing the budget
d) Using the skills and contacts of board members and
7. Implementation
a) Developing solicitation materials, e.g., case
statement, gift transmittal mechanism
b) Asking for the gift and securing the answer
c) Monitoring progress, identifying challenges
and intervening
d) Evaluating productivity and return on
8. Evaluation
a) Establishing criteria to measure return on
investment and evaluating results
b) Compiling participation rates, e.g.,
acquisition, attrition, retention; calculating gift
upgrades and average gift size. Determining
cost to raise a $, cost effectiveness and return
on investment.
c) Determining trends and analyzing