Maximizing Fundraising ROI

Bob Cryer

Bob Cryer

LaVal Brewer presented a thought provoking workshop at OneOC on “Grassroots Fundraising”. One of his handouts was a worksheet that showed how much of the funds raised comes from how many donors at each giving level. It says that about almost 80% of the funds raised in a typical campaign comes from donors who gave more than $500. The average gift of these donors was about $1200 and about a third of the prospects for this giving level will make a donation of $500 or more. The average donation below this level was $75 and only 13% of the prospects at this giving level made a donation. Clearly, most of the fundraising effort should be focused on identifying and developing donors of $500 or more.

LaVal presented a straightforward process for developing donors that starts with linkage to reach out to prospective donors, involvement get them to participate with the staff, board and committees on nonprofit activities, leading to their advocacy for the nonprofit’s mission. An individual that is involved and advocating for a nonprofit, and has the ability and interest in donating, is an excellent prospect for becoming a major donor.

LaVal recommends that nonprofits have a Fundraising Calendar that shows when during the year they will reach out to prospects with E-mails, phone calls and notes to maintain their linkages. When will activities be scheduled that encourages prospective major donors to get involved with the work of the nonprofit as observers, volunteers, advisors or as Board and Committee members to facilitate their advocacy? When and how during the year will personal contacts be made with each prospective major donor to assess their ability and interest in financially supporting the nonprofit’s mission as a major donor. And finally, when and how will the personal “Ask” be made.

Thank you, LaVal and OneOC, for the very helpful workshop!

Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County,