5 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Fundraising Success

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

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When you boil it all down, attaining fundraising success is pretty simple if you just recognize that:

 
Step 1. Donors want to satisfy their needs and desires
Step 2. Donors will give your organization their money if you (the fundraiser) prove that your organization can satisfy their needs and desires
Step 3. The way to prove that your organization can satisfy their needs and desires is with education which can come in many forms; the most powerful is engagement (involvement with your organization and its mission)
Step 4. After it has been proven that you can satisfy their needs and desires, then it must be easy for the donor to give
Step 5. Once the gift is received, you must help the donor feel good about the gift so they recognize and remember that your organization is the one that can satisfy their needs and desires again someday in the future
 

Bottom line: As a fundraiser, your job is to constantly seek out ways to satisfy the needs and desires or your donors in order to facilitate a fair exchange of value for money.

 

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4 responses to “5 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Fundraising Success”

  1. Derek Floyd says:

    So this sounds ‘ridiculously simple’ as you say, and I would suggest in practice it isn’t really all that simple. I think there is a missing step somewhere between #1 & #3. How do you know what the donor’s needs and desires are? Not through #3 – “educating” donors on what your organization does – that’s organization-centric, not donor-centric. What if a donor wants to give, but not be engaged? You’ll learn that the hard way by trying to force involvement with that donor so that you can feel they are engaged with your organization and mission.
    A great book to read is “The Seven Faces of Philanthropy” by Russ Alan Prince and Karen Maru File. They suggest all donors basically fall into 1 of 7 types of donors (based on motivations for giving). A donor will never be more than one type at the same time. And some do not want engagement. And that’s OK. But a step needs to be added here in order to listen and understand that donor’s story and motivation for giving before blindly trying to involve and engage them.

    • Greg Warner says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Derek.
      Sorry I sort of left out what many folks that understand our strategies and software already realize. I agree, in practice nothing is all that simple.
      Our clients get the missing step filled in because we deliver precisely WHO is interested, WHY, and WHEN the fundraiser should call (sometimes right down to the minute).
      We determine the WHY by tracking donor engagement (mostly online).
      For instance, if a supporter clicks on CGA information one day, plays with a CGA calculator another day, and watches a video about CGA’s a month later… now the fundraiser knows that the supporter is interested (needs and desires) in a CGA.
      So, I must tell you that the paradigm has changed and you can, indeed, learn about a donor’s needs and desires by educating them… not about what your organization does but, instead, about how the donor can be the hero in the story.
      We never force involvement. We provide engaging, valuable, emotional offers to supporters to get them to involve themselves with an organization.
      And last thing, giving IS engaging.
      I’ve read the Seven Faces. Good book. Our strategies help fundraisers determine where donors and supporters fall before bothering them with a phone call.
      Everything we do here at MarketSmart involves listening. It’s not a step, it needs to occur throughout the entire process. That way there is never any blindness.
      I hope that makes sense. If not, feel free to contact us and one of our Solutionists will show you.
      This is a new paradigm and many people have a hard time understanding it if they don’t see it in action with a demonstration (never any selling involved).
      Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.

  2. Derek Floyd says:

    So this sounds ‘ridiculously simple’ as you say, and I would suggest in practice it isn’t really all that simple. I think there is a missing step somewhere between #1 & #3. How do you know what the donor’s needs and desires are? Not through #3 – “educating” donors on what your organization does – that’s organization-centric, not donor-centric. What if a donor wants to give, but not be engaged? You’ll learn that the hard way by trying to force involvement with that donor so that you can feel they are engaged with your organization and mission.
    A great book to read is “The Seven Faces of Philanthropy” by Russ Alan Prince and Karen Maru File. They suggest all donors basically fall into 1 of 7 types of donors (based on motivations for giving). A donor will never be more than one type at the same time. And some do not want engagement. And that’s OK. But a step needs to be added here in order to listen and understand that donor’s story and motivation for giving before blindly trying to involve and engage them.

    • Greg Warner says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Derek.
      Sorry I sort of left out what many folks that understand our strategies and software already realize. I agree, in practice nothing is all that simple.
      Our clients get the missing step filled in because we deliver precisely WHO is interested, WHY, and WHEN the fundraiser should call (sometimes right down to the minute).
      We determine the WHY by tracking donor engagement (mostly online).
      For instance, if a supporter clicks on CGA information one day, plays with a CGA calculator another day, and watches a video about CGA’s a month later… now the fundraiser knows that the supporter is interested (needs and desires) in a CGA.
      So, I must tell you that the paradigm has changed and you can, indeed, learn about a donor’s needs and desires by educating them… not about what your organization does but, instead, about how the donor can be the hero in the story.
      We never force involvement. We provide engaging, valuable, emotional offers to supporters to get them to involve themselves with an organization.
      And last thing, giving IS engaging.
      I’ve read the Seven Faces. Good book. Our strategies help fundraisers determine where donors and supporters fall before bothering them with a phone call.
      Everything we do here at MarketSmart involves listening. It’s not a step, it needs to occur throughout the entire process. That way there is never any blindness.
      I hope that makes sense. If not, feel free to contact us and one of our Solutionists will show you.
      This is a new paradigm and many people have a hard time understanding it if they don’t see it in action with a demonstration (never any selling involved).
      Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.

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