Donor Insight. Fundraising Action.

Fundraising Football!

Posted by Your Coaches at DonorTrends on 09/2017

I love football! 

It's not so much the physicality that attracts me.  It's the strategic genius of a Coach and his Coordinators that makes every Sunday ... and Monday, Thursday and Saturday ... so engaging.

The Coach has four turns to move his players 10% closer to the goal.  He has 11 players to help accomplish this goal.  The strategic moves of these players determines victory [or defeat].   

Every team has access to the same tactics - Block / Tackle / Pass / Throw / Kick -  to achieve their goal.  So why are some teams successful and others are not? 

The same is true in fundraising.  We all have access to the same tactics - Acquisition / New Donor ConversionDonor Retention  / Upgrading / Lapsed Donor Reactivation.   Why do some organizations experience growth while others do not?

The difference of success or failure comes down to a Fundraising Game Plan.   An annual strategy that can read the defense, engage your players donors, and move the ball down the field. 

The Fundraising Football Field is a terrific visual analogy to understand the potential you have to upgrade donors.


Our job as a Fundraiser [Coach] is to Identify, Target, and Upgrade donors likely to give more to support the mission.   Understanding your upgrade potential is the first step.   Find My Key Players to Upgrade

The best place to start is to evaluate the previous giving behavior of your donors.  Resist the urge to find out who's 'rich'.  Ever heard of any of these guys? NFL Small Size Big Impact  So remember:  wealth does not equal philanthropy.  Just because they're rich, doesn't mean they want to give their wealth to you.  It's your job as 'coach" to understand what they bring to your team/organization and how they interact with you, as well as find ways to keep them engaged. No one wants their donors to become a free agent!

Start your Game Plan by following these steps:

  • IDENTIFY donors likely to upgrade by analyzing / evaluating past performance. 
  • SEGMENT donors into three groups:
    • Lower dollar donors likely to upgrade
    • Prospective mid-level upgrades
    • Prospective major donor upgrades
  • UPGRADE each segment using different tactics / techniques:
    • Lower dollar donors:  be more aggressive with the multiplier on your ask array. You can get a Case Study here.
    • Mid-level invitation:  multi-channel, 'high touch/value' packaging inviting the loyal donor into a Giving 'club.'
    • Major Donor qualification:  donor is passed to a major gift officer for qualification / active portfolio.
  • TRACK progress against goal:
    • Monitor retention and revenue monthly to ensure you're moving the ball down the field.
    • A tool like the DonorDashboard can be helpful.  It's free - test it out and let us know what you think.

Almost 90% of revenue is generated from 10% of donors.  If your Fundraising Game Plan doesn't have an upgrade strategy, let's get one started today.

PS:  Go Redskins!!!

Topics: Lifetime Value, mid-level upgrade, major donor upgrade, donor upgrading, Moves Management, Year End Strategy, Fundraising Strategies, Upgrade Strategies, Major Donor Pipeline

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Fundraising Superhero,

We know how many capes you have to wear. Fighting the good fight, trying to raise money to fund critical programs. We're here to help. We're using this space to collect tips and trends that will help strengthen your fundraising superpowers.  Together, we'll fight Fundraising Foes like donor attrition, downgrading, and rising costs. 

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