Plans and Budgets

Winning the Land Trust Lottery

Posted by on Feb 27, 2018 in Featured, Plans and Budgets | 2 comments

Winning the Land Trust Lottery

I just checked and the Powerball lottery is in that unimaginable range again – multiple hundreds of millions of dollars. More than enough to change my life, it’s enough to blow my life completely into another galaxy. It’ll never happen, but it’s fun to fantasize. Truthfully, it is much more likely that your land trust will experience a transformative windfall than it is that I will win the lottery. A windfall that has the potential to change your organizational life. Furthermore, unlike the lottery, you can dramatically improve the odds with relatively small investments. The windfall I am...

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Cultivating Top Donors

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Donor Cultivation, Featured, Plans and Budgets | 2 comments

Cultivating Top Donors

I’m working with three clients right now who are each planning for 2018 cultivation of top prospects. January is an ideal time to do this exercise. Most of these prospects (not all) will be solicited in the Fall, and right now we have 9 or 10 months in which to plan meaningful engagement that will help them say Yes! later. My top prospects include just about anyone who will be singled out for special cultivation attention. In other words, not treated simply as a group. One client is working with more than 100 such prospects. The other two are working with about 50 each. The number doesn’t...

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Fundraising Horses and Scarcity Mentality

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Featured, Plans and Budgets | 2 comments

Fundraising Horses and Scarcity Mentality

I made an interesting connection the other day, and it feels important. I would be interested in your thoughts. For years, I’ve been preaching that so-called “support services,” including fundraising, should be separated from mission work in the Strategic Planning process. But the failure to do so may be connected to scarcity mentality and may even feed the concern about overhead. First – strategic planning. The mental model Nancy Moore and I (working as Conservation Consulting Group) use to guide organizations through strategic planning is based on the simple idea that you need to define...

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Fundraising Planning is about Process, Not Form

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017 in Featured, Plans and Budgets | Comments Off on Fundraising Planning is about Process, Not Form

Fundraising Planning is about Process, Not Form

Well-Meaning Tom: Nothing seems to be working. DA: What’s not working? Well-Meaning Tom: Fundraising! DA: Not working how? Well-Meaning Tom: Not working like we’re not where we should be by now. Not working like when I ask the board members to help they just stare at me – or worse say they will and then don’t. Not working like I can’t do this all by myself. DA: You sound overwhelmed and frustrated. Well-Meaning Tom: You can say that again. DA: It also sounds like a problem of buy-in. Let’s see your Development Plan. Well-Meaning Tom: Plan? DA: Yeah, your Fundraising Plan or Development Plan....

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Fundraising Net Versus Fundraising Gross

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in Featured, Plans and Budgets | Comments Off on Fundraising Net Versus Fundraising Gross

Fundraising Net Versus Fundraising Gross

What would it be like for you if your fundraising work was measured by the net instead of the gross? Actually, let’s start with a different question: In times of financial stress, would you cut the fundraising budget? I read an interesting article just before the recession of 2008 and 2009 in which the writer was pointing out that the majority of money managers in the U.S had never seen a bear market. (That’s not true any longer.) I reflected at the time that the same was true of fundraisers. When we’ve never had to deal with fundraising in a time of recession, we don’t know what to do. In...

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Do You Have Enough Prospects? – A Fresh Take on Gift Charts

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in Featured, Membership, Plans and Budgets | Comments Off on Do You Have Enough Prospects? – A Fresh Take on Gift Charts

Do You Have Enough Prospects? – A Fresh Take on Gift Charts

Or – How will we ever raise $100,000 this year?!? If you can make a goal tangible, it will help you imagine it being real, and if you can make it real, you can make it possible. (And frankly, if it’s not possible, you’re better off finding that out early, right?) A gift chart can help. Here’s how. Most of us are familiar with the basics of a gift chart – a list of gifts needed to make a specific goal with higher-level gifts listed first and smaller gifts listed below in descending tiers, sometimes called a donor pyramid. Gift charts are commonly used in capital campaigns – and rarely used...

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