Plans and Budgets

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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How Much Does Fundraising Cost?

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Board Development, Featured, Plans and Budgets | Comments Off on How Much Does Fundraising Cost?

How Much Does Fundraising Cost?

Imagine a day when someone walks in the door of your land trust and offers to pay for everything you need to accomplish your mission. Not an invitation to be extravagant, and not crazy stuff, but if money weren’t a barrier, what would it cost to run your land trust? What would you include in your calculations? Your ED salary would be included as well as your program staff. But the fundraising staff would no longer be necessary. You’d probably hang on to your communications staff, too. The newsletter, eNews, social media, and news releases would still be necessary. Likewise your volunteer...

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Untying the Budget Knots

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in Featured, Plans and Budgets, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Untying the Budget Knots

Untying the Budget Knots

I am working with an organization right now that needs to reboot their fundraising systems. They sent out their fall appeal last year and their renewal notices this year using email. It was a well-meaning but misguided attempt to save money – because their fundraising hasn’t been all that good lately. They didn’t even send renewal notices to everyone on their list because they didn’t have email addresses for everyone. I suggested that they mail a sequence of renewal letters, using paper and envelopes and stamps. Their initial answer was that there wasn’t money in the budget for stamps. I’ve...

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How Much is Your Obsession with Overhead Costing You?

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Donor Cultivation, Featured, Plans and Budgets, Uncategorized | 6 comments

How Much is Your Obsession with Overhead Costing You?

Let’s say you get fundraising letters from two different land trusts with similar missions and similar geographies. The first raises $150,000 per year and brags that 95% of every dollar goes to programs. The second raises $500,000 per year, and you learn from Guidestar that they have a 25% overhead. Which one are you more impressed with? Which one should you be more impressed with? Which one would you give to? Would you support the land trust that is actively using $142,500 to protect land every year or to the organization that is using $375,000? Now turn the scenario around. Compared with...

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Can Strategic Planning Help You Raise Money?

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Donor Cultivation, Featured, Plans and Budgets, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can Strategic Planning Help You Raise Money?

Can Strategic Planning Help You Raise Money?

You bet! And here’s how: FIRST, strategic planning quantifies what you want to accomplish in the next five years. That means you can take a stab at what it will actually cost to do all that. As a general rule, the costs will roll-up into two separate fundraising goals. The first goal is the capital goal. It includes all the expenses that will be one-time expenses. Land acquisitions, endowment, equipment and vehicle purchases, and trail building all fall into this category. You need to raise a specific amount of money over a specific period of time. You get that thing done, and move on. The...

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Strategic Planning for Fundraising: Start with the Goal!

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Development Audit, Donor Cultivation, Featured, Plans and Budgets, Staff Development, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Strategic Planning for Fundraising: Start with the Goal!

Strategic Planning for Fundraising: Start with the Goal!

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. Why are we doing this event? Because we did it last year. Why do we send out an appeal letter in October? Because that’s what we’ve always done. Why are our $250 donors called “Patrons”? Why do we host an annual golf tournament? Why do we write notes on renewal letters? Someone wise once told me that every once in a while, instead of trying to climb faster or smarter or more efficiently, it’s important to step back and make sure your ladder is still leaning on the right wall. I’ve written about this...

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