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Effective Frontline Fundraising: A Guide for Non-Profits, Political Candidates, and Advocacy Groups

Book Description

Today, nearly every charitable nonprofit, advocacy group, professional group, and politician relies on the philanthropy of others. Whether it's a private college, a hospital or museum, a lobbying group, or a local, low-budget food shelf, operational and marketing costs and capital investments are often largely underwritten through the generous support of donors. Nonprofits need some people to write $25 checks on a regular basis, and they need others to make six-figure pledges. The bad news: Since the economic collapse of 2008, getting people to part with precious dollars has become ever more difficult. The good news is that people are still inclined to be generous to organizations, causes, and candidates they believe in. Effective Frontline Fundraising provides the information you'll need to set up and manage an effective development team capable of consistently raising gifts, both large and small.

Effective Frontline Fundraising will not only teach those skills for getting the gift you want in the short run, but it will also show how to build a meaningful, long-lasting relationship between your organization and your donor base. This book:

  • Shows how to keep that organizational lifeblood—cash—running through your vital operations

  • Explains how to create a firm foundation from which to solicit funds

  • Provides examples of successful and unsuccessful fundraising messages and plans

  • Teaches you how to ask confidently for gifts from $25 to $1,000,000 ... or more!

What you'll learn

You will learn to:

  • Recruit a rock-solid development team

  • Devise and implement an annual fundraising plan

  • Craft a motivating fundraising message

  • Time your solicitations to maximize return

  • Maintain positive relationships with your donor base

  • Gain an understanding of the gift cycle

  • Leverage volunteers, events, and other development resources and opportunities

  • Build the confidence to make the "big ask" for major gifts

Who this book is for

Effective Frontline Fundraising is geared toward small to medium nonprofits that are just beginning to professionalize their development offices. It is for new directors of development/institutional advancement who need to build an operation from the ground up. It is for anyone raising funds for political organizations, individual candidates for public office, and advocacy groups. And it is for fundraising professionals who are just about to go after the big fish.

Table of Contents

  1. Title
  2. Dedication
  3. Contents
  4. About the Author
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Introduction
    1. There's No Such Thing as Luck
  7. CHAPTER 1: Nonprofits, Cash Flow, and Philanthropy
    1. The Road Ahead
    2. Nonprofits in the US
    3. Nonprofits Need Cash
    4. Wealth: Where Is It?
    5. Philanthropy in the US
    6. Philanthropy Around the World
    7. The Evolution and Development of a Fundraising Shop
  8. CHAPTER 2: The Role of a Fundraiser
    1. Your Context Within the Organization
    2. Deciding Institutional Goals
    3. Excellent Fundraising Depends on Collaboration
    4. Mastering the Coordination Game
    5. On Being Cool (or Not Being Cool)
  9. CHAPTER 3: The Gift Cycle
    1. The Gift Cycle
    2. Assessment
    3. Cultivation
    4. Presolicitation
    5. Solicitation
    6. Stewardship
  10. CHAPTER 4: Assembling Your Team
    1. Frontline Fundraisers: A Strangely Effective Team of Black Sheep
    2. Administrative Staff: A Gift Officer’s Life Line
    3. Tips on Recruitment
    4. Volunteers: A Blessing and a Curse
    5. The Minimalist Shop: What to Do When Resources Are Tight
  11. CHAPTER 5: The Basic Tools
    1. The Mack Truck Philosophy
    2. Taking Good Notes
    3. Stories from the Road: Why Notes Are Important, and Their Limits
    4. Notes, Continued: Examples and Analyses of Notes from the Donor Visits
    5. Databasing: Information, Organized
  12. CHAPTER 6: The Annual Plan
    1. Why Set Goals?
    2. Goal Setting: Dreaming Big, Realistically
    3. Gift Pyramids: Your Dollar Goals, Visualized
    4. Participation Goals: Building the Movement, Investing in the Big Donors of the Future
    5. Planning, Planning, Planning: Charting Your Course to Goal Achievement
    6. Retreat for a Day or Two
  13. CHAPTER 7: Crafting Your Message
    1. Composing a Message that Moves People
    2. Elements of a Fundraising Message
    3. On Consistency
    4. On Stealing
    5. Composition 101
  14. CHAPTER 8: Stewardship
    1. The Art of Proper Thank You(s)
    2. All Phases of the Gift Cycle Are Related
    3. The Three Levels of Stewardship
    4. Events: Parties with a Purpose
  15. CHAPTER 9: Face Time
    1. The Taxonomy of Travel
    2. Group Meetings
    3. Trip Planning
    4. Follow Up: Where You Really Impress Your Donors
    5. Tales from the Road
  16. CHAPTER 10: The Ask
    1. Rejection: A Way of Life
    2. The Psychology of the Ask
    3. Prep Work: The Time, the Place, the Amount, the Solicitor
    4. Pulling the Trigger: Tips and Tricks
    5. Overcoming Objections
  17. CHAPTER 11: Major Gifts
    1. What’s the Same
    2. What’s Different
    3. Storytelling and Negotiating: The Essential Skills of a Major Gift Officer
    4. When to Negotiate
    5. Challenge Gifts
    6. Timelines and Strategies
    7. Trends in Major Gifts since 2008
  18. CHAPTER 12: Political Fundraising
    1. First, the Good News
    2. What’s Different from “Regular” Nonprofit Fundraising
    3. The Incumbent Advantage
    4. Canvassing: Because Every Army Needs an Infantry
    5. Campaign Messaging: What’s the Same, and a Defense of Simplicity
    6. Parties, PACs, and Candidates: How the Strategies Vary
    7. After the Election …
  19. CHAPTER 13: Charity, Advocacy Group, or Both?
    1. Who Gets What
    2. The Wonderful World of IRS Definitions
    3. Verboten! What Activities Are Off Limits
    4. When the Tax Incentive Disappears
    5. Different Groups, Same Rules
  20. CHAPTER 14: Get Out There and Start Asking
    1. Rejection
    2. Staffing
    3. The Fundraiser’s Place
    4. Why We Do It
    5. Your Donors
    6. Butterflies vs. Fearlessness
  21. APPENDIX A: Additional Resources
    1. Books
    2. Websites
    3. Periodicals
  22. APPENDIX B: Example Appeals and Websites You Should Envy
    1. Barack Obama’s 2012 Campaign
    2. Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
    3. Betasab
    4. A Major Solicitation
    5. Notable Websites
  23. APPENDIX C: Funding Sources Beyond the Individual Donor
  24. Index