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For many nonprofits, annual giving is the fuel source that willfund their programs and services throughout the year. A successfulcampaign requires constant creativity, enthusiasm, energy, andimmediate results, which makes it a most challenging endeavor.
Fundraising Fundamentals presents step-by-step guidelines forcarrying out all aspects of an annual giving campaign that beginswith direct mail solicitation and expands using membershiporganizations, donor clubs, special and benefit events, andvolunteer solicitation to illustrate how to develop a total annualgiving program using these reliable methods and techniques.Supported by a generous supplement of authentic case studies andexamples, this updated Second Edition covers the latest strategiesfor telephone, telemarketing, and Internet solicitation, as well asapproaches to soliciting from corporations and foundations.
Nine principal methods of annual giving are detailed here alongwith expert advice on managing each of these multiple fundraisingmethods as a comprehensive program. Whether you are a professionalor volunteer, learning how to orchestrate these nine principalmethods to build on one another will help you raise more money andestablish lasting relationships with donors. Other means offundraising are addressed to supplement the principal nine, such asadvertisements and coupons, door-to-door solicitation, federatedcampaigns, gambling and games of chance, and cause-relatedmarketing. A comprehensive section on managing the annual givingprogram provides invaluable information on performance measurement,budget preparation and management, cost-benefit standards andguidelines, financial accounting, gift reporting, and muchmore.
With sample forms and letters, checklists, and charts,Fundraising Fundamentals contains everything you need to manage andcarry out a comprehensive annual giving program with maximumefficiency and effectiveness.
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Chapter 1 Developing Annual Gift Support by Raising Friends andBuilding Relationships.
The Philanthropic Process.
The Independent Sector and the Nature of CharitableOrganizations.
The Role of Fund Development.
The Role of Annual Giving.
What to Use in Making Annual Gifts.
Chapter 2 Asking for Money:Begin with Testing by Mail.
Acquisition:The Everlasting Search.
Finding Likely First-Time Donors.
Letter Texts:Write Love Letters!
Chapter 3 Direct Mail Acquisition:Constituency Building.
Meeting Changing Needs.
The Case for Annual Gift Support:Goals and Potential.
Goal Setting for Annual Giving Solicitation.
These Are Donors,Not Numbers.
The Annual Fund 'Master Schedule.
Making and Following Plans:The Frequency of Appeals.
Plan to Be Flexible.
Where Pledges Fit in Annual Giving.
Acquisition through Mail Appeals.
Why Use the Mail?
Multiple Acquisition Methods.
When to Mail and How Often.
Improved Results with Multimedia Appeals.
Other Options for Acquisition Mailings.
Chapter 4 Donor Renewal:A Communications Art.
Methods of Donor Renewal,Revival,and Reward.
Chapter 5 Membership and Membership Associations.
Legal and Tax-Exempt Status.
Annual Dues and Gifts.
Benefits and Privileges.
The Value of a Gift Membership.
Management of Membership Associations.
Annual Giving Opportunities for Members.
Annual Membership Campaigns.
Operating Costs for Membership Programs.
Chapter 6 Telephone and Telemarketing Techniques.
Preparing for Telephone Solicitation.
The Volunteer Calling Program:Planning Is the Key toSuccess.
Developing a Telemarketing Program.
Should You Hire a Professional Telemarketing Firm?
Budgeting for Telephone Solicitation.
Other Uses of the Telephone.
Chapter 7 Groups,Guilds,and Support Organizations.
Donor Clubs: The Benefits of Organizing Donors.
Support Group Organizations.
Management of Groups,Guilds,and Support Organizations.
Chapter 8 Soliciting Annual Gifts from Corporations andFoundations.
Securing Annual Corporate Gifts.
Tax Deductions as a Motivation.
The Roles of Research,Relationships,and Requests.
The United Way Corporate Connection.
Corporate Matching Gifts: Untapped Gold?
Cause-Related Marketing:Yes,It's Money But It Is NotPhilanthropy.
Securing Annual Foundation Gifts.
Donor Recognition for Corporations and Foundations.
Chapter 9 Internet Solicitation.
Artful Uses of the Internet for Annual Giving.
Cyberspace Law: Online Fundraising Rules and Regulations.
Working with Application Service Providers.
Ethics Codes and Standards of Professional Practice.
Intellectual Property,Copyright,Privacy,and Security.
The Future of Internet Solicitation.
Chapter 10 Activities,Benefits,and Special Events.
Definitions and Differences.
Management and Performance Measurement.
Chapter 11 The Volunteer-Led,Personal Solicitation Annual GivingCampaign.
Developing Qualified Donors.
Recruiting and Training Volunteer Solicitors.
Campaign Leadership:The Key to Success.
Management of the Annual Giving Campaign.
Recognition and Reward.
Chapter 12 Other Ways to Raise Money Every Year.
Advertising and Coupons.
Commemorative and Tribute Giving.
Commercial Sales,Cause-Related Marketing,and Affinity Cards.
Door-to-Door and On-Street Solicitation.
Gambling and Games of Chance.
Television and Telethon Solicitation.
Various Other Annual Giving Ideas of Merit.
Scams and Con Artist Fraud and Abuse.
Chapter 13 Managing the Comprehensive Annual Giving Program.
Balanced Participation:A Key to Success.
Managing Annual Giving Programs.
Board,CEO,and Employee Relations.
Management of Changing Annual Priorities.
Budget Preparation and Management.
Cost 'Benefit Standards and Guidelines.
Program Performance Measurement.
Office Functions,Operating Procedures,and Computer Support.
Training for All Staff Members.
Financial Accounting and Reporting.
Issues and Challenges for the Future of Annual Giving.
Appendix A: Operating Rules and Procedures for a Support GroupOrganization.
Appendix B: Master Checklist for Activities, Benefits, andSpecial Events.
Appendix C: Glossary of Internet Terms.
For all philanthropic practice, there are two overarching questions:
1. Why do we exist?
2. What's the money for?
These questions deserve great answers; in fact, many great answers will be needed. The purposes of annual giving go beyond merely raising money; that alone is an inadequate and insufficient answer to why we exist. The true objective is to find and build a constituency of friends who are willing to join a cause. During the period of their friendship, they will be encouraged to expand their relationship to active involvement that may last a lifetime. To build such friendships and lifelong relationships between people and causes, charitable organizations must send these encouraging messages every year, communicating them through the medium of annual giving. Effective communication through annual giving programs will require careful thought, extensive preparation, and an efficient and effective delivery system.
A nonprofit organization begins by identifying the values that characterize it and by studying its "vision" of itself-what it has done and is doing now, and, most important to fundraising success, what its plans are for the future. This visioncontains the fundamental values incorporated into the mission statement. The mission statement, in turn, explains why the organization was formed, what its continuing goals are, what benefits it intends to provide to others, and why its functions are of value and should continue. Henry Rosso writes that the mission statement "expresses more than justification for existence and more than just a definition of goals and objectives. It defines the value system that will guide program strategies. The mission is the magnet that will attract and hold the interests of trustees, volunteers, staff, and contributors." The mission statement should use clear language to describe the programs and services to be offered and to explain how the vision will be carried out and how the results will be achieved. Charitable organizations use several philanthropic practices-stewardship, volunteerism, a charitable purpose, and public advocacy, among others-to enable them to achieve their vision and fulfill their mission. "People helping people" is both the method and the model; helping, which implies action, is something everyone can do. Philanthropy, or what Robert Payton calls "voluntary action for the common good," connotes association with others in the community and is the chief means to carry out the mission.
Once the mission is understood and the programs to fulfill it are in place, an organization must study its charitable purpose, an attribute that denotes altruism and enlightened self-interest. Donors give time or money to a charitable purpose that will help other people because they appreciate the implied mutuality of dependence that people have for one another.
A charitable act is a social exchange that occurs each time a gift is made. The decision to make a gift comes after being asked by someone else, someone who is trusted by the donor. A gift implies a considerable amount of confidence and trust in both the solicitor and the charitable organization's ability (and faithfulness) to "do the right thing" with the money or, at the very least, to do no harm.
Charitable behavior is a personal virtue advocated in every religious tradition; every citizen has the freedom to practice charity. To help another person or a cause can be practiced alone, between two people, or among millions acting together. Over centuries, the concept of charitable action has evolved into the practice of philanthropy today. Philanthropy requires a generosity of spirit that can be practiced anywhere and everywhere, at any time; it can accomplish any "charitable" purpose, and often will be accompanied by public recognition. Philanthropy has flowered in America, partly because of the protection it has enjoyed from the federal government since the ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights were added to the Constitution of the United States. The First Amendment states:
1. Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Government has joined in philanthropic practice by legitimizing its reason to exist. Government also advocates that its citizens engage in charitable acts because these acts improve the common good. In most nations, government is responsible for a wide spectrum of public services. By contrast, whole areas of American enterprise, from the arts to education, from social welfare to health care, from religion to civic causes, are often carried out by citizens, acting alone or together. The consensus in America is that government cannot and should not be involved in many of these areas. There is also agreement that some areas of public activity can be better served when government, business, and philanthropy act together. This agreement is one of the most sacred privileges in the people's possession, a personal freedom that encourages them to practice philanthropy. Brian O'Connell has given this perspective on the freedoms of the First Amendment:
It is important to be reminded of the basic values of American society; the freedom, worth, and dignity of the individual; equal opportunity; justice; and mutual responsibility. Our largest vehicles for preserving and enhancing those basic values are:
Representative government starting with one person/one vote; The freedoms of speech and assembly The free press A system of justice beginning with due process and presumption of innocence University public education.
Philanthropic practice, or people acting together through charitable organizations, begins when active participation and financial support are requested from individuals, business, and the government itself. To be able to respond, the charitable organization must embody its vision and mission into a structure and an action plan. First, it must qualify as a charitable organization by being incorporated as a nonprofit, public benefit corporation in 1 of the 50 states. Second, it must be granted tax-exempt status by the federal government by qualifying as a pure public charity. The organization is then granted several privileges in exchange for its agreed-on obligation to perform one or more charitable activities, as described by Bruce Hopkins:
The federal tax definition of a charitable organization contains at least 15 different ways for a nonprofit entity to be charitable. These characteristics, found in the income tax regulations, IRS rulings, and federal and state court opinions, include: relieving the poor and distressed or the underprivileged; advancing religion, education, or science; lessening the burdens of government; beautifying and maintaining a community; preserving natural beauty; promoting health, social welfare, environmental conservancy, arts, or patriotism; caring for orphans or animals; promoting, advancing, and sponsoring amateur sports; and maintaining public confidence in the legal system.
More than 20 subgroups or types of charitable organizations qualify under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Charitable organizations that demonstrate "charitable purposes" enjoy tax exemption privileges on income, sales, and property, plus a charitable contribution deduction for donors who make gifts. Organizations that quality as "501(c)(3) organizations" (Section 501(c), subsection (3) of the IRC) are also permitted to engage in tax-exempt bond financing, to claim school tax exemptions, to enjoy reduced postal rates, and to be relieved of federal unemployment taxes and corporate net income taxes, except where they might qualify for unrelated business income tax (UBIT).
This impressive array of privileges is enhanced by the public benefits and "good works" performed by each charitable organization. In all of this activity, it is not organizations that act; it is the people within them and the people who act through them on behalf of others. People exercise a mutual obligation to care for one another through their voluntary association. In so doing, they take upon themselves certain duties and responsibilities as owners of charitable organizations and stewards of the public's trust. Their efforts succeed in building a new community, one that will be held together by their commitment to carry out a charitable purpose. This new community adds to its membership volunteers and staff, friends and donors, clients and their families, and others who share in the responsibility of doing their best to improve the human condition by fulfilling the mission of the charitable organization.
Philanthropy holds a mirror to society's pluralism where the acts of others fulfill the needs of all of its members. Hopkins, describing a truly democratic state, warns that "the power to influence and cause changes cannot be concentrated in one sector of that state or society. There must be a 'pluralization of institutions' in society, a fancy way of saying that the ability to bring about changes and the accumulation of power cannot belong to just one sector-inevitably, the government." Those who become active as members of a charitable organization become directly responsible for its welfare, whether they are board members, management, employees, or clients; all are bonded to the vision and mission and become advocates of the organization's reason to exist. Other memberships are filled by government, business, nonclients (or not-yet clients), volunteers, and donors, who also join and become partners to the mission. John Gardner, founder of Common Cause, has summarized the status of nonprofits in the United States: "In the realm of good works this nation boasts a unique blending of private and governmental effort. There is almost no area of educational, scientific, charitable, or religious activity in which we have not built an effective network of private institutions." With everything in order, and having been sanctioned with legal form by the government, charitable organizations go forth to fulfill their mission to benefit others. The philanthropic process has begun.
The Philanthropic Process
The philanthropic process has many parts. We have touched briefly on only the most essential ingredients: the vision and mission; rights of assembly, association, and community; charitable purposes and public benefits; and legal form. Legal form might be complex but it is necessary to all that follows. A charitable organization established by citizens must be constituted correctly as a nonprofit, public benefit corporation. Each such entity is a substantial enterprise and, as the chrysalis becomes the fragile but beautiful butterfly, it will require vigilant attention by all its members to preserve its life and to enhance its beauty. Volunteers who serve on its board of directors assume the stewardship of the public's trust on their collective shoulders; it is their duty to demand that everything be completely legal. To lose the government's endorsement is to cause the association to forfeit its benefits and privileges, cease to provide its public benefits, divide its property, and "wind up" its existence. Worst of all, it will lose public trustworthiness, a failure in its purpose for existence. Without legal form and public trust, no matter how lofty the vision or how humane the mission, they will go unfulfilled. Gardner evaluated the importance of the independent sector in this ringing tribute:
If it were to disappear from our national life, we would be less distinctly American. The [independent] sector enhances our creativity, enlivens our communities, nurtures individual responsibility, stirs life at the grassroots, and reminds us that we were born free. Its vitality is rooted in good soil-civic pride, compassion, a philanthropic tradition, a strong problem-solving impulse, a sense of individual responsibility and, despite what cynics may say, an irrepressible commitment to the great shared task of improving our life together.
To live up to these ideals, the members of each charitable organization must be active participants in the philanthropic process. They must recruit community residents and business executives to serve as board members, ask others to volunteer their time and talents, and invite the public to share in the organization's financial support. The domain of philanthropy has remarkable diversity, substantial numbers, economic power, and enormous public impact, all of which should be represented in the board, volunteers, and donor membership. Collectively, America's charitable organizations or independent sector are referred to as the third sector, after business and government, out of respect for their accepted value to the nation. When the domain of philanthropy joins in partnership with business and government, philanthropy shines as the uniquely American example of a democratic triumph.
John D. Rockefeller 3rd, long associated with highly visible philanthropic achievements, once commented:
A healthy third sector keeps government honest, provides alternative ways to solve problems, helps maintain institutions that should not be taken over by government, and provides opportunities for the initiative and sense of caring that are the indispensable bedrock of a thriving democracy.... There is, however, a common thread that runs through the third sector; a belief in being of service to one's community and other people, without relying on government and without any expectation of personal profit. At the heart of the third sector is individual initiative and a sense of caring.... This means that the oldest form of support, philanthropic giving, is still the most important. It provides the crucial margin that gives third-sector institutions their most precious asset-independence.
The sections that follow will discuss philanthropic practice, the independent sector and the nature of charitable organizations, and the fund development process, all in preparation for study of the comprehensive annual giving program.
The vision and mission of a nonprofit organization will answer the first of the two overarching questions: Why do we exist? and What's the money for? The second question is far easier to answer when the vision and mission are known; without them, the message is only about money. In the vision and mission statements, dreams take shape and form, practical applications become visible through actual programs and services delivered, and defined purposes, goals, and objectives measure the results.
Excerpted from Fundraising Fundamentals by James M. Greenfield Excerpted by permission.
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