What Every Nonprofit Should Wish For...

Do you like wishes? I do. I wish for lots of things every day. I wish this light would turn green. I wish I had some more coffee. I wish I could be with family. Lots of wishes. I once had a donor encounter that taught me a valuable lesson and was the first step to a powerful fundraising tool that has helped me raise tens of thousands of dollars. Today on our Bold Leading Podcast we will be talking about “What Every Nonprofit Should Wish For.”
Episode 16
July 17, 2020

Do you like wishes? I do. I wish for lots of things every day. I wish this light would turn green. I wish I had some more coffee. I wish I could be with family. Lots of wishes. I once had a donor encounter that taught me a valuable lesson and was the first step to a powerful fundraising tool that has helped me raise tens of thousands of dollars. Today on our Bold Leading Podcast we will be talking about “What Every Nonprofit Should Wish For.”

Do you like wishes? I do. I wish for lots of things every day. I wish this light would turn green. I wish I had some more coffee. I wish I could be with family. Lots of wishes. I once had a donor encounter that taught me a valuable lesson and was the first step to a powerful fundraising tool that has helped me raise tens of thousands of dollars. Today on our Bold Leading Podcast we will be talking about “What Every Nonprofit Should Wish For.” If you are unsure how to move forward or feel stuck, schedule a free call with us. We are here to help you move from surviving to thriving over the next 18 months (yes, even in this crisis situation). Schedule your FREE call here: https://buff.ly/3d7FLLA
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Show Notes:

Introduction

Do you like wishes?  I do.  I wish for lots of things every day.  I wish this light would turn green.  I wish I had some more coffee.  I wish I could be with family.  Lots of wishes.

I once had a donor encounter that taught me a valuable lesson and was the first step to a powerful fundraising tool that has helped me raise tens of thousands of dollars.  

A donor was interested in giving to our organization. The proposal I shared with them was not something they wanted to fund.  I knew they wanted to give but I did not know what project would excite them and line up with their values. I struck out four times but I was still swinging. This is fundraising not baseball.

Today on our Bold Leading Podcast we will be talking about “What Every Nonprofit Should Wish For.”

I'm Dave Sena from Bold Leading, This is your Bold Leading Podcast. We know life for nonprofits can sometimes get complicated and confusing. When you need a trusted friend to help you fundraise and grow your nonprofit without fear or panic, Bold Leading is here for you.  You don’t have to be an expert or wait to grow your nonprofit.  Learn more at boldleading.com today.


Prologue

What do you do when you are called in the middle of the afternoon and a donor tells you they want to give you $10,000. They want it to be something physical that will last for a long time.  They do not want the gift to go to operations or salaries or any perishable items.

What do you do when you are talking to a donor that wants to give to you but you have not given them a good reason to give. You have tried four times and you are trying to come up with a fifth item to excite this donor to give.

How do you stop staff members from fundraising for department specific items that you may not approve? How do you encourage excited staff to fundraise in a way that helps the mission, helps their department, and give donors plenty of options to give?

Main Episode


You make a wish list.  This is a list of items that are non-funded, pre-approved, and you could purchase within a short amount of time if you had the money.

This is one the most under-utilized tools in fundraising.  I have worked with hundreds of fundraising professionals.  So many of them do not have a document like this.

There are five keys to unlock your wish list.

  1.  Ask every department lead or key leader in your organization to list 1-3 items that would improve their work. These items should be $1,000 to $5,000 or $5,000 to $50,000 depending on the size of the fundraising program or nonprofit budget. You may have bylaws or other regulations that limit the size of gifts to be solicited.  
  2. At a leadership meeting, review and prioritize this list by importance and cost.  Put top priority items at the top of the list.  This list should be reviewed monthly or quarterly by the leadership.  Celebrate when you were able to procure an item on the list.  Take off items that may not be needed anymore.
  3. Keep the list current and printed.  Each fundraiser in the organization should have a printed copy of the list just in case they need it when a donor is asking for a way to give that is not on your normal fundraising initiatives.
  4. Give permission to fundraisers to solicit donations from the list.
  5. Be prepared to see your wishes come true as you encounter donors who want to give to your organization in non-standard ways.


Epilogue

When you have your wish list, you will be able to answer the phone when a donor says they want to give you $10,000.  That donor gave the donation for the purchase of an extra large washing machine that would help hundreds of homeless people have fresh sheets. We asked the donor to visit our laundry room. We explained we needed $13000 for the project to include installation and electrical work. The donor gave the extra money so we could have it installed.

When I sat in the office of another donor, I was frantically trying to find a solution to our problem.  I did not have an initiative that the donor liked and met their values. The fifth time as a charm.  The donor loved computers and valued family.  I was able to share our need for a learning lab to teach people who were at the homeless shelter about social media and email.  They could have the opportunity to connect with family again.  The donor loved the idea.  I did not have a wish list that day, but it made an impression on me that I needed to be prepared.

Preparation can help you handle staffing issues too.  I once had a staff person that requested an upgraded computer.  I explained that we did not have the money in our budget.  The next time the person spoke at a gathering, they shared the need for a computer.  Sure enough a donor gave money for a computer.  This incident taught me that I needed to encourage the tenacity of a fundraiser but also safe guard the priorities of the organization.

I soon learned that I needed a wish list.  I learned what every nonprofit should wish for.  They should wish for 5 to 10 items that are pre-approved by leadership, non-budgeted, and useful now.  


Outro

Today on our Bold Leading Podcast we  talked about “What Every Nonprofit Should Wish For.” Make your list today.  You will have a donor soon that will appreciate the opportunity to give to your organization and secure an item from your wish list.

I'm Dave Sena from Bold Leading, This is your Bold Leading Podcast. We know life for nonprofits can sometimes get complicated and confusing. When you need a trusted friend to help you fundraise and grow your nonprofit without fear or panic, Bold Leading is here for you.  You don’t have to be an expert or wait to grow your nonprofit.  Learn more at boldleading.com today.