Begin With the End In Mind

While I often say “begin with the end in mind.” Typically, I mean to revolve everything around your vision. However, as I thought about fundraising, I realized the last step is the best place to start. We give thanks and pray for blessings on our donors long after the process is completed. It needs to be the last step and an ongoing step.

Keep thinking in reverse (most of you that know me probably think it is easy for me). Stay in contact with your funders, and let them know what your organization is accomplishing. It is wise to spend a lot of time on this communication. Carefully crafted, well thought out, beautifully prepared letters are the order of the day. Speaking of which, I have a communication article on using auto responders for this…no, not the impersonal kind.

We have designed a large number of mini websites to give donors a good look at your professionalism for email contacts. The donor report that ITMH designed will streamline your communication. The client report we use will give you numerical data for reporting to your funders.

Don’t worry about getting turned down. The best car salesperson I ever saw sold 20% of his people who he presented to. Every turn down was just one step closer to a sale.

Asking for money is always my least favorite part of the whole process. Can you believe I was an award winning car sales and marketing executive who had a $1B a month account? I think I will put the actual “sales process” in another letter or this one will be too long. (Hey, we might as well call it what it is – besides, then you won’t be so critical of my beloved car salespeople).

The key ingredient in a good fundraising plan is a great organization. Even the greatest salespeople fail when they have to sell a lousy product. So, while fundraising seems so vital, it is far more important to serve the disadvantaged and bring glory to Him. (That is who we represent at ITMH is faith-based nonprofits and religious groups. However, this will work for you if you do not fit that).

No good plan is worth anything if you do not act on it. 80% of all money is donated by individuals so, create an individual fundraising strategy, not just focus on grants (nonprofits) or the congregation (churches). Be creative, as your casue may appeal to a wide audience outside your paradigm.

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