Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ideas that work

idea icon Establishing a Successful Game Plan

"To everything there is a season.."

Summertime is the season for planning a successful development campaign for the Learning Centers. Over that past few weeks we've discussed prospect identification and review. The next important stage of our development strategy is timing. For this we use a resource known as a gift table.

For those who have not used a gift table it is a road map to successful fund raising. It highlights the number and size of donations/event receipts you will need to meet your annual fund raising goal. This vital tool is the companion to the Prospect Review Matrix insofar as it allows you to translate broad levels of capacity to specific amounts of money you will solicit.

To demonstrate this I have posted a .pdf example. In this example, the financial goal of the XYZ Learning Center is $60,000, which should approximate the goals of many of the allocated LCs this year. To make this goal, the LC must seek gifts of adequate numbers and amounts, remembering that donors do not give equally, rather they should be asked to support the LC in proportion to their interest and ability.

In this case, the highest gift sought on chart 1, and ratified by the review process is $15,000, 25% of the goal for this campaign. The top 10 gifts in this first example make up 83% of the goal, with the remainder coming from gifts from $500 or less.

Now a second option, also included, might fit ABC Learning Center, which has not uncovered as many strong prospects. The top 10 donors in this case only amount to 59% of their goal. As you can imagine, a lack of big donations requires more work for the smaller ones. Thus this table demands a lot more work at raising those gifts.

Neither strategy is wrong, there are infinite combinations of donations to meet your goal. The one immutable truth is that you are best assured of success if you have a plan based on attainable objectives.

I've posted a worksheet for your use here.


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