Tuesday, November 3, 2009

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"Room" for Fund-raising Success

I have heard from a number of Learning Center board members and staff concerned about long term funding of their Centers. Some folks have spoken to me and the SRC team here about how to, "raise the 100,000 we'll need in three years." While I appreciate the fact that these are really fluid times and it looks likes the best solution is a home run to keep the doors open in a couple of years, it is more productive (and more likely to be successful) seeking support over a few years, rather than only one.

Here is an innovative example of this philosophy at work in Bangor:

The Bangor Learning Center is moving into a new space after having lost their home in the Masonic building several years ago when a fire burned it down. The fund-raising committee of the Bangor board considered how to "sell the training rooms" to raise additional funds to cover their costs in 2010 and beyond.

There was one drawback with this idea - the board did not believe they could dedicate the rooms for enough of a donation to merit a perpetual naming opportunity.

Instead the folks in Bangor agreed to take a different approach. They decided to seek named sponsorship of each training room in exchange for a 4-year pledge of $12,000. With 8 training rooms, the $24,000 per year this program can generate is a solid addition to the Center's annual events and major gifts efforts.

The program is seeing success. Several sponsors have already committed to the program. The long-term visibility and impact this sponsorship has is a very attractive inducement to larger possible donors.

The Bangor Center is new, but that doesn't mean you can't initiate a similar sponsorship program for you Center, regardless its age. Contact me if you want some advice.


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