Fundraising tips

by Jini Stolk

It’s always interesting to look at the stats. According to Statistics Canada and the team at Hilborn the vast majority of Canadians (82%) made financial donations to a charitable or nonprofit organization in 2013. And, between 2010 and 2013, the total amount Canadians donated to charities or nonprofits  increased by 14% to $12.8 billion.

Yay Canada, and I mean that very sincerely. But…did some of that increase come your way?

This piece lays out the advantages and disadvantages of raising funds in a small non-profit. Some of the important advantages include the ability to respond quickly to opportunities; the ability to set your own course; a close and passionate connection to the mission; and, often, the continuing involvement of a visionary and compelling founder.

This piece by Jerry Huntsinger in SOFII approaches the same topic in a different way, providing 13 good solid suggestions for fundraising in a small organization.

Have you ever wondered about the purpose of a thank you letter? The real purpose? The reason why a good thank you letter can forge strong and long lasting bonds between you and your donors?

Is calling donors really the best way of retaining them and upgrading their gifts? I’ve heard from donors who prefer a beautifully written and personally signed letter of thanks, but many others genuinely appreciate the personal touch of a phone call.

Have you been brave enough to initiate a planned giving program? Why not? I just spoke to the development director of a small arts org that has been having surprising success with bequests. Here are a few tips on getting started.

Finally, words from the trenches. I found this interview with Jennifer Hobbs, Director of Sponsorship at Hoc Docs, and Jason Maghanoy, Senior Development Officer at Canadian Stage (mentor and mentee with Business for the Arts’ artsVest Mentorship Program), a useful reminder of the many joys of engaging passionately in the task of developing mutually supportive relationships with some of the 82% of Canadians who contribute personally to the causes they believe in.




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