Capital Campaigns are NOT about Raising Money!

March 15th, 2016

I’ve come to understand that Capital Campaigns are about institutional transformation…..NOT about raising money. Improved donor stewardship is key.

True transformation will ensure intensive and far reaching, change to the core concepts and values of the entire organization. So change the way you think about thanking. Out think and out thank the competition. Make Donor Recognition efforts philanthropy branding and communication tools for the organization.

Just as a non profit organization spends time and money in prep for a campaign by evaluating just what has to be done to assure such meaningful change, early on, leaders must reflect on how their decisions to thank donors can be transformed.

Are day-to-day decisions to thank donors:

Proactive or reactionary?

Motivational or as an afterthought?

Programmatically planned or “in the moment” product decision-making?

Brand supportive or non-specific?

Any campaign (and, thus, an organization’s future) is best served if its thinking about thanking were transformed fully in preparation for imminent organizational change.

Written by Robin E. Williams  

The Path Is Yours to Choose

The Path Is Yours to Choose

 

A Recognition Policy “Moment”!

August 5th, 2015

Jot it down.  Whenever current events indicate an imminent “sea change” in the ways you thank and recognize donors, “jot it down”! The Cosbys “gift-return” is one of those moments.

Donor recognition policies, or the absence of them, are suddenly in the headlines.

This article about the giving back of Cosby monies says that the Cosby gift is not a large part of the Spelman endowment. Maybe not now.  But when it was given it was, indeed, significant! Even useful in garnering new donors.  It simply should be known that when that gift was given this couple were key donors to that Spelman campaign.

That Cosby gift changed the perception of Spelman as viable entity to which to give.  And now is not a time to minimize the impact of that gift or the transformational importance of the givers to the organization.

Nor must we celebrate them or that gift further.

It seems current events have led Spelman to remove the “Cosby” name from public namings/events associated with Spelman College.

Whatever you think of that action…..Think about yourself! Do you have a a written policy in place on how to handle such a situation ? Let someone else’s “truth” be a policy-making moment for your organization!!! Capture it. Codify it. Get it revised and/or approved and move on.DSCN3082 copy

A written “Policy” to me is a living document, kept alive through an efficient process meant to move idea-and-inquiry through a thorough evaluation.  Policies will never be comprehensive with all things considered. But managed with care, they can always provide reference and history for on-going decision-making.  If done well, a policy can exist as a logical, methodical reference of decisions made and that were meant to guide recognition and commemorative protocol with an equally methodical process in place to incite further change when needed.

Just continue to look to current events and trends to prepare for/insulate your organization against the future.

Donor Recognition: 7 Strategies

April 3rd, 2015

Donor Recognition is simply under-utilized as a tool for building a culture of philanthropy for a non-profit organization. Donor recognition is to be plaques, parties,  personal conversations and perpetual. thinking-cap

It simply begins with your own unique, strategic and focused thinking about thanking. It’s usefulness is bought to bear by your attention to and application of its potential as a proactive partner in all efforts toward enhanced and broadened giving for your organization. Continue reading »

Hell-o, I am Grateful!

April 1st, 2015

HelloIamGratefulThis message of gratitude I am simply compelled to present to you today.

Gratitude.  Every day. Scroll on….

 

 

 

 

Continue reading »

Stewardship: Picture-perfect

January 28th, 2015
Brand Integration

Brand Integration

A picture is worth 1000 words….done well, like this University has, a single picture is worth $1000s!

Years ago my firm worked closely with Columbus State University (GA) to establish a recognition program brand:  a signature for philanthropy on their campus.

They have remained committed and true to that brand. They consistently present their philanthropy brand as a sort of “visual byte” throughout  fundraising collateral, give-aways and campus recognition.

I urge you to establish your own visual signature and then work to integrate it throughout all that is fund-raising.

Written by Robin E. Williams