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For Impact | The Suddes Group

Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

Find Your Transcendent Purpose

Nick discusses the importance of finding your transcendent purpose and how going up in elevation will transform your organization’s success.


What’s the highest purpose for someone to invest in your organization? Why do you exist? These high altitude questions are aimed at discovering the Transcendent Purpose of your organization and when answered, will push your prospects to make a philanthropic investment, not a charitable donation.

If you can find your transcendent purpose, you can increase the quantity and range of prospects, as well as the quality of engagement. For example, if you are trying to raise the funds for a new school building, your purpose has nothing to do with the building, but has everything to do with training and educating students to go out and transform the community. People care about the ‘why,’ and when you show them that the cause is bigger than the case, it becomes possible to push their current $100K investment to their full $1M capacity.

Related Documents: Ask On the First Visit Role-Play Video


Nick describes 8 ways that you can rationalize the number, timing, and ask to achieve the goal for your funding plan.


The funding plan lays out how you are going to deliver on your priorities and provides the justification for asking for the funds to achieve this goal. It is crucial to explain what you are going to do with the money, not only to justify the amount you are currently asking for, but also to explain how you will acquire the rest of the funds necessary to complete the goal.

When preparing for a visit, most anticipate that the biggest problem will be overcoming the objections from the prospect, but really it is getting the prospect to give more. It is important to first lay out a pyramid framework for funding to present different options to a prospect; for example, ‘We need seven people to give $3M, one at $1M, two at $500K, and four at $250K.’

There are 8 ways to use the funding plan to rationalize the number, the timing, and the ask; each is dependent on the context of the visit and the capacity of the prospect.

  • Leadership: offer for the prospect to be a champion for the organization to take the lead at the top of the pyramid, validating the plan and giving incentive for others to stretch themselves to reach the goal. It is a philanthropic investment, not a charitable gift.
  • Project: if the prospect is excited for a particular project, tell the story and present the opportunity for them to underwrite the project if possible.
  • Transformation: an opportunity to completely raise the operational bar in the organization and leverage the money to create a greater impact.
  • Momentum: a rationalization based on timing by presenting a number to the prospect that would enable the organization to build momentum for a project or priority at that point in time.
  • Participation: a reason for the prospect to be invested in an annual operating fund by increasing the participation number or percentage; for example, getting all the successful entrepreneurs in a community to participate in a giving-based membership society.
  • Strategic Partnership: this rationale is highly successful with corporations or foundations who would rather invest big numbers into one focused effort over a longer period of time on a strategic level, centered around the impact and income of an organization.
  • Legacy: this is a planned gift emphasizing leaving a legacy impact that could be formalized by creating a heritage society that the prospect can enter when giving a particular number.
  • Seed Money/Angel Investor: this rationale is used primarily for start-up organizations or projects and is used to get a handful of investors to come together with a large number to cover an entire project or get it off the ground.

Related Documents: Engagement Tools, Junior Achievement


Nick explains how to simply communicate where the money goes in your organization using the three-bucket framework to categorize of your organization’s priorities and programs.


The bucket methodology is a holistic way to communicate the answer to the question ‘Where does the money go?’ The priorities of an organization can always be divided into three “buckets” or categories, following the template of People, Programs, and Place.

For schools, these buckets are almost always translated into Students, Faculty, and Campus. Or for a ministry-oriented organization, it could be Ministry, Community Outreach, and Church Campus.
Asking the question ‘Which one is most important to you?’, engages the prospect and determines the best way to get them on board to create a bigger impact with your organization.

Financial objectives should be assigned to the the buckets, which must always be nouns, to provide a holistic framework to deliver your organization’s many programs to the prospect.

Related Documents: Engagement Tools


Nick explains how to discover and package the purpose of your organization to create a Napkin Message by hosting a Vision Day.


The Napkin Message is the condensed form of your organization’s purpose; it is not an eloquent paragraph but is usually just three words or bullet points that you could write on a napkin.

To construct this message, it is often helpful to conduct a Vision Day, a “town hall” type of meeting with board members, community leaders, and anyone who has served or been impacted by your organization.

This 3-4 hour brainstorm meeting should be framed around several questions, the first being ‘Why do we exist?’ Record key phrases and words (for example, save lives, better the community, or women and children).

The second question is ‘What is our cause?’ Though it may seem similar to the reason for existence, the cause focuses on topics like homelessness, domestic violence, or justice.

From these answers, take the top three bullet points and write them on a napkin so that you could clearly communicate to someone the purpose of your organization, even if you only have 30 seconds together in an elevator.

Related Documents: Presentation Tools

Introduction To Altitude

Nick shows how to build a case for support using the altitude framework to create a powerful message to save lives, change lives, and impact lives.


If we are passionate about our organizations, then why aren’t we talking to more people? This major problem is usually caused by three things:

  • We don’t know what to say
  • We don’t know how to say it
  • We don’t know to whom to say it

By using the Altitude framework, Nick Fellers shows how to build the Case For Support to clearly, concisely, and compellingly communicate this message. This message creates impact, and impact drives income.

The Case for Support is the main reason why someone would invest money into your organization and can be built using the three levels of altitude: purpose, priority, and plan. This tiered altitude framework can be used not only for income development, but also for organizational development:

  • Purpose is the cause or vision of the organization and answers crucial questions like ‘Why does your organization exist? And to what end?’
  • Priorities deals with questions such as ‘Where does the money go?’ and ‘How much money do you need?’
  • The plan is directly tied into the priorities with questions such as ‘How are you going to get there?’

Answering these questions helps to rationalize for someone why they would
invest money into your organization and can be used for strategic planning, leadership consensus building, major gifts efforts, and campaigns.

Related Documents: On Altitude