Here is a simple idea you can use to frame your thinking around your funding plan:
This seems to be especially big for organizations trapped in a transaction-based system of special events (life-sucking, volunteer-draining) with often and incredibly low RETURN ON ENERGY.
If that describes your organization then think about this rhetorical question: What would happen if you did away with one event. Then, you focused all that energy (time, urgency, people, resources) on building a great relationships with one or two prospects that could invest $1Million in your vision?
- Special Events As Fundraisers Stink– they’re not special.
- Major Gifts: Raise the most money at the least cost.
- 97/3: 97% of the money/investments comes from 3% of your family … focus on the 3%
Last week I was with a school in Albuquerque. The bulk of the funding strategy revolved around special events … in fact, they were running FIVE events. The board was drained. It made a commitment to CHANGE the way it FUNDED the VISION. In only one week so far, the board has generated more than $80,000 to fund student scholarships by working only a few key phone relationships. To really see the ‘WOW’ you need to know that they these events were consuming hundreds of volunteer hours and netting an average of $30K – $50K each (with a funding cost as high as 70 cents to raise a dollar – yikes).
To me, this is a wonderful example of stopping to think about the RETURN ON ENERGY, making a commitment to change and enjoying IMMEDIATE RESULTS.
Final Note: This applies to EVERYTHING you’re doing. Take a moment this Friday morning to think about your RETURN ON ENERGY.