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Tips on Setting Up for Fundraising Success in 2023

Learn some fearless fundraising tips coming straight from our CEO, Alyssa Wright. We’ll discuss some new year’s resolutions for fundraising professionals and some of the lessons learned last year. In addition to some advice on how you can set up for fundraising success in 2023.

In this article, we will be sharing some fearless fundraising tips coming straight from our CEO, Alyssa Wright. We’ll discuss some new year’s resolutions for fundraising professionals and some of the lessons learned last year. In addition to some advice on how you can set up for fundraising success in 2023.


“Think Abundance Drive Change” is our motto at Wright Collective. We believe that, so much of raising resources for your cause has to do with your perspective and your mindset around:

  • What you really believe is out there and accessible to your mission.

  • What you feel that you, yourself are powerful enough to do in the sector.

CEO Alyssa Wright says, “For me, as a girl who grew up in rural Massachusetts, the first time I sat with someone and talked about the gift, it was immediately brought into the place that I was talking about race. I felt the real racing of the heartbeat in that donor conversation because it was my first time talking about class & gender. So for me, coming into the industry was like getting rid of the scarcity mindset, not being afraid of bringing up the resources that the organizations and causes that I support really need to make a difference. I realized that I can actually talk about what it takes to create change within systems and not just repeat perpetual cycles that often don't benefit communities that I came from.”


So if you’ve struggled with a scarcity mindset, let’s think about abundance and drive change. So what does that really mean?

There are 5 steps to the process of bringing impactful change: Listen, Learn, Engage, Enroll, and Invite.


Think to yourself, how am I listening and learning from donors in our community? Am I just inviting them to do stuff and fund us?


The development culture within a lot of organizations revolves around events and activities; a way of saying, “Please Give.” We forget to listen and learn before we engage, and we forget to enroll people in our cause by introducing them to the entire ecosystem that we are part of.


We often forget to pinpoint what is happening in the broader conversation. Because if you really enroll people to that bigger movement, introduce them to other folks, give them research report to read, engage them in your work, and show them the movement they get to be a part of, the easier it gets for you to get to the invitation stage to invite them to make commitment to your work.


Donors get excited, they give more when they feel they’re part of something bigger than themselves.


LESSONS LEARNT IN 2022: VENTURE PHILANTHROPY IS A REAL THING

Even though we’ve been witnessing a vast income inequality in the U.S. many organizations benefited from the generosity of really substantial philanthropists last year.


Alyssa Wright added, “I was working with organizations this year that benefited from this, with a phone call or two, or a few emails and all of a sudden, 7 figures arrived to the organization’s work. That was probably the largest gift they have ever received. We’re seeing folks who traditionally used to give 50 or 100 dollars a couple times a year are no longer able to give, or they are giving 5 to 10 dollars. While on the other end of the spectrum were seeing vast influx of capital where folks have so much money that they are inseminating very larger sums.``


  • Mackenzie Scott recently launched Yield Giving where she is sharing more about how she’s giving and there's an application process that's really accessible.

  • Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former CEO of twitter started his Start Small initiative. It’s a very simple form on his website. Actually, an organization was a beneficiary of his work around the $3M mark.

  • We’re also seeing platforms highlighting Next gen donors. On Inside Philanthropy they talked about Next Gen donors and how folks between the ages of 30 and 45 are inheriting significant amounts of money and wanting to move and mobilize them quickly.

  • Platforms are also mentioning women donors and how they are giving more. The recent research from Women’s Philanthropy Institute projected that women will be the stewards of 2030, going upwards from $11m to $30m on the average in a country.

Most statistics show that women will tend to outlive men and a very large baby boomer population will be stewards of that vast wealth by 2030.


FUNDRAISING TALENT IS HARD TO FIND BUT IMPORTANT TO RETAIN

The smallest organizations have around a $100K budget and the largest have around $20M. It is important for all organizations of any size to create a strong and vibrant culture of care and support to welcome talented, skilled, empathetic, and kind fundraising professionals to help them stay in their role and hit their KPIs.


It's important to focus on culture building and how we can retain the amazing people walking into our organizations and supporting our work. According to the article by Recruiterie, 55% of CEO’s and recruiters admit a struggle finding qualified applicants for positions they are trying to fill at nonprofits.


CRYPTO CURRENCY HAS ANONYMOUS DONORS CHANGING PHILANTHROPY

Crypto was going to be the next big thing, you had to have your website responsive for it and talk to donors about how to accept crypto currency. It’s still something we should keep our eye on! Not many organizations received significant donations from crypto, but a lot of advised funds came from the crypto market. It has changed the game a little, but it elevated the conversation around anonymous giving.


GIVING TUESDAY IS STILL A THING BRINGING IN A PROJECTED $3.1B THIS YEAR

Giving Tuesday is an oversaturated day and can be a little exhausting, and many feel controversial about its competitiveness. However, Giving Tuesday proved that it’s still a thing by bringing in $3.1B last year.


For this year, you need to think about what technologies and networks you should partner with in order to make Giving Tuesday 2023 a little more significant than what you did last year.


Use the time between January and June to research and reach out to 5 key influencers to be your ambassadors on Giving Tuesday in 2023.


RESOLUTIONS TO MAKE FOR 2023

#1 Clean Up Your Donor Data


At Wright Collective, we usually do a baseline audit when we partner with organizations, and what we find is that there is so much information missing about donors. Often data isn't tagged and categorized in a way that allows you to be strategic and thoughtful with what you're disseminating via mail or digitally. If one of your goals is to have a major or planned giving campaign started, having a clean donor data is a must.


#2 Invest In PR and have a Media Strategy


Your nonprofit team has to be trained to know how to engage and interact with the media and how to seek opportunities. Thought leadership is really big here and being able to share your thoughts of what's happening in the ecosystem. Prepare yourself for what will happen. Ex; say if this legislation passes we will say/share this. Have a PLAN B folder. So you can respond thoughtfully and timely.


#3 Consider that Capital Campaign - For Real


Maybe it's finally the year to realize the power we have as fundraisers and go for that capital campaign, whether it is for building a campaign or to bring in a revenue stream. Just go for it!


#4 Spend Time with Donors and Ask Good Questions


Ask good, thoughtful and deep questions. Alyssa Wright continues, “I closed my first $1M gift ever by sitting down with a donor for 2 hours and halfway through I asked, How do we create the conditions to make you comfortable to give $1M to our organization at some point?” We ended up dreaming and chatting and having raw conversations, and 6 months later after we worked to create the conditions, we actually received a million dollars pledge.


Have a plan, even if it’s 1 meeting per quarter, you're gonna have 4 new meetings this year!


YOUR Q1 ACTION PLAN

  • Hire a PR/Media consultant or recruit one for your board!

  • Consider a feasibility study of some kind or beginning silent phase conversation – what could you/would you do with $1MIL+?

  • Reserve 2 hours of donor meetings per week on your calendar. Now!

  • Be clear on who manages and cleans your donor data. Set up a meeting with them to confirm.


Wright Collective’s professional team can help your organization gain the “Think Abundance Drive Change” mindset, and can help you set up for fundraising success in 2023. Book a consultation session today,


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