Super Simple Elevator Speech Template [free download]

How do you talk about your nonprofit organization?

How do your board members talk about your organization? Are they nervous? If so, they’re probably trying to recite your mission statement and totally butchering it.

Make it easy for them … give them a super simple elevator speech to recite that leads right into a story about the impact your organization has had on one person.

Here’s the super simple formula …

  • “We help [who],”
  • “So they can [do what].”
  • “Let me tell you about [first name], [story]”

This is far easier to remember than our boring, jargon-filled mission statements. And exact words aren’t important … just get the basic concept and you’re golden.

Better yet, let your board create the elevator speech. Download my Super Simple Elevator Speech Template and have your board members complete it as an exercise at your next board meeting or retreat.

It’s amazing what can happen when everyone is telling the same story out in the community. You just have to give them the tools to do so.

Monthly Donor Conversion Request Template [free download]

Monthly donors. They sound great, right? Predictable, recurring, consistent revenue. {cue fundraiser drooling}

But how do you get them? How do you get your current donors to convert (upgrade) to monthly donors? Simple … you ask.

However, it needs to be a direct, personalized ask. Not a generic upgrade email about the your monthly donor program. I’m talking about a personalized email or letter specifically asking them to make the switch. I like to call it a win-win letter. You tell them what’s in it for them and what’s in it for you. And you personalize the request by using their name, adding a note, etc. It should look like personal correspondence.

In my experience, this approach is far more successful than generic requests. However, it often takes several tries. So keep at it and ask folks to consider this at least once a year.

Oh, and feel free to speed this process up by starting with my template.

Evaluation Sheet for New Fundraising Ideas [free download]

Do you have more ideas than you know what to do with?

Or does your board of directors have more ideas for you than you can possibly act on? Are they all for new fundraising events? (don’t get me started on this … that’s another post)

How do you evaluate fundraising ideas and decide which ones to pursue?

My friends Alice Ferris and Jim Anderson at GoalBusters Consulting have simplified this process with their great “Evaluation Sheet for New Fundraising Ideas.” This tool lets you evaluate new fundraising ideas along the following criteria:

  • Potential revenue
  • Effort
  • Likely success
  • Uniqueness
  • Mission match (my favorite one)

You end up with a simple score for each idea and can quickly see which idea makes the most sense to pursue.

My bonus tip is to score your current fundraising ideas at the same time. This works really well if you have a committee that is change averse … once they see the numbers they are typically more open to a discussion.

Give it a download today and put it to work in your shop.

Download It Here

Board Fundraising Menu

Do you have a “fundraising board?” Did that question just make you laugh?

If so, you are not alone, many (most) nonprofit organizations struggle with engaging their board in the fundraising process. In my experience the issue typically comes down to the lack of one (or a combination of the following):

  • Clarity on their role;
  • Knowledge on how to perform their role;
  • Motivation to complete their role

Productive Fundraising’s “Board Fundraising Menu” helps to address each of these issues by providing a list of 30+ ways that these members can assist with helping your reach your goals. It is designed as an exercise that board members complete where they indicate which tasks they are comfortable and willing to assist with. Download the sample to create a custom menu for your organization. And then you can begin moving your board to a more engaged state!

Download It Here

Fundraising Forecasting Template

Fundraising Forecasting Template

I’m practicing what I preach today.  Rather than creating a fundraising forecasting tool for you, I’m sharing the awesome one that my friend Peter Drury created.  Peter’s a great guy, incredible fundraiser and a fellow #afpeep.  Here’s what he has to say about this great FREE tool …

“Do you ever feel like you’re swimming in information about relationships, prospects, potential asks, completed asks, grant opportunities… and then someone asks you for a forecast? (Usually they don’t ask for a forecast, but instead ask (with anxiety in their voice), “How are we doing this year? Are we going to make our goal? How confident are you we can make it?”

If you’ve ever struggled to answer the anxious questions above, and you’d like a methodical way of responding – that you can update once/monthly and always keep the forecast current – then this template has been made for you! I’ve created this template in Excel, with all formulas embedded, so you can simply swap out the fake names for real ones and use this to impress your board, peers, and executive director. More importantly, it will help keep your work in focus, so that you can more effectively manage opportunities and relationships and, in turn, raise more money.”

Download It Here

Grant Calendar Template [free download]

Have you ever missed a grant deadline? 

Or maybe more likely, a close out report deadline? 

It’s easy to do. What’s the secret to avoiding it? 

Get everything all in one place and check it regularly (monthly, if not weekly).  Give our FREE Grant Calendar Template a download and make it your own.

[click to immediately download to your computer]

Lynne Wester’s Stewardship Report Swap

Do you need to write a donor update or annual report?  Do you want to do something different but are feeling uninspired?

Well, today I share my go to source … Lynne Wester, the Donor Relations Guru.

Lynne conducts the annual Stewardship Report Swap.  This year she and her team received over 1,800 pages of stewardship report samples. These samples include endowment reports, customized top donor reports, annual reports, videos, websites, and more.  Lynne beautifully combines and categorizes them and then puts them out to the fundraising community for free.  Check them out (and her … she’s sassy fun and amazing … she was the first to coin the term “thask”).

Monthly Donor Conversion Request Template

You’ve probably read the articles hyping the benefits of monthly giving. The key benefit for me is that the retention rate for monthly donors is somewhere in the 85% range (depending on the source), as opposed to the 45% average of all US charities (FEP, 2018). But how do you actually get monthly donors?

You can send out email blasts, you can include buck slips in your mailings, you can put a link on your homepage — these tactics will get you an occasional new monthly donor. But how do you really put some momentum behind this. The answer is simple: you ask, personally.

I’ve found with my clients that reaching out one to one with a personal request works best. I call the letter a win-win letter. It tells the benefits of monthly giving for both the organization and the donor. But the real key to making it work is personalization. It is a hand-signed letter. It has a note on it. It comes in a hand-addressed and stamped envelope. It looks like personal correspondence, because it is.

That’s how you get your request opened and get donors to respond. That’s how you get more monthly donors.

And finally, here’s what you came for: @fundraiserchad‘s monthly donor conversion request template. It’s free … give it a download today!

 

Donor Touch Point Listing

So we all know that we should contact our donors more frequently, but not by asking. However, in the middle of trying to tackle our 172 item to do list it’s hard to be creative and come up with those outreach ideas that engage donors and make our organization stand out from the crowd.

Fear not, here are @fundraiserchad‘s top 25 ideas for reaching out to donors that don’t involve yet another ask. It’s free … give it a download today!

5 Steps to Smarter Fundraising

5 Steps to Smarter Fundraising

Are you confused about where to start with fundraising? Are you overwhelmed with all of the options out there? Are you ready to focus and see better results?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to use every possible fundraising technique. In fact, you will do better if you don’t. But where should you focus your effort?

Download this FREE GUIDE by @fundraiserchad: “Five Steps to Smarter Fundraising” for the answer.