The Nebraska Community Foundation works with community, organizational and donor-advised affiliated funds serving 250 communities located in 80 counties. NCF and its affiliated funds have reinvested $269 million in Nebraska since 1994.
Your Fund Advisory Committee should work together to develop a confidential list of potential donors for your affiliated fund. Affiliated fund leaders should exercise discretion to avoid any awkward situations that could arise if a list of potential donors was circulated among persons outside of the FAC.
Why do People Give?
Experience shows us that there are eight basic reasons that people give.
This list might help you as your Fund Advisory Committee thinks of people who should be contacted about making a gift to your affiliated fund.
Identifying potential donors goes hand-in-hand with understanding the characteristics of donors. As you begin the process of identifying new donors or current donors who may be able to give more or in different ways, consider what motivates donors to make gifts.
The following chart provides some clear guidance on what motivates donors to make gifts:
|Most Influential||Least Influential|
As the chart indicates, belief in the mission is the most important reason people make charitable gifts. Some of the least effective ways of motivating donors are fancy marketing materials and tax considerations. Both quality marketing materials and possible tax considerations are important, but primarily as attention getters and conversations starters, not necessarily as the primary reason someone ultimately decides to make a gift.
When identifying donors and preparing to talk to them about making a gift remember the following:
People give because they want to.
Making a donation is a way to show support for a cause. Your job is to make the case for why your affiliated fund deserves their support.
People give because they are asked.
If you want to receive money you have to ask. It’s as simple as that. It’s rare for affiliated funds to have “mystery donors” that they’ve never met with or heard of. Also, the more often you talk to your donors the more often they are likely to contribute to your cause. In addition, repeat donors tend to give more money than first-time donors.
People give to people.
You should make your donor visitation techniques as personal as possible. A visit to the donor’s home or business is best, phone calls are second best, and letters or e-mails are farther down on the list of effective methods. Personally sharing the vision and mission of your affiliated fund is the most important part of raising money in your hometown. Remember to personally thank the donor for their gift!
People give to make a positive change.
Donors give charitable gifts for many reasons but the underlying reason that most donors give is to make a positive change of some sort. Keep your affiliated fund’s vision and mission in front of your potential donors. Clearly articulated vision and mission statements are key to making effective donor visitations. You should be able to clearly explain why your affiliated fund’s vision and mission are important.
People give money to success, not distress.
Focus on the positive aspects of your community or organization when presenting information to potential donors. Tell them the good things you have achieved or are working to achieve. Do not focus on “doom and gloom” issues.
Al Svajgr has been involved in cattle feeding, ranching, farming and banking in Dawson County, at Cozad, since 1977. He was chairman of the Beef Board, a national group of beef producers, so the gift made perfect sense. “All the gain I had in those animals would have been taxable if I’d sold them and then made a cash donation,” he said. “This way, I was able to give more value, because I didn’t have to pay taxes on the capital gains.”Read more →