Archdiocese of Los AngelesDepartment of Catholic Schools School Fundraising Capacity Building Kay Sprinkel Grace January – June, 2014
Webinar #5 Creating, Implementing and Growing an Annual Fund at Your School May 6 @ 7 - 8 p.m.; May 20 @ 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
What We Will Cover • Review of assigned work: annual fund plan + “leftovers” from previous assignments • Defining “annual fund” • Most effective techniques for annual giving • Elements of the annual fund • Donor generational differences • Measuring success • Summary and closing comments • Homework for Webinar #6 (June 2 @ 7 – 8 p.m.; June 4 @ 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.)
Comments on Homework Questions?
Defining Annual Fund A complex concept Role in the overall development process and the culture of philanthropy
A Complex Concept • The meaning it has at most schools: an annual “campaign” to engage alumnae, parents and others – but there is more • Overall purpose: to build a base of donor-investors who will be partners with your school in ensuring your continued success • Annual giving involves major and general donors in yearly opportunities to provide current program support • Annual does not mean once a year: it means what you do all year round to engage donors
Role of Annual Giving • Involves the donor-investor as a participant in keeping the mission visible in the community • Essential aspect of community perception of your school as a strong and successful entity • Presents multiple giving opportunities to alumnae, parents and friends that are based on results and on continuing student needs • “Annual Fund” is an internal accounting title (based on FY budget) for the means by which we raise current program support
Messaging for Your Annual Fund • It is not about the goal – NEVER start a letter with, “This year, our annual fund goal is $xx,xxx…) Messages should start with program priorities and success, and cast a vision of plans for the next great achievement • The annual fund is an investment vehicle for your school – just as your school is a vehicle for investing in the community • Some private secondary schools have dropped the “annual” and just refer to, e.g., The Lawrenceville Fund
What Works in Annual Giving From most to least effective
1. Face to Face Solicitation • Will cover process in detail in Webinar #6 • Relates to annual fund/giving because you will have some larger gifts (individuals, some corporations or businesses) who require a personal meeting • Also important for special donors: those who give the “widow’s mite” and those who have made a planned gift • AND – all board members should be solicited face to face so they will know how to do it with others!
2. Personal Letters or Emails • All communication should be in the mode the donor prefers – do not send “snail mail” to people who only want emails, and vice versa; and be sure they will accept phone follow up • With all emails, provide a click through so they can give on line (and be sure your process is user friendly or don’t use it). • One exception: the “pre-solicitation” letter or email because you want to do personal follow up. • The more personalized, the more effective: thank for previous support and identify their interest area
3. Phone Call Followed by Personal Letter or Email • Very much guided by the relationship you have with someone and their generational preferences • Increasingly, people do not have land lines (mobile only) and if you are not on their caller ID they will not answer • “Phonathons” – (“dialing for dollars”) are decreasing in success for these reasons • BUT if you have a relationship, and people like to talk to you on the phone, go for it! Then follow up with letter or email.
4. “Select” Letters and Emails • You may not know these people, so the letters or emails are “personalized” (name, previous giving amount, interest area) but are not “personal.” • The open rate for these letters is higher than for email “blasts” and for mass mailings, but it is not as high as personal or personalized email or mail. • This is used more for renewal letters for non-major gifts, and sometimes for upgrading the gift (but personal is better for that)
5. Direct Mail/Email Blasts • Usually a vehicle for donor acquisition – we don’t use this for people we know because it does not convey the importance of our relationship • Email blasts are easily deleted – whether trying to acquire a donor or conveying information between asks – always try to personalize • Current studies of direct mail/email show that those who do give may check the web site of the organization and give on line
6. Social Media • Higher conversion rate (prospect to donor, renewals, upgrades) among younger donors (Millenials) • Facebook page for the school • Followers on Twitter • There are more than 100 platforms – some are specifically for fundraising • Texting and crowdsourcing (Kickstarter) have plusses and minuses • Be sure there are social media options for your younger donors (+ up-to-date web site)
7. Special Events • For many schools, the primary source of aggregated funding • Friend raisers and fund raisers – but dependence on an exhausting cycle of events does not build your overall funding platform nor does it create a relationship-based culture of philanthropy • Purposes include donor acquisition and stewardship • Need to consider the real cost • Must have follow up to event well planned
7A – Steps in Event Planning • From the outset, use a checklist to assess the true costs in time and money, consistency with mission of the school, and available human and financial resources (attachment) • Draw up a budget and stick to it • Create an action plan • Have school marketing brochures at event • Have a follow up plan for each attendee (notes, Thankathon) • Send newsletter and note afterwards to all attendees
Elements of the Annual Fund Ingredients for Success
1. Volunteer Leadership • If you have staff, board and other volunteers should be partners with the staff and not hand off the responsibility to them • If you do not have staff, then volunteers need an annual giving chair who will take charge • You will also need an annual fund committee of board members and non-board alumnae or parents. • They will review lists, affirm the goal, recruit solicitation teams, set strategies, follow through and wrap up the campaign
2. A Stretch Goal • Be realistic, but stretch a bit further each year • Get past “psychic poverty” • Make sure your annual fund goal is not an arbitrary number determined by the “gap” between tuition/grants and the cost of educating your students: have a voice in the process based on what you know is a possible stretch • If the goal is too ambitious, you will spend the year making downward adjustments, but excessive caution means you will not grow
3. A Carefully Constructed Prospect List • Annually, you need to refine, evaluate, expand and clean up your prospect based • If the lists and assignments are flawed, volunteers will be discouraged and goals will not be met • List management is a year-round task • Dangers in not refreshing the list each year: • Donors may receive more than one appeal • Outreach may not reflect death, divorce, other life changes • Donors believe your school is in disarray
4. A Plan • Part of the overall development plan: create a calendar for your annual giving program (see Gail Perry’s): http://www.gailperry.com/2014/01/fundraising-calendar-2014/?inf_contact_key=52149f69874dd0239370af3347ec99832e2317d5b9c9afdf637788dafe0cc568 • Base your plan on an analysis of the previous year’s process and results • Establish a goal that is realistic yet a stretch
4A - Plan • Create a gift range chart (next slide) based on goal + prospects • Strategies for acquiring new donors and renewing/upgrading current donors • Firm timelines for each step • Measurable objectives to engage and guide you when making your plan for the following year and evaluating where resources need to be allocated going forward
4B – Gift Range Chart • Two top gifts = 10% of the goal • 10% of gifts will produce 60% of the financial goal • The next 20% will account for 15% to 25% of the financial goal • The remaining 70% of gifts will cover the remaining 15% - 25% of the financial goal • Example for $60,000 annual campaign on next slide
5. Participation of Volunteer Teams • Board members and non-board volunteers • Motivated by a three-part goal: • 100% contact with all assigned prospects • 100% calls completed within the timeframe • A minimum dollar amount raised by each team • Danger in dollar goal only: if the money gets raised quickly teams may be tempted to skip the rest of their calls • Teams love the friendly competition and thrive on recognition
6. Energize Volunteers With Training and “Product News” • Engage your Ambassadors and Advocates as well as your Askers – and provide training for all of them • Training will raise the confidence level of annual giving volunteers • Effective training sessions have three parts: • Inspiration: have a “mission moment” • Information: nuts and bolts “state of the school” • Motivation: present AAA opportunities • Be sure to give them a Tool Kit (see AAA)
7. Be Sure Staff and Materials Are Ready to Enhance Success • You will need a staff or volunteer coordinator for the teams. • You will need to have these items (and more if you like) in the tool kit: • Fact sheet about the school including budget with pie charts showing income and outflow • Statement/examples/stories about the impact of annual giving (current program support) • Tips on making the case and on making a solicitation including handling objections • Listing of staff and volunteers with phone number • Pledge cards and thank you note cards
8. Strategies So All Donors Feel Like True Investors • Whether general or major donor, each person wants to feel like an investor • We need to view the “pipeline” as just that: we want to keep donors from “point of entry” (first gift) to “point of exit” (planned gift) and that requires honoring their journey as donors through deliberate stewardship • Include all donors as part of your planning: from the $15 alumnae gift to the $1500 grandparent gift to the $15,000 corporate sponsor: think of opportunities, not categories
Gearing Your Strategies For Intergenerational Philanthropy What alumnae, parents, others need/want
Millennial Donors (Alumnae)Born 1982 - 2000 • Use them for focus groups – ask for their opinions • Put them in charge of using technologies for appeals (no long appeal letters) • Utilize their networks – have them plan events that interest them • Link your appeal to sustainability • Short attention span • They love to experience things – be sure they are invited for tours, to work with a class, etc.
Generation X (Parents, Some Alums)Born 1965 - 1980 • Younger ones have short attention spans, like the Millennials • Engage them with humor • Let them know how they can make a difference • Family is very important – experiences should be family oriented • Very into technology • Tend to be “Lone Ranger” philanthropists • Other demands may curb volunteering
Baby Boomers (Some Alums, Parents, Grandparents) Born 1946 – 1964 • Looking for new sources of self-fulfillment (encore careers include volunteering). Could your school be where they spend their “third age?” • Offer innovative planned giving as a financial planning tool • Appeal to their idealism when talking about your school • Have philanthropic resources: gauge how they want to be solicited, engaged and recognized
Silent Generation (Alums, Grandparents) Born 1928 - 1945 • Bridge generation between the “Greatest” and the Baby Boomers – characteristics of both • Some are greatly into technology – be wary of “ageism” in your solicitation techniques (don’t think they won’t respond to email) • Like face to face meetings for the ask and for stewardship • Still respond to the phone: many are lonely and welcome a call (especially from a student) • Ripe for estate giving; may already have a plan
Measuring Success Analysis is essential for thoughtful planning year after year for annual giving
What to Measure • Financial results of various annual giving strategies including increased retention, renewal and upgrades • True costs (including staff time) of special events • The strategies that yielded the best return • Degree to which relationships were created and strengthened through stewardship • Increased involvement of volunteers • Increase in major giving within the annual giving program
Summary of Key Points • Annual giving provides unrestricted income stream for current program support (“lifeblood” of the organization) • Strong annual cycle offers opportunities for donors to give more than once • Annual outreach to alumnae, parents and others keeps the mission, vision and values of your school visible in the community • Stewardship is a key part of growing the annual fund
Homework for Webinar #6 • Our last webinar will focus on solicitation of major gifts, creating and marketing a planned giving program and implementing a solid stewardship program. • For that session, your homework is to analyze your current donor base and identify one (1) current donor who has the potential for a major outright gift or planned gift and analyze their likelihood of giving. (see Webinar 1 for aspects of readiness).
Homework - 2 • Develop a profile and short plan that describes the strategy and timing you will use • A handout has been provided with this packet to help you (“Prospect Development Plan” – also attached is an optional prospect profile form). • Also attached to this packet is an event planning form and an action planning form • Materials for Webinar 5 were drawn from Kay’s book, Beyond Fund Raising (Wiley, 1997 and 2005), Chapter 6. With thanks to Gail Perry & Associates for the annual calendar.
Archdiocese of Los AngelesDepartment of Catholic Schools School Fundraising Capacity Building Kay Sprinkel Grace firstname.lastname@example.org www.kaygrace.org 415-831-2923