Your fundraising mosaic creates a picture

January 6, 2015       The NonProfit Times      

Among other comparisons, fundraising can be referred to as the picture, big, small, in-between. During the 2014 Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) International Conference, Eddie Thompson, founder and CEO of, said fundraising can be understood by getting a good picture of the picture, and he called the picture a mosaic.

This mosaic requires a foundation, in this case its frame. The four sides of it are:

  • Excellent leadership;
  • An appealing mission to change lives;
  • A dedicated staff; and,
  • High visibility among a community of people who want to support the organization or its mission.

Those items make up the foundation of the mosaic, not the picture. Luckily, this mosaic needs only 17 pieces to make up a picture, and Thompson set them out as follows:

  • Have more meaningful conversations;
  • Have more relationships;
  • Make more requests for gifts;
  • Observe donors’ giving patterns;
  • Know why donors give and what they are trying to accomplish;
  • Give meaningful visit reports;
  • Thank each donor for every gift with a commitment;
  • Manage time with Done by Dates (DBDs);
  • Have a systematic approach;
  • Remember accountability;
  • Communicate with a donor by phone, letter and in person;
  • Be donor-centered;
  • Utilize board involvement;
  • Capacity, capacity, capacity;
  • Maintain balance;
  • Remember solicitation; and,
  • Understand gifts from net worth and discretionary.