Getting a $90 Average Gift

November 8, 2016       The NonProfit Times      

Great ideas fail for many reasons, but great ideas also succeed, often greatly.

During the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Fundraising Conference, Kerry-Ann Powell of The Harvest Group outlined the success found by the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation in its fundraising effort to build a monument to the civil rights giant. Success, as in $127 million to build and dedicate the monument, direct mail of $1 million per year and $90 average gift.

Powell said fundraisers did well by focusing on strategic problem solving, drawing guidance from the PUDDIE method of strategy formulation.

It looks like this:

  • Step 1. Prepare through strategy formulation. Organization strategy, fundraising strategy, a funding tactic plan;
  • Step 2. Understand the elements through analysis. Company culture, organizational infrastructure and bandwidth, external factors;
  • Step 3. Design the blueprint. Consider the objectives, gather expertise, generate ideas;
  • Step 4. Develop the infrastructure. Think of development as the bridge between design and implementation. Leverage expertise;
  • Step 5. Implement the plan. Design is cognitive. Implementation is kinetic; and,
  • Step 6. Evaluate the results, and rinse and repeat the plan. Consistent evaluation is a must, even within the implementation stage. Just because a funding tactic did not hit the objectives does not mean it failed.