2 Ways to Directly impact development by year’s end

2 Ways to Directly impact development by year’s end

Ready for Fall?

Back to school sales are already in full swing. Summer is winding down and Fall kick-offs are only weeks away. As hard as it may be to believe, Fall is upon us. The most critical fundraising months of the year are around the corner.  So, let’s ask the tough question: Are you ready?

Are you ready for budgeting and spreadsheets?

Are you ready for Fall Campaigns?

Are your social media strategies in place?

Is your calendar filling up with major and mega donor appointments?

Is your vision story-crafted well and ready to share?

Is your first Fall newsletter template done, copy complete and formats proofed?

When it comes to development, we all understand the 24-7 nature of the beast. That said, however, Fall offers a uniquely timed opportunity each year and here are two ways to directly impact your organization’s development by year’s end.

1. Top 10/Next 20 lists

That’s right, contrary to what some may think, there is a biblical precedent for categorizing and segmenting donors according to capacity. Look back at the leadership of Moses and Aaron in Exodus 25:2-8:

Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me. And this is the contribution that you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, goats’ hair, tanned rams’ skins, goatskins, acacia wood, oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, onyx stones, and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breast-piece. And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.”

Starting with the most valued material and continuing all the way through to stones, these leaders understood that in order to construct this mobile worship center (the Tabernacle) there would have to be a variety of gifts from mega-level gifts to common gifts. What do your lists look like? How are your lists categorized? What does your organization consider a mega gift, major gift and so on… Developing and maintaining these lists adds clarity, urgency and understanding to the overall development efforts of your organization.

2. Vision Dots

Every organization on the planet has a story or, more likely, a litany of stories that describe the history, past projects, successes and stories of impact. These are all important. However, stories are secondary to key points of vision or Vision Dots. Vision Dots are those bullet-point items that are timely, strategic initiatives that frame or put into context the stories of your organization.

Vision Dots are leaping off points that you can quickly share in an ‘elevator pitch’ but can also lead to stories that reinforce their value and impact. For example, ABC Rescue Mission shares a story of impact detailing the journey of a young adult who was strung out, at rock bottom, stumbled through their doors at the mission and is now teaching classes to people struggling with addiction.  This is an impactful story of redemption. However, this story should naturally flow from a Vision Dot that describes an aspect of the mission such as:

Leadership Development – 60% of all classes at ABC Rescue Mission are taught by former addicts. Help us continue to train and equip those who God brings to us to recover and lead.

Stories carry much greater weight and donor impact if they can be shared in relation to a Vision Dot or ministry core value. The more you can root a story in the context of a key initiative the easier it will be for the donor to see where their dollars are going and understand the reach of their giving.

And in case you are still skeptical, here are some of the ways Vision Dots are greater than stories:

Big picture thinking to showcase the reach of the ministry

Reveal the inherent understanding that the leaders of your organization have more than just a passion or well-intended hope,

but that there are plans and well thought-out strategies in place.

Quick and easy to share

Easy to remember

Pave the way for donors to ask about other key Vision Dots / initiatives within your organization

Fall is practically here. We hope all your lists are ready and your key vision initiatives are in place! Happy sharing!

*Interested in a planning session to discuss segmenting your donor lists or identifying your organization’s key Vision Dots? Schedule your free consultation today!

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