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Jerry Smith at the 2012 Bridge Conference in Washington DC speaking

 

50 Things I’ve Learned in 14,000 Days in Fund-Raising*

Capital campaigns begin with big, bold, exciting ideas, which is the birth place of all successful fundraising. Bringing these ideas to fruition, however, takes planning, preparation and, of course, hard work.

Veteran fund-raising consultant, Jerry F. Smith, shares the fundamental elements of fund-raising learned from 10,000 days on the job. Profound in their simplicity, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of these yourself. Jerry’s development training will help your local members turn big, bold, exciting ideas into reality!

*This topic is typically used in 2 ½ – 3 hour session but can be edited to “20 Things” for hour-long sessions.

 

Trends in Fund-Raising:  What’s In, What’s Out

The 21st century donor is not the same as the 20th century donor. Donors today are much more savvy and involved, and need a slightly different approach. Above and beyond our changing communication, from direct mail to electronic mail, today’s fund-raiser needs to be a facilitator. This presentation will discuss current trends in fund-raising. Learn how you can address the current needs and opportunities within your prospective donor constituency.

 

Rules of the Road to Success

Get on the super-highway to achievement with this discussion of how to successfully compete in today’s congested fund-raising traffic. How can you speed by other fund-raisers to fund the opportunities within your organization? Based on Jerry F. Smith’s recent book, Fund-Raising: Rules of the Road to Success, this presentation will map out critical directions to effectively and efficiently guide you toward success both personally and professionally.

 

SuCCCess is Spelled with 3 C’s: Contact, Cultivate, and Close

Learn to maximize your fund-raising efforts with these three simple steps. Find out successful ways to find and contact potential donors; cultivate their interest in your school; and close a prospect, making him or her a donor.

 

The Anatomy of a Feasibility Study

There are no shortcuts in fund-raising and a nonprofit organization cannot afford to fail. Feasibility studies are vital to the success of any major gift or capital campaign. This presentation will discuss the importance of a feasibility study and how it benefits an organization not only as they embark on a campaign, but as a way to find out how the constituency feels about the performance of the organization in general.

 

Cultivating and Sustaining an Annual Fund

Learn the steps to planning, implementing, and sustaining an annual fund program in your organization. This presentation will offer practical, pithy advice based on the J.F. Smith Group’s 25-year track record. It doesn’t get any easier than this.

 

Capital Campaigns are Easy if You Do Your Homework

A capital campaign consists of four phases: the planning phase; the leadership phase; the public phase; and the follow-up phase. This session will walk attendees through each phase, highlighting critical steps and key action items.

 

Basic Principles of Fund-Raising

To be successful in fund-raising you need to understand and learn the basic principles. During this session I will detail, what I consider, the 12 basic principles in fund-raising. I have created a formula for success in fund-raising: BP + CS x E = S, meaning Basic Principles plus Common Sense times Effort equals SUCCESS! If you want to be successful in fund-raising, learn the basic principles, apply your common sense and multiply it by some effort.

 

Myths of Fund-Raising

While raising money, unproved practices or false beliefs can steer a fund-raiser down the wrong path. In this presentation, participants will learn the truths behind some common misperceptions in fund-raising, increasing their ability to be productive for your foundation.

 

The Board’s Role in Fund-Raising: FOCUSED

In most organizations, board members are often the leaders of a project, the decision-makers. As a result, it is vital that board members stay on track and stay focused on the project(s) at hand. As a development officer, it is your responsibility to ensure this happens. This short presentation will provide tips to stay FOCUSED.

 

The Christian School Board’s Role in Fund-Raising

Board members of a Christian school must take a leadership role in a school’s fund-raising efforts. This presentation discusses the rationale for that leadership role, the reasons why board-led development efforts are successful, and the role of the board in the annual fund and capital campaign programs.

 

Why Do We Need to Conduct a Feasibility Study?

There are no shortcuts in fund-raising, and a non-profit organization cannot afford to fail. Feasibility studies are vital to the success of any major gift or capital campaign. This presentation will discuss the importance of a feasibility study and how it benefits an organization, not only as they embark on a campaign, but as a way to find out how the constituency feels about the performance of the organization in general.

 

The Top 10 Familiar Faults in Fund-Raising

This presentation looks at the most common reasons fund-raising efforts fail and how to conquer them.

 

Expect To Win: Plan, Prepare, Produce

To be successful in a capital campaign you have to expect to win.  But it takes more than a positive attitude to be successful in fund-raising.  Each of the three “P’s” makes up an important piece of the fund-raising puzzle.  You must plan, prepare, and ultimately produce.  Plan: Learn about the structure that needs to be in place before beginning a campaign, the importance of clarifying your mission and projects as well as a clean database.  Prepare: Hear about the importance of a feasibility study, the five I’s in donor cultivation and the things you need to be accomplishing to acquire an ask amount.  Produce: You’ll learn a proven 5 step approach to solicitations, the importance of follow-up and finally, some comments from some great givers and why they give.

 

Expect to Win: Securing Major Gifts

To secure major gifts and be successful in a capital campaign, you have to expect to win. But it takes more than a positive attitude to be successful in fundraising. This presentation will take you through 3 “P’s” to show you how to succeed. You will learn how to plan, prepare, and produce. Plan: Learn about the structure that needs to be in place and how to identify your leadership prospects. Prepare: Hear about the five I’s in donor cultivation and the things you need to be accomplishing to acquire an ask amount. Produce: You’ll learn a proven 5 step approach to solicitations, and the importance of stewardship.

 

Plan for Success, Price of Success, and Path to Success

Fund-raisers always ask me how to be successful in fund-raising. I’ve found that while many in fund-raising focus on the end results, few spend the time they need on the path to get there. This session will focus on exactly that – what it takes to successfully navigate the path of fund-raising. First, you must PLAN for success, a step that starts with a strong strategic plan. Next, consider the PRICE of success. Investing in your staff and infrastructure, contacting and cultivating relationships, and using the results of your feasibility study appropriately are equally important. finally, you are ready to pursue the PATH to success, which involves intentional contact with your constituency, as well as reporting to accurately track your progress. This session will thoroughly cover SUCCESS in fund-raising, from beginning to end.

 

Expect to Close: And Keep the Door Open

“Closing” a donor doesn’t occur when you make the ask and get a signed pledge card; it begins the very first time you meet. In this session, participants will learn the 3:5:5 plan, which includes valuable insight into the various steps of closing. This includes the 3 C’s (contact, cultivate, close), the 5 steps in solicitation, and the 5 touches of stewardship. Participants will learn how to “keep the door open” after a gift is made, to ensure the future support of donors.

What our Clients are saying…

  • “As senior Associate Athletics Director for Development at Auburn University, I have worked closely with Jerry F. Smith for the past two years. Throughout the capital campaign, which we are currently conducting, as well as during the planning phases of the campaign, Jerry has provided professional advice and useful strategies for our development team.”

    Jay Jacobs
    Athletics Director | Auburn University
  • “It was a pleasure working with the JFSG, Inc. during our recent Advancement Audit and Feasibility Study. Each member of the firm we dealt with was knowledgeable and very professional. Their reports were quite beneficial. We have engaged the firm to provide counsel for our capital campaign.”

    Joe Serviss
    Vice President of Institutional Advancement | Jacksonville State University
  • “Everyone associated with the project, from our staff to the Foundation Board, was extremely impressed by the expertise your group exhibited. The detailed process used to develop the plan resulted in a document (Advancement Assessment) that is very professional and can be used as a guide for our fund raising efforts for some time.”

    Clemit Spruiell
    Vice President for Advancement | University of West Alabama
  • “I must honestly say that at the onset we knew absolutely nothing about fundraising. But, with the help of the J.F. Smith Group we slowly began to learn. To say that our campaign was a huge success would be an understatement. We would not be in this position without the professional guidance given by the J.F. Smith Group.”

    Jerry Williams
    Administrator | Providence Academy
  • “At Harding, we value integrity, service, and excellence, and I commend you for projecting these qualities in the professional manner in which you worked with us during our capital campaign.”

    Tom Dickson
    President | Harding Academy
  • “At Gaston Christian School we have recently had the privilege and good fortune of having J. F. Smith Group to give us direction as we carried out our first capital campaign. The early apprehensions we had about a capital campaign we never realized: instead we found the whole experience to be very pleasant and one that benefited the school in more ways than just raising funds.”

    Opal Parks
    Head of School | Gaston Christian School, Inc.

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