J.F. Smith Group’s Philosophy on Fund-Raising
- Fund-raising is a team effort – It takes every person in the development office working together to achieve your goals and objectives.
- Formula for Success: BP + CS x E = S (Basic Principles + Common Sense x Effort = Success)
- Basic Principle #1 – Always ask for a specific dollar amount. This is the greatest mistake made in fund-raising today.
- Basic Principle #2 – Major on the majors – do not major on the minors. Try to stay focused on prospects who have the inclination, ability, and willingness to support your organization.
- Basic Principle #3 – People who are involved in your organization tend to become committed to it and the dollars follow their commitment. Therefore, individuals, companies and foundations who are identified as major prospects should first be invited to become involved in Your organization’s programs or committees.
- Basic Principle #4 – Your solicitation success rate increases with the number of preliminary meetings you have prior to making the “ask”.
- Basic Principle #5 – Volunteers are essential to your overall fund-raising success because they duplicate your efforts and volunteers give more than non-volunteers.
- Basic Principle #6 – Never make a solicitation request without written (proposal) justification.
- Basic Principle #7 – Development officers should be evaluated on the number of contacts, solicitation requests and dollar amount of proposals presented – not on the amount of money they raise.
- Basic Principle #8 – Stewardship is necessary if you are going to cultivate and build a relationship with a previous or current donor.
- Basic Principle #9 – The first gift a person, company or foundation makes is generally their smallest gift.
- Basic Principle #10 – Development officers should always carry the President or Board Chair on major solicitation calls. Prospective donors always want to hear from the decision makers.
- Basic Principle #11 – There is no shortage of money – just a shortage of great big bold ideas (projects) where the prospective donor feels his/her contribution can make a difference.
- Basic Principle #12 – Always “sell” what the prospective donor wants to “buy”.