Fundraising Guide (English) June 2014 - Page 11

Instead, try to build a personal rapport. Be sure to ask the prospect questions about themselves and their interests. This is how you find out whether this prospect is right for your organization. If not, then you can devote your attention to other seeds more likely to germinate. as being the only organization that reaches your population and has already achieved a real impact. Check out other NGO websites and see what they say about themselves. The pitch is an element of your organization’s identity that you will use over and over, so take time to make it resonate. 3. Water and fertilize the seedling by staying in touch through regular emails, updates, or other communications. For example, if you have a list of prospects or donors who are interested in a particular project, send an email or note a couple of times a year with an update on your progress. This helps them learn more about your organization’s work and develop an interest in you. Plan to contact each prospect at least four times a year with a specific message that doesn’t ask for money. It always helps to have prior personal contact with a prospect before making an “ask” (a request for a contribution) – this includes foundations and larger institutional funders. COMMON QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD BE PREPARED TO ANSWER  you contribute time and/or money to your Do organization? Do all of your board members/ advisory board members contribute as well?  is hard for some potential donors to seriously It consider contributing to an organization if its leaders don’t contribute financially themselves. They wonder why they should invest in you, if you do not invest in your own organization?  What is your annual budget? Throughout the cultivation process, that seed should naturally grow into a healthy plant. When you think that plant is ready to yield fruit, then prepare for harvesting by developing your “pitch.”  What other sources of funding do you currently have?  you have a strategic/business plan? What is your Do vision for the next two years, five years, and 10 years? WHAT IS A PITCH AND HOW DO I MAKE IT? HOW DO I ASK FOR MONEY? A pitch is a short, enthusiastic summary of your organization. You should have it in writing to include in letters, emails, and proposals. You should also be able to deliver it verbally in person or over the phone. Before you get ready to ask for gifts, you should develop a list of possible donors (known in the fundraising world as a “prospect pipeline”) that you think might want to help fund your organization. The pitch is a quick introduction to your organization, with the goal of getting people interested in what you do and why it’s important. Often, many people will not take time to get to know you at a greater depth if they’re not interested in your initial pitch. Think of it as your advertisement. Here are some suggested steps to help you prepare to make the “ask:”  prospect has the capacity and passion to make a The financial gift or award.  have communicated with the prospect; You they have heard from you and know of your organization. They are educated about your work and feel connected to it and your organization. At a minimum, a compelling pitch includes the following:  Name and type of your organization – such as “rural women’s farming cooperative.”  have had a conversation about their specific You program or project interests and identified what their funding would accomplish for your organization – for example, training for a specific number of women in rural regions.  What you do and why it’s critical – such as providing financial literacy training to difficult-toreach rural women so that they know how to keep track of their money and save.  have had a conversation about potential You funding including the approximate amount, the program or project to be supported, and the timeframe. Be sure to tailor your request to the  “hook” or what makes you unique and a A compelling reason for someone to learn more – such 8