Beyond Money: A Look at Giving, Dr. Gray Keller


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Is your fundraising strategy BRILLIANT?

First, is it Believable? A great fundraising strategy is believable. Your marketing, PR, branding behind it, must resonate with donors.

Second, is it Realistic? If your fundraising strategy is not realistic, then donors will laugh, some will mock and others will simply think you’re crazy and will not give. You must show how the amount of money you need and think you can raise is realistic to your overall goals and purposes of a nonprofit.

Third, is your fundraising strategic intelligent? In other words, does it make sense; does it flow with both rational logic and also emotional buy-in? Does it allow for multiple streams of revenue and financial sustainability?

Fourth, is your fundraising strategy loving? What does it mean to have a loving fundraising strategy? First, you show that you true love and care for your donors and community more than simply what they might be able to give you. Second, your love and care for others is not contingent on their giving, but rather you choose to be philanthropic (i.e. love of humanity) for pure reasons because you care for others. When true soul care is there, it is much more comfortable for donors to give.

Fifth, is your fundraising strategy leading your board, employees, volunteers and donors to give? Is it leading your organization to new places, greater opportunities and a healthier place as an organization? Is your fundraising strategy leading your community and community leaders to give and participate alongside your nonprofit?

Sixth, is your fundraising strategy inspirational? If you cannot inspire others to give, then you will have a major problem on your hands. Your strategy should inspire the heart of your donors, volunteers, employees, advocates and board members. Embedded within your fundraising strategy should be woven an inspirational story of engaging, educating and empowering all who are influenced by it.

Seventh, is your fundraising strategy authentic to you and your nonprofit? If you do not customize it to who you are as a nonprofit, then you might come across as being inauthentic or looking like your competition. Thus, your fundraising strategy should be so real to you that it is authentic to who you are as an organization. It should bleed from you veins and be uniquely yours.

Eight, does your fundraising strategy convey “a newness” to your nonprofit organization? Are you doing something new or simply repeating the same old stuff from previous years? Finally, is your fundraising strategy timely to where you find yourself within the greater context of your community and society at large?

gray kellerTiming your strategy is so vital when so many other nonprofits are doing the same. A year-end giving strategy is one thing, and timing yours around your fiscal period or other events within your community is important to success. For example, if you were going to kick off your fundraising strategy right on September 11, 2001, then you would most likely put it on hold and wait until a better time. Timing your strategy is key.

Therefore, if you want to create a BRILLIANT fundraising strategy, then remember to make it Believable, Realistic, Intelligent, Loving, Leading, Inspirational, Authentic, Newness and Timely.

RELATED: A Donor’s Perspective – Dr. Gray Keller

“I’m Not a Bank” said one Donor to a Fundraising Professional


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