Fundraising Success #19 Fundraising Success – Issue #19 – Article: “Watch Your ROI”; Supplier Spotlight: Ready Fund Raising Company; Free ebook: “Italian Recipes”
IN THIS ISSUE
=> Kimberly’s Column
=> Reader Q & A
=> Feature Article: “Watch Your ROI”
=> Supplier Spotlight: “Ready Fund Raising Company”
=> SiteSeeing, freebies & more: “National Geographic”
“It’s Feedback Time”
Hey all y’all,
It’s OK. I’m Southern, so I’m allowed to mangle the English
language a tiny tad. It helps to break down the communication
barriers from time to time.
I’m looking for feedback from all of you. Some folks email me
on a regular basis, but there’s close to 8,000 subscribers now.
It’s time for you to speak up.
Drop me a line about:
– What you liked (or didn’t like) about my book
– Suggestions for articles
– Links that don’t work
– Your success stories
– Freebies you want
– Special requests
It will certainly help me focus on topics of interest to all of
you, plus the bonus content will be more relevant.
I’d much rather feature stories on how your group is doing with
your fundraising than brag about our successes (our school just
posted it’s best fall fundraiser results ever, but so what?).
Tell me about what’s working for you and share it with others so
that they’ll benefit as well.
Each person who submits feedback that is published or that offers
value with a suggestion will get a nice bonus gift in return.
How’s that for feedback?
This is the last day for the special promotional price of $7.77
for Fundraising Success. Also ending today is the free trial of
my book without the reference sections. As of October 1st, the
new price will be $27.
This month’s article is entitled “Watch Your ROI” and it focuses
on making sure your group gets a good Return On Investment. Your
time, your energy, and your money are valuable. Don’t waste them
on a poorly thought-out program.
The Supplier Spotlight is on Ready Fund Raising Company. They’re
America’s oldest fundraising supplier, having started in 1909.
Lots of high-quality offerings from a company that knows the
business from the ground up.
This month’s Freebie is a one-year subscription to National
Geographic, a wonderful magazine for the whole family to enjoy.
If you wonder why I use snipurl.com to shorten some of these
links, check out the URL when you get to this page!
This month’s ebook is: “Italian Recipes” in the PDF format. It’s
30 pages of great recipes for mouthwatering Old World dishes.
It goes great with last month’s “Weight Loss Guidance” book!
Keep your PC up-to-date with all the latest patches
and version changes. Go to the Microsoft link below
and click on Product Updates. A list will pop up
with any recommended downloads.
READERS Q & A: What’s On Your Mind?
Question: Kimberly, I am in an industry (classical music) where
a number of our competitors are sustained by donations from
funds, corporations and individuals in the range of $5000 up to
We, by contrast, draw our support from our own audience. Their
response is multitudinous in number but modest in dollar amount
per each. When we approach Major donors, we are told to fill
out a standard grant app.
We have been doing that without significant success for over a
decade. We employ a grant writer whose work is thoroughly
professional, but unsolicited grant aps don’t seem to be
effective… at least, not for us.
Can you suggest an approach to crack through to the level of
major donors? – Ben Rachlis
Answer: Ben, first let me say that my expertise is not in
getting major donors to contribute to deserving organizations.
That said, here’s how I’d approach the situation.
I’m a big believer in the personal touch. It sounds like you
are doing a very thorough job of preparing your grant requests,
so I’d say establish personal contact ahead of time with the
decision maker and deliver your grant request personally where
Capital campaigns should be where you and your team get out and
tell your prospects what a tremendous opportunity they have to
make a difference in people’s lives. You need to aim high at
the top of the gifting pyramid, but you also need to target
plenty of mid-range donors as well.
People need to connect with the energy, the passion, and the
enthusiasm of your group. I’m sure you do a tremendous job
playing the music, but can you say the same thing about your
Reading a grant application is like reading the program for
tonight’s performance. What’s missing is the connection with
the audience that the performance delivers.
Don’t have prospective donors just read about your group, have
them experience the magic. Invite your prospects to attend your
performances. Offer to put on special exhibitions as part of
your personal pitch.
My experience with asking people for money has taught me that
they’re always interested in three things:
1) What’s it going to cost?
2) What will I get for my money?
3) How soon will I get it?
Answer those three questions during every donor pitch. If you
feel that you can’t put together a quality list of prospective
donors that you can arrange to meet in person, then hire a
professional fundraising consultant to design your campaign.
I hope this helps. Good luck with your fundraising!
All this is explained in my book, Fundraising Success!,
along with lots of other useful fundraising techniques.
FEATURE ARTICLE: Watch Your ROI
WATCH YOUR ROI
by Kimberly Reynolds
Return On Investment (ROI) is a fundamental business concept.
It’s also something that every fundraiser needs to take into
A business investment consists of working capital, physical
assets, and people’s time. ROI is the net gain that results
from a business spending money and utilizing physical assets
along with the expenditure of employees’ time in an effort to
produce tangible profits.
So, the “investment” in a fundraiser consists of any up-front
expenditures that are required, the costs associated with the
assets that are utilized, and the value of people’s time.
Some key points about ROI in fundraising:
1) Analyze your up-front expenditures vs. net gain from each
2) Lowering costs boosts your ROI, but maybe not your net
3) Always consider the hourly value of each volunteer’s time
The most important point is to analyze all of your up-front
spending versus the net gain from each expenditure. Obviously,
don’t spend money if nothing is actually gained.
One example would be evaluating advertising expenses for a
capital campaign. Before you commit to it, run a small series
of test ads to determine the response rate. If you don’t get
the desired response, either revise your ad campaign or consider
not spending any more money on advertising.
Look for areas where the returns are greatly magnified for every
dollar spent. This generally includes effective publicity,
quality communication, targeted prospect lists, and timely
Lowering costs boosts your ROI measurement, but your net can be
impacted by the lack of investment. If there is an area where
money spent in the past produced excellent results, then be sure
that this year’s plan provides additional investment capital for
A good example involves possibly cutting the funding for your
capital campaign mailing. Sure, you can cut your expenses by
not mailing to anyone that didn’t respond last year. However,
the law of large numbers will catch up to you. Less people
contacted means less money contributed.
Remember, it doesn’t always take money to make money, but not
spending money where it is really needed can seriously impact
Another important ROI point to remember is the value of each
volunteer’s time. Each volunteer-hour worked to raise money
for your fundraiser should at least be equivalent to minimum
wage. Otherwise, your group is wasting their time by not
An example would be spending a total of 1,000 volunteer hours
coordinating an auction event that only raised $5,000. Chances
are that many groups would be happy with the $5,000 net, but
the ROI on everyone’s time was marginal.
In this instance, you want to maximize the value of everyone’s
time by giving them specific tasks and full instructions. Don’t
take a scattershot approach by going all the area merchants and
asking for donations of merchandise.
Instead, develop rapport with those merchants by providing value
for them all year long before you ask them for a large donation.
Focus your efforts where you’ll get positive responses and avoid
wasting your time on unproductive endeavors.
Each person who helps out in a fundraiser is offering their time
in exchange for something that benefits everyone. Give them
specific assignments that focus on maximum results. Don’t waste
people’s time or you will discourage future participation.
Watch your ROI. It’s a good indicator of the health of your
non-profit organization. If the number is too low, your group
will be constantly recruiting people to replace those who aren’t
Your donors and volunteers won’t return because their time wasn’t
valued, they saw their money being wasted, and they also saw
penny-pinching where open purse strings would have been a better
Design your organization to maximize your ROI and you’ll position
your group for success for many years to come.
SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT: Ready Fund Raising Company
(Excerpt from my book, Fundraising Success!)
Supplier: Ready Fund Raising Company
Phone: (800) 342-2400
Fax: (518) 235-0786
Address: 391 Third Avenue
Description: America’s Oldest Fund Raising Company (Since 1909).
Fund raising for schools and organizations. Candy bars, gift wrap,
and 2-year planners.
Owned and operated by the same family for four generations during
a 90 year history, Ready Fund Raising has always been a wholesale
distributor to the fund raising industry.
Extremely wide selection of fundraising programs to choose from,
some with a unique twist.
Candles – available in a Holiday package including golden pine
cones and other high-quality selections.
Cookie Dough – available in refrigerated and non-refrigerated
varieties with gourmet ingredients.
Popcorn – available in Chocolate Butter Toffee Crunch.
T-Shirts – available in custom designs for $8.50 each with an
order as small as 24 pieces. Additional volume discounts
Product Lines: Calendars, Candles, Candy, Candy – Case, Candy –
Catalog, Candy – Gourmet, Catalog Sales, Chocolate, Chocolate –
Gourmet, Christmas Store, Coffee, Cookie Dough, First Aid Kits,
Flower Bulbs, Gift Items, Gift Wrap, Holiday Gift Shop, Logo
Products – Clothing, Lollipops, Nuts, Pizza, Planners, Popcorn,
Pretzels, Safety Items, Snacks, T-Shirts, Touch Lights, Wrapping
Terms: Net 30 day terms to qualified organizations or Prepay.
Notes: Very nice selection of quality offerings.
PLACES TO GO, THINGS TO SEE, FREEBIES & MORE
SiteSeeing Tip – SuperSearchers Web Page
Information Today has supplemented its invaluable book series,
the Super Searchers’ Guides with a new website. It has expert
links for global business information, news resources, health and
medicine, primary sources, legal information, and more.
PLACES TO GO:
The BBC Learning Web site is now providing a series of short
online learning courses. Current courses include Becoming
Webwise; How to be a Gardener; and several on history,
including Victorian Britain.
Particularly helpful are the short courses in German, French,
Italian, and Spanish. Each language courses is accompanied by
audio and video clips so that users gain a more comprehensive
understanding of the language in context.
Robotics Education Project
NASA’s Robotics Education Project is intended to raise
children’s interest in robotics and promote it as a possible
The Web site highlights many applications of robots, such as
space exploration, medicine, and mechanical automation.
Multimedia games, educational activities, and lesson plans
are all here:
THINGS TO SEE:
FSBO Real Estate Secrets
Don’t enter into the largest financial transaction of your
life without knowing all the facts. Find out how to sell your
house for thousands more. Learn how to spot serious problems
in homes for sale.
Overstock.com (It’s where I shop online)
Shop Overstock.com today for savings of 40-70% off top name
brands like Fuji, Krups, Olympus, Titleist, Movado, IBM, and
more! Overstock.com sells movies, electronics, housewares,
bedding, sporting gear…all at CLOSE-OUT prices
Get the same 21-page report that your lender looks at when
deciding if you’re creditworthy or not. Avoid the surprises and
fix the mistakes. Trust me, there are mistakes.
This month it’s with lots of great Old World
favorites like Manicotti, Tiramisu, Bruschetta, and Ratatouille.
Complete details, 30 pages, 397kb download, PDF format.
That’s all for this issue. See you next month.
WE WANT YOU IN AN UPCOMING ISSUE
We’re always interested in hearing what you have to say
about fundraising. We’d love to publish your article, your
question, your success story, or any other relevant topic
Full instructions are on the website. Click on this link:
Thanks for sharing!
Copyright 2004 Kimberly Reynolds
Fundraiser Help – Great Fundraising Ideas
Maximize your fundraising success!
Nonprofit Fundraising – Tony Poderis describes how any nonprofit group should raise funds.
Non-profit Fund Raising – Organizational tips – Four ways to boost your non-profit fund raiser results.
Capital Campaigns – Capital campaign strategies for non-profit groups to increase their donor base.
Donor Recognition – How to use donor recognition to increase your capital campaign results.
Fundraising Ideas – Ideas for fundraising that focus on the best activities for high school, elementary school, sports teams, and youth groups to raise funds with events, activities, programs, projects and products.
Fundraising Events – Three profitable event ideas for small group or school fundraisers – Fundraiser events that are quick and easy – Fund-raising event ideas you can do in a month and that work anywhere from Canada to Australia.
School Fundraisers – Easy fundraising ideas for schools that consistently produce excellent results. Includes articles on cheerleading fundraisers, high school football fundraiser, soccer fund-raising, band fund-raiser, plus more great youth sports team activities and events for other high school groups.
Thank You Letters – Seven tips on writing thank you letters, notes, or simple donor recognition phone calls.
Fundraising Letters – See what fund raising letters work for other non-profit groups.
Fundraising Letter – How to generate the best response with your donation request letters.
How To Write A Fundraising Letter – Advice and tips on what works and what doesn’t.
Fundraising Software – Listings and descriptions of popular software programs for nonprofit groups. Donor tracking and recognition programs, nonprofit accounting, and capital campaign support.
Church Fundraisers – Church fundraising ideas for capital campaigns – Church fund-raising through donor recognition – Christian fundraiser charity activities and events that produce quick results.
Articles – Full list of articles on high school fundraisers, nonprofit fund raising, and great event ideas.
Cancer Fund Raiser
Donor Fund Raising
Relay For Life