3 Outreach and Fundraising Tips I Learned At Philanthropy Day Long Island

Philanthropy Day 2014
Philanthropy Day Long Island

Philanthropy Day Long Island is an annual conference of the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Long Island (AFPLI.) This all-day conference includes lots of helpful workshops, as well as awards to notable nonprofits.

This year, instructors explained how to create a culture of philanthropy, recognize success, and focus on individuals in our work as fundraisers.

Decide How Philanthropy Will Affect Your Organization

Defining philanthropy’s role in your organization will help build a culture of philanthropy. For example, I am on the board of Suffolk Independent Living Organization (SILO), a disability rights and advocacy agency. Since private donations do not cover broad operational costs, we might decide to use certain funds for a specific project, such as a special event or service. This would generate excitement and potentially encourage new stories about how the service improves people’s lives. When business owners and private donors strongly identify with a mission or goal, and they can envision how their money will directly impact people they care about, their donor likelihood and amount increases.

To foster this culture of philanthropy, organizations need to identify clear next steps for members of the fundraising team, which may include staff, board members, committee members, and volunteers. For example:

  • Who will complete the required fundraising tasks?
  • When will each task be completed?
  • How and when will the organization spend the money?

In addition, it’s important to build the right team. Consider partnering with other related organizations to combine resources and expand the pool of ideas. Collaborative fundraisers, recruiting others to spread the word about your events, and other collaborative partnerships can be quite effective.

Recognize Success

Success recognition makes donations more meaningful. There are different types of success: program success, fundraising success, and honors and awards, to name just a few. Ways to recognize success include:

  • Sharing individual success stories.
  • Thanking individual donors and quantifying moneys raised.
  • Quantifying what the organization can do with a certain amount of money.

Focus On Individuals

People are the lifeblood of any nonprofit. Individuals served, donors, influencers, and award recipients are all essential. Practical ways to highlight individuals include:

  • Sharing individual cases or mission moments.
  • Conversing with local foundations and private funders to focus on their concerns and philanthropy goals.
  • Choosing influential honorees whose accomplishments align with your mission.

Thanksgiving is approaching, and I am thankful to have attended Philanthropy Day Long Island. This is only a small taste of what I learned, so feel free to post questions and comments.

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