I recently had a meeting with a client and they shared with me how excited they were about a new fundraising tool they learned about. The conversation quickly lead to a question that I love to be asked, “What’s the next, best, really cool trend that’s coming in fundraising?”. My response, “Nothing is as cool as sitting down with a donor and asking them for money”. Of course, this quickly took the wind out of their sails, which was not my intention, but I wanted to make a point.
There is plenty of products in the marketplace that will help you raise money, some are better than others. But the most effective and efficient way to raise support for your organization is to directly ask people to support your work. Since before there was ever a profession known as fundraising, people were meeting with each other and asking for things. I know it sounds much simpler than it is, but I encourage you to always be focused on directly asking people for money.
Major donor fundraising is one of the cheapest ways to raise dollars. According to a 2005 Ketchum Canada study, average costs were $0.12 per dollar raised to a high of $1.50 per dollar raised. Major gifts, partnerships, capital campaigns, planned giving and sponsorships were in the lower cost range, while acquisition mailings, special events, and telemarketing were in the higher cost range, with direct mail to existing donors and earned revenue in the medium cost range (Spears and Morrison, Philanthropic Trends, 2005)
Stick to what our profession has always done – meet with people, get to know their passions and ask them to support a great cause!