Using Sales to Teach Fundraisers New Techniques

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] I spent over 20 years in the higher education space for a learning company. When I started we were selling ink on paper and printed textbooks to professors and committees of professors who were searching for the best materials to use in their courses. During that time the higher education space transformed from printed materials to online solutions, including ebooks and homework systems. I witnessed the transformation to nearly complete digital from print only. Instead of selling textbooks, we found ourselves selling ‘keycodes’ for digital access. Many times we sold the idea of a solution. That is, something that…

Hard VS Soft Launches for Fundraising Events

From the mind of Success Manager Netta Caligari The question I am answering today is what is the benefit of a soft versus hard launch. We see our clients utilize both strategies for their various initiatives, so there is really no one right way to do it – every institution has their reasons for choosing one way or the other. However, if you are still trying to decide which one might be right for you, let’s dive into the advantages of each for you to consider. First to clarify the terminology. When I say a soft launch, I am referring…

Getting Your Org on Board with Digital Fundraising

Set the Foundation When creating a new program within an organization, it is important to establish a core team of users and advocates, as well as market the new technology to internal constituents. Build Your Brand Whether you choose to give your platform a name or simply plan to add a “crowdfunding” section to your giving website, developing a brand that communicates excitement and empowerment to visitors is an important aspect of developing a platform that will have lasting value and interest to your university. For example, Oklahoma State University named their Community Funded platform “PhilanthroPete” naming the platform after…

How to Write A Solicitation That Cuts Through the Noise

In the age of multi-layered marketing, our attention spans are juggling multiple news outlets, social media channels, and promotional materials. 2020 is a difficult time to be a fundraiser and crafting a solicitation that cuts through the noise can be even more challenging. Here is your guide to writing a strong fundraising appeal that generates gifts. Provide a resonating cause and a strong author Before drafting your appeal, consider what cause resonates most with your audiences. Have you done a fundraising campaign in the past that was successful? Chances are, that cause will likely resonate well again. Donors are more…

Monthly Fundraising Success Q&A: January 2020

We're #blessed to have an amazing Success Team that works with our partners to provide insight, best practices, and overall fundraising guidance to help them get to the next level. After the turnout for our Success Q&A webinar (you can still check out the recording here), we heard you loud and clear! We need to share the wisdom of these talented humans more often. That's why every month we'll be rounding up 2-3 of your most pressing questions and letting our team drill down to help! You can see the first batch of answers, access corresponding resources, and submit your…

The Horrors of Fundraising

Fundraising is a rewarding career, filled with purpose and a commitment to serve the greater good. However, there are many things in a fundraiser's daily life that are mildly horrific. Like hoping for a 2% response rate on fundraising emails... Or knowing that as a majority, hours of meticulous work writing, editing, formatting, and receiving approvals for a direct mail piece will ultimately end up like this... And you know the solution is online giving, but the budget for a platform keeps getting denied... But then it finally gets approved on year three and you start questioning your choices by…

Digital Fundraising Knowledge Bombs

Check out these short 3-5 minute videos with key tips and tricks from our library of webinars! Donating With Others: The Power of Network Effects The first fax machine was entirely useless since there was no one else who could receive a fax. When finding a place to eat it can be uncomfortable for many people to eat at a restaurant with no other diners. Network effects like these influence individual decision making on a daily basis. Platform businesses like Facebook and Uber leverage this principle to build value for their users and fundraising platforms such as Community Funded…

#GivingTuesday: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

History Giving Tuesday is an international day that encourages giving back. After the consumerism-fueled Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday aims to create a moment focused on supporting organizations that make the world a better place. Beginning in 2012, this event has grown to raise millions of dollars in over 150 countries. In 2018, over $400 million was raised from 3.6 million gifts, making 14.2 billion social impressions. This movement has helped ignite the social aspect of giving, starting off the year-end giving season with a bang. This year, Giving Tuesday will be held on December 3, 2019. Why…

The Value of Building a ‘Story Marketplace’: Chapter 2

If you’d like to start at the beginning, my recent article The Value of Building a ‘Story Marketplace’: Chapter 1 presented a new paradigm for the role of storytelling in modern fundraising that I build upon here.  Since 2015, when the University of Chicago first used what we had created as our “giving day” functionality to launch a 30-day young alumni challenge, we’ve been inspired to advocate for the concept of creating and curating more content.  We've also realized crowdfunding, giving days, and custom giving events like that challenge are just different tactics to tell stories.  Showcasing more stories, through…

The Value of Building a ‘Story Marketplace’: Chapter 1

[vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Stories are as old as we are human. Stories in some ways make us human. A story is an account of a series of related events and/or experiences. Stories shape us, influence us, motivate us, inform us, and inspire us. Oral storytelling is the earliest method for sharing narratives. During most people's childhoods, narratives are used to guide them on proper behavior, cultural history, the formation of a communal identity, and values. After oral storytelling came paper and ink, then type then print, and now we have digital as the primary source of our stories. It has been said that non-profits have…

How To Leverage Data to Improve Fundraising Results

Are My Fundraising Appeals Working? This is a question every fundraiser asks themselves when creating communications. One of the most challenging aspects of the annual giving world is manipulating the art and science of solicitations. How does fundraising data factor into the equation? "Data-driven decisions" is a phrase that is thrown around a lot, but the tangible reality of this concept can be nebulous. There is more to annual giving data analytics than simply looking at retention rates and number of donors. Dive deeper into your information to find out why your donors are behaving the way they are, and…

How to Pre-Mote Your Story: Communication Before Your Launch

Set Yourself Up For Success Communication about your fundraising campaign doesn't start on day 1 of your project. Promotion should start well before your campaign officially launches. The “pre-motion,” or promotion ahead of the public launch date, is some of the most crucial work you’ll do to ensure your campaign reaches its goal. It’s natural human tendency to support something which is already popular among the masses. That’s why you’ll want to get your best supporters on board early with a gift so that by the time your campaign is open to the greater public there’s a clear mass of…

Katie Haystead

Katie Haystead

Senior Vice President, Partnerships

With over a decade of experience working with K12 schools and higher education institutions’ fundraising efforts, Katie Haystead now oversees the partnerships team at Community Funded. Her passion for partner success and satisfaction aligns with Community Funded’s priorities and Katie’s unique background is well suited to manage the day to day operations of our partnerships team as well as new market acquisition.

Prior to joining the team at Community Funded, Katie served many roles within the Fundraising Division at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Her experience ranges from working onsite and remotely with clients executing phonathon programs, developing annual giving strategies, onsite consultations and also developing multichannel strategies allowing for strong synergy between annual giving channels and creating strong major and planned gift pipelines.

Katie is based in Metro Detroit and is a graduate of Central Michigan University, where she worked for the phonathon for 3 years while working towards her History Major.

Kim Jennings

Kim Jennings

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Kim Jennings, CFRE is a skilled fundraising leader who believes in the power of Christian education to raise up thoughtful, strong, committed leaders who can make our world a better place for all.

Kim Jennings

Todd Turner

Director of Digital Strategies, Generis

In addition to his 11 years overseeing Chuck Swindoll’s Insight Living Ministries communications department, Todd Turner has worked as a digital strategist for faith based organizations across the globe..

Kim Jennings

Jennifer Perrow

Senior Generosity Strategist, Generis

Jennifer is a skilled fundraising and communications professional who helps ministries articulate vision, communicate mission, and raise abundant funds to advance Kingdom priorities.