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Inspired Development by Randy Bronkema

Posts Tagged 'Major Donor'

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This Holiday Season Remember To Listen

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"The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people."  — Woodrow Wilson Major gift fundraising is more about listening than talking. You’ve seen it and know that it is true—the fundraiser who talks too much tends to fail. At times it is hard to draw a line between expressing our passion and including people into our vision. We tend to talk more, where we feel in control and comfortable. But we soon find that we’ve left everyone behind—including the major donor we want to realize our vision. We become so passionate about our cause that we forget fundraising is about relationships and relationships are about listening. Monologue or Dialogue? How do you feel when your friend talks too much and doesn’t listen to you? We have to imagine our donors feel the same way. Remember the art of fundraising is about building relationships, not about asking for money. If you can understand and believe in this concept, fundraising becomes fun. Furthermore, if we build relationships by listeni ...

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Unlock Success with Donor Research

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Many Christian non-profits find it challenging to convert names in their database into major donors for their ministry. So, how do we find and cultivate larger donors from our existing donor database? The answer is prospect research. Please understand that in order to meet the needs of the organization, research is the key. However, many ministries cannot afford a full time database researcher. They respond to this issue by ignoring database research completely. This is not the answer. There are things you can do in your current database to start the process today! STEP 1: UNITE AROUND A VISION Research proves that over 78% of people give to a compelling vision. Vision unites an organization. Once board and staff unite around a vision, you begin researching possible donors that can help you reach that vision. STEP 2: COLLECT INFORMATION Information about your donors plays a major role in success with your donor database. It needs to be part of the expected climate in your office to collect informati ...

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Building Results without a Capital Campaign

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Do you have projects to accomplish, but are not quite ready to launch a capital campaign? Capital campaigns can be both overwhelming and sometimes unnecessary. Thinking outside of the box can give you a boost and bring some real fun and excitement back to your team and your donors. “Advocace is helping us move forward with a major gift program, along with keeping our annual fund growing,” says Bill Sammons General Manager at WKNZ-88.7 The Bridge. Where do you start? Make a project list, or better yet, a “wish list.” Don’t be shy—put everything on it, items that are $10 or $10 million dollars. Think little and big. What things would be beneficial to your project? Maybe you need maintenance items, new transmitters, or capital improvement. This list becomes your tool to begin exploring funding interest. So, don’t leave anything off the list, no matter how unrealistic you it seems to you. Still need help? Try asking yourself and your team what projects or items are in your strategic plan. Consider things like ...

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5 Summer Rules for Finding Major Gifts

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Summer is a great time to remind each other that what you are doing matters. You are a part of a vision that was established to change the world that we live in. You are impacting lives and making a difference. You have been given the responsibility of continuing the good work of your mission. Don’t let summer slow you down, continue to educate yourself with tools that will make you better at what you do. Continue to deliver the message of positive hope and direction to your team. Use this summer to continue reaching out to donors, building relationships and dreaming! These 5 summer rules for finding more major gifts will help you continue on a successful path: Expand the base of generous, annual fund donors. Focus on generating more annual fund donors that are able to give $1,000 or more. As you spend time cultivating a relationship with these donors you will find they are capable and willing to give in addition to their annual donation for special purposes. Involve more volunteers. Identify meanin ...

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Begin This Summer With a New Habit – Listen!

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"The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.” --Woodrow Wilson Major gift fundraising is more about listening than talking. You’ve seen it and know that it is true—the fundraiser who talks too much tends to fail. At times it is hard to draw a line between expressing our passion and including people into our vision. We lean toward talking where we are in control and more comfortable. Soon we find that we’ve left everyone, including the major donor, who we need to realize the vision of the ministry, out of the conversation. We believe in our cause so much it is possible to actually talk people out of giving. We become so excited about what we are doing that we forget fundraising is about relationships and relationships are about listening. Listen to a Monologue or Join a Dialogue? How do you feel when your friend talks too much and doesn’t listen to you? We have to imagine our donors feel the same way. Remember the art of fundraising is about building relationships not about asking ...

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Fundraising is Spiritual Business

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I wish we didn’t have to do “fundraising!” I hear this statement almost every day from the managers and directors of the nonprofit organizations that I work alongside. These people have a passion for what they do, but need to “fundraise” in order to do the work they believe in; work that is changing the world. Can you relate? You are sitting in a meeting, looking for new and fresh ways to present this year’s share-a-thon and prepare your direct mail. Year after year, you begin your planning season by asking, “What types of fundraising should we organize?” Planning fundraising events proves crucial for success, but it is equally important that you stop and consider why you fundraise. Maybe the question we should be asking is, “As a Christian, what does fundraising mean to me, my team and my ministry?” You must decide if fundraising simply falls in the category of a “necessary evil” or if it something much more important. As the leader of a non-profit organization, the first thing you must realize is this– ...

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Giving and Getting in the Kingdom

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I have the great honor of a having a Godly mentor. His name is Dr. Mark Dillon and he is the Vice President for Advancement at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Recently Mark published a book called, Giving and Getting in the Kingdom, an amazing book on the fundamentals of fund raising in the Kingdom of God. I hope you will read Mark’s book as I believe the principles outlined there will help your ministry look at development through brand new eyes. I want to give you just a small taste of what the powerful concepts in this book can do to breathe life and focus into your fundraising efforts. How do you motivate those who are uninspired to give? You teach them. You remind them. 1. When we commit to generosity we demonstrate that God, not money, comes first in our lives. 2. Giving can be offered from gratefulness for God’s abundant grace given to us. 3. Giving allows us to be obedient to God’s Word. 4. We can trust God alone for His provision and use of our resources for His ...

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Build Your Donor Pond into a Lake

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I recently heard this comment, “We just have a small pond of donors.” And, I have to be honest, it really bothered me. What that person, a development officer even, was saying was “The reason we can only do so much is we have limited resources.” I would like to offer, “The reason we do so little is we have limited vision, not limited resources.” Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” It is dangerous to think limiting thoughts and not just because it limits our potential, but more to the core, it limits our God, who wants to move in your world and demonstrate His glory; a glory that will call people to Him. Believe that our God is a God of unlimited resources and unfathomable generosity. We must change this attitude of complacency if we are going to fulfill the mission He has given to us. Do we want to be a people full of fear or a people full of faith? I believe our passivity exposes our fear; fear to believe for more, fear to ask for more, and fear to do the hard work of dreamin ...

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What is Your Purpose?

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Every day we wake up and every day we manage. We manage our schedules, our families, our jobs, our budgets, our obligations. It becomes routine and then we become routine, defined by our jobs and our not our hearts. Satan has us so caught up in the worries of the day; it’s hard to imagine doing anything else. So what is the answer? Can anything really be different? You better believe it can! The answer is found in the first question I ask anyone I am consulting or coaching: “What is your purpose”? This is such an eye opening question to start with, though I am sometimes shocked by the responses I get. Sometimes it is a theological statement or a long drawn out theology hidden inside of a website. Some organizations do not even have one. Some organizations know that they have one written somewhere, but they are not sure what it is, and more to the point, they are not sure why it matters. Whether it is a mission statement for our lives or for our organizations, we have to know our pu ...

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Discover Your Why!

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Remembering our Reason Do you ever go to work in the morning and feel just like that, like you are going to work? Can you still remember when you first took this job, or first started your organization? Do you remember how excited you were, how hopeful you were, how inspired you felt? Sometimes I have trouble staying there. Sometimes I forget to remember the yesterday that started this whole thing. Sometimes I live so intensely in the today that nothing else seems as important as getting to the tomorrow that I talk and talk about, but that never seems any closer. I was encouraged the other day to stop and to think about that; to think about it, the “it”. To figure out what it is that drives me to complete my right now, and focuses me to look forward with expectation to what is next. The thing that gives me the courage to keep dreaming, to keep going. That thing is my “why”. That thing is also your “why”. Why are we doing what we are doing? Why do we exist? Why did G ...

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Comments
  1. Re: What is Your Purpose?

    Putting the passion back into in our ministries! Great message, Randy! Paul summed up our participation...

    -- Will Stevens

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About Randy

I've spent most of my life helping non-profit organizations pursue their vision. My passion is to help non-profits reach their communities and grow discipleship through development.

My work with Christian universities, Christian academies, missions groups, radio stations and local churches really gets me going. Underneath all the work is a real desire to see leaders grab hold of the opportunity God has given them.

Whether major gift development, annual fund plans or donor strategy, I rely on many of the business disciplines from the corporate workplace at JC Penney and Amway Corporation.

I enjoy working with young men to become strong leaders in their families, workplaces and churches. I started The Timothy Project a few years ago to work with men in my local community.

You can find out more about how I help non-profit organizations and how to contact me here.

Thanks for commenting on my blog,

Randy