Login   |  Register   

Inspired Development by Randy Bronkema

Randy Bronkema's avatar

Don’t Let a Bad Economy Shape Your Vision

I want to remind you not to let the forecast for a bad economy stop you from going after your vision. With the nation’s economy in its current state, it could be easy and natural to back off the dreams of what could be and begin to work out of fear. Please don’t let that happen! I spent 15 years at Amway Corporation, and each month our President Rich DeVos would hold mandatory employee meetings. This was the early eighties and I was fresh out of college and the economy was terrible; interest rates were over 14%, unemployment was 14% and inflation was 12%. During one of these employee meetings a young man stood to his feet and asked Mr. DeVos the following question, “Why is this corporation spending 65 million dollars on a downtown Grand Rapids hotel in an economy as bad as this?” I will never forget the way that Mr. DeVos answered his question, “Young man I’m not participating in your bad economy!” What Mr. DeVos shared then is still true today, and will always ...

Read the rest of entry »

Randy Bronkema's avatar

Six Parts of a Solicitation Call

At some point your solicitation calls are supposed to lead you to the “ask”. Many stop short of this part because they forget, because it wasn’t planned ahead of time, or because they are afraid. Whatever the reason when the “ask” isn’t purposed into your visits, you are going to miss out on opportunities, relationships that last, and investments into your organization. So, how can you help your team master this step? Here are the six parts of a solicitation call. When your team is prepared and they understand their part, they should be able to react to any obstacles that may surface during the call. 1. Know your prospect so you can begin and lead the conversation. Get your contact to talk about themselves and the things that they are interested in. 2. Ask questions to make the conversation meaningful. Remember that open-ended questions are going to draw your prospect out and keep them talking. 3. Listen, listen, listen! Careful listening will give clues to next steps a ...

Read the rest of entry »

Randy Bronkema's avatar

Overcoming Call Reluctance

In order to overcome call reluctance, I have found it best to have a plan. These five steps are the same ones that I use to help me stay calm, focused and boost my confidence. Solicitation calls can be intimidating, but because these calls are so important to our organizations, it is worth learning how to master these calls and make them productive and purposeful. #1 Research: Always begin by doing your homework. Gather information through media and research sources. Talk to board members, donors, staff, and volunteers. Know as much as you can because this information is going to help you gather insight about your prospect. Don’t forget to document this information in your computer – tracking your prospects is crucial, it will help you feel more in control and make you better at what you do. #2 Relationship: If you have been following me for any length of time, this one should not surprise you! Remember that we are trying to get to know our donors on a personal level so use the conversation to g ...

Read the rest of entry »

Randy Bronkema's avatar

Capital Results Without a Capital Campaign!

Do you have projects to accomplish, but are not quite ready to launch a capital campaign? Capital campaigns can be both overwhelming and 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.  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: maintenance items, new transmitters, capital improvement. This list becomes your tool to begin exploring funding interest and gets things started. So don’t leave anything off the list; no matter how unrealistic you may believe it to be. Still need help, try asking yourself and your team what projects or items are in your strategic plan and consider things like endowments, equipment, supplies, program and personnel needs. Now you are on your way. Your list has been drawn up and you have ...

Read the rest of entry »

Randy Bronkema's avatar

Start Listening

"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, and soon find that we’ve left everyone, including the major donor we need to realize the vision, 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 we forget that fundraising is about relationships and relationships are about listening. Would you rather 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 relati ...

Read the rest of entry »

Randy Bronkema's avatar

Bad Economy, Perfect Vision

Don’t let a bad economy keep you from your vision! I don’t have to tell you that our nation is going through a stagnate economy.  When our economy falls and then stalls the way it has, it makes it very easy to retreat and worry about the day to day needs of the operation.  When we take a stagnate economy and mix it with our worry we soon find that our ministries become about today.  We forget to dream about tomorrow and then find ourselves and our ministries as stagnate as the economy we are in. Please don’t let that happen to your ministry or to you! In your role as a leader it is important that you remember economies will rise and fall.  In every economic climate there will be people who are capable of making major gifts to your ministry.  Force yourself out of the office; spend time tracking down these individuals and share with them your vision for the future.  You will find – without fail – great things happen when you get moving. &nb ...

Read the rest of entry »

Randy Bronkema's avatar

Free Resources At Your Fingertips

It has been proven time and time again by fund-raising experts that it is a vision that will capture the heart, soul, and resources of a major donor.  We know this, but when was the last time we talked to our boards about the vision for our ministries?  Even more importantly, when have we ever asked our major donors to critique that vision? Do you realize how many resources we have at our fingertips – for free?  Experience and insight that will make us more effective and give our ministries vibrant vision that others can step into.  All of these assets are sitting in the donor pool that we have right now!  And, by including our donors in the process we gain access to their gifts.  Think of it, successful business people, entrepreneurs, professionals – all in our circles, all with the potential of vesting into our ministries for FREE! We have an opportunity to allow our major donor community to help us develop, critique, revise, and ultimately get excited about our v ...

Read the rest of entry »

Randy Bronkema's avatar

Five Things You Can do to Develop Major Donors

We all know that finding major donors is crucial for the success and impact of our organizations, yet few are doing the things they need to do to ensure that this part of their fundraising is a success.  Don’t wait for major donors to come to you.  Here are five simple things you can start doing today to begin developing major donors: I. Pick up the Phone! We cannot reach our maximum financial potential without the help of major donors.  You know that 1% of your database has the potential to give 35% of your total budget, so, do you have a major donor program?  It is proven fact that people will never say yes to a question they are never asked.  Starting is as easy as picking up your phone and setting appointments.  The Kingdom of God is never short of money, but you are leaving plenty of it on the table if you are afraid to take the first step and make the call. II. Build Relationships Before people will even buy into the vision of an organization, they will bu ...

Read the rest of entry »

Randy Bronkema's avatar

Laying A Path Of Success

Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.” Proverbs 4:4-5   If there was one thing the father in Proverbs 4 wanted his son to acquire it was wisdom.  According to Solomon, if the son were to process wisdom he would find life, safety and honor.  Effective leaders need to take note of the teaching of the father in Proverbs.  Like that father, leaders are to urge those under their charge to develop the skills that will lead to their success.  And we know that those on our teams will seek the things we are passionate about.  Therefore, we must lay the path toward wisdom for them by seeking it ourselves. Wisdom comes when we, as leaders, make an active choice to become students—learning and then passing on; seeking and then sharing.  We will know we have established a culture ...

Read the rest of entry »

Randy Bronkema's avatar

It’s Time to Dream!

Ask yourself this question: Why did the people that chose to give their money, donate it to your cause? As leaders and fundraisers for our organizations, we need to not only be asking this question but we also need to learn how to answer it.  We know that the Holy Spirit leads his people to be givers based on three factors: Need, Relationship, and Vision; so let’s start there. Did you know that the lowest percentage of giving is based upon need?  Only 8% of the Evangelical Christians, who give, give in order to be the answer to a particular need.  However, in my work with fundraising people, I see that most of our organizations function in a “high needs world.”  Our needs are real and tangible, and so we talk more about them than we do anything else.  This approach worked 20 years ago with the World War II generation, but that generation, and that mindset, has passed. Sometimes people, about 20%, will be compelled to give because they know an individual or respect ...

Read the rest of entry »

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

Inspired Development
by Randy Bronkema
Subscribe To
Inspired Development

Get the latest updates in your email box automatically.

Login       Register
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