Ways to Invest $5,000 to Boost Your Fundraising

Dear Kim:

We have a donor who has offered to give us $5,000 to use to boost our fundraising in any way we want.  Our committee is split down the middle between whether to use the money for social media or for planned giving.  We have to do something—we have been arguing about this for two months. We have agreed to go with your vote—what do you think?

~Break the Tie!

Dear Tie!

How is it that smart people can spend so much time sitting in their corners thinking about how right they are and how the people in the other corner are completely wrong?  I am not going to break your tie, but I do hope to break open your conversation.

Social media and planned giving aren’t polar opposites.  Many nonprofits promote planned giving through their websites and on Facebook (here is just one example I came across by chance:  https://www.facebook.com/BenCulleySociety?ref=hl)   Social media can be used to explain planned gifts, celebrate receiving them and bring donors into your website to find out more about them. 

But more important for your organization to look at is what is working for you and what isn’t.  How many donors do you have?  How many donors give more than once?  What strategies have you used in the past and how well have they worked?  $5,000 is a lovely and very generous gift, but it will go right down the toilet if not used strategically.  And the first step is identifying what aspect of fundraising you need to move into.  You may then decide that getting your board more involved is the best use of that money, or getting a better donor database and some training on it, or creating a planned giving program with a social media component, or…. 

My advice is live in the world of both/and, and move out of either/or.  You’ll raise a lot more money and you’ll be happier.   

~Kim Klein

2 Comments to Ways to Invest $5,000 to Boost Your Fundraising

  1. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    July 19, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    What if they use the $5,000 as a special appeal to raise more to implement a planned giving program? I agree – include social media as a communications tool for the planned giving. Then, they might have $10,000 to actually implement it. There are lots of articles about planned giving programs that don’t cost much money and can be done within your existing communications strategies. We’ve had lots of success with this approach. Good luck!

    • Kim Klein's Gravatar Kim Klein
      July 21, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Great idea—just what I expect from someone with a
      great name! I would just add to your idea that the appeal should be sent to a selected cross section of donors which would include people who have given several years in a row, people who have given over $250, and former board and staff who are on friendly terms with the

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