From category archives: Advancing The Vision

Vision

How to Seek New Major Donor Prospects

How to Seek New Major Donor Prospects

This is the second blog in a common Major Donor Questions series. Find Question #1 here>> The question we'll answer in today's blog is: How do I see new Major Donor prospects? Might some of these questions describe the leadership perspective of your organization towards the idea of acquiring new donors? Do you have a very limited to zero development and fundraising staff and don’t know how to engage with major donor prospects? Do you have an increasing need for additional funding, especially from major contributors? Do you have fundraising questions but have no idea who to ask? These Questions were asked during a friendly chat with a ministry leader today. The subject quickly turned to prospecting for major donors. Why might my friend get sweaty palms when discussing how to meet major donors? She knew this was a game-changing topic so we discussed how to effectively prospect for major donors. First, place yourself in an environment where likely major donors congregate s ...Read more »
How to Change Focus and Reveal the Hearts of Your Top Donors

How to Change Focus and Reveal the Hearts of Your Top Donors

This is the beginning of a blog series that answers common Major Donor Questions. Our first question is: How can I reveal the heart of my top donors? “Tell me your favorite experience as a major supporter of your favorite charity?” The question seemed to pleasantly surprise one of the leaders of a mobile medical missions team serving in remote Swaziland in southern Africa. We were gathered near the U.S. headquarters in the Northwest for a Board Retreat. I had just met this African entrepreneur and wanted to hear the details of how his heart was moved through his interaction. He went on to describe an experience when his entire family participated in the one-on-one service outreach to those in need. This was a turning point to solidify values for many family members. He thanked me for probing this memory and determined to seek other similar opportunities in the near future. Explore Your Donor’s Heart As a leader in your industry, may I suggest you develop a list of questions ...Read more »
Jesus Called for Collaboration Not Competition

Jesus Called for Collaboration Not Competition

Competition exhilarates me. How about you? What about competition between Christian ministries or Christian ministry leaders? Is this healthy? In one sense, the root of the word comes from Latin competere (to seek, or to strive, together). Further inquiry reveals competition’s first cousin, “competence,” still enjoys respect in all circles. An examination of Scripture on the topic is less conclusive. The Apostle Paul reminds us from prison about the danger of pride in the pursuit of a reward, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit…” (Philippians 2:3a ESV). He also seems to have the big picture of our lives in view when he coaches us to run and fight for the prize (1 Cor 9:24-27). What gives? In Christian ministry, should we apply competition which sometimes leads to unhealthy comparison in our race to please Him? What if we looked through an alternative camera lens to see leaders striving…but not against each other? Rather, we see the finish line revealing all le ...Read more »
5-5-5 Will Get Powerful Results for Your Fall Major Donor Plan

5-5-5 Will Get Powerful Results for Your Fall Major Donor Plan

Have you read any of the mega-popular “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series?Did you know Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been translated into 43 languages, have been published in over 100 countries, and have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide? Amazing!Author Harry Che writes that when authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen wrote their first ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit’ book, they asked many marketing experts on how best to market the book. In ‘The Success Principles(TM): How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be’, Canfield tells how they settled on ‘the rule of 5’. Every day they did 5 intentional things to promote the book. Some examples:• 5 Radio interviews• Send a copy to 5 book reviewers• Send a copy to 5 celebritiesIn a little over a year ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ appeared on the best sellers list. Mark and Jack’s focus on daily actions proved pivotal to the book series success.Three Intentional Sets of FivesSimilarly, ...Read more »
Imagineering: 3 Ways to Create Major Donor Excitement

Imagineering: 3 Ways to Create Major Donor Excitement

“Imagination rules the world.” Wow. A powerful statement by the legendary French military and political leader, Napoleon. Makes me think of the Walt Disney Imagineering who, inspired by the Disney genius of storytelling, used technical innovation and creativity to invent new forms of entertainment. Creativity Attracts Major Donors How does this relate to engaging your major donors and prospects in your ministry’s mission? First of all, when you use creativity to clearly relate a glimpse of God’s transformative work in the lives of those you serve, you will attract the interest of major donors. Whether you focus on domestic or international needs, there are boatloads of stewards with a passion to join you in service. Fred Smith is president of The Gathering, one of the country’s largest networks of Christian philanthropists. He points to the reality of the greatest wealth transfers in history as an opportunity for ministries to creatively serve major donors: “The ca ...Read more »
Join the International Focus of 2 Billion Unreached with Gospel

Join the International Focus of 2 Billion Unreached with Gospel

Have Christians lost their urgency in sharing the Good News of the Gospel with those outside the faith?Recent surveys by the Barna Research Group and various Protestant denominational statistics show a sharp decline when surveying Christians on their experience in evangelism.You may know this to be true in your corner of North America, but my experience in leadership in international missions says the opposite. As I served with Seed Company, a Wycliffe Bible Translators Affiliate, we saw a resurgence of like-minded organizations choosing to partner together in service. This partnership began to rapidly increase Bible translation projects and church-planting movements. Evangelism is alive in so many regions such as Africa, Central and Eastern Asia and Central America.Thinking about our own backyard, I was burdened as I read commentaries like 7 Reasons American Has Not Been Reached for Christ from leaders like Greg Stier of Denver-based Darer2Share. These articles lament the challenging nature of evangelis ...Read more »
5 Direct Mail Reminders for Your Ministry

5 Direct Mail Reminders for Your Ministry

My mailbox and inbox contained appeals for 50 different non-profit organizations this week alone. Whew...this must be end of year time! Our family supports about twenty ministries on an annual basis including our local church, U.S. based and worldwide missions, among others. We keep up with these organizations and read their appeals. I also spent time reading other appeals this week and I found the most compelling were both honest with their financial picture and motivating concerning their potential impact. 5 Good RemindersSo I reviewed veteran direct mail expert Mal Warwick's insights into donor motivation. Individuals give emotionally to dreams and visions of impact Do not sell the needs of the institution because people give to opportunities People give people it makes them feel good not out of a sense of guilt People do not give to a losing cause or a campaign that is faltering but look to join others in supporting success Your mission is of paramount importance, much more than any particular program so ...Read more »
3 Ways to Find Major Funding Partners Today

3 Ways to Find Major Funding Partners Today

Regardless the size of your ministry, I believe you are a few steps away from attracting big gifts to fund your vision. In our experience, organizations with a one person development staff member or even organizations without development offices can dramatically increase the flow of big gifts, regardless of their development budget. Just as donor-supported missionaries prepare lists of potential funding partners, your organization can move forward in development success. What are some of the key principles and practices to build your major donor team on a small budget? Finding Passionate Major Donors The key is to attract the attention of those with both capacity and passion for your cause. How do you find the wealthy, passionate donors that should be interested in joining your major donor team? 1. The first place to look is to brainstorm a list of your organization's own constituency. Can your staff identify a dozen high capacity friends of your organization who have demonstrated interest through their ...Read more »
7 Ways to Move from Stress-Filled to Fearless Leadership

7 Ways to Move from Stress-Filled to Fearless Leadership

Chicago’s daily commute can drive employees mad, just ask a psychiatrist who battles the urban jungle and comments "It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to several centuries—at least subjectively."Forbes magazine unveiled their annual list of America’s 40 Most Stressful Cities and you guessed it, Chicago ranked number one for the second straight year followed by Los Angeles, New York, my hometown of Cleveland and Providence. If you are a leader of an organization in these metro areas, your staff feels the effects of sinking property values, high unemployment and prices along with poor social and ecological environments. These conditions breed fear which multiplies employee stress. Many managers cite the overall stress levels as a major cause of absenteeism as well. Dr. Kenneth Greenspan, director of the Centre of Stress Related Disorders at New York's Presbyterian Hospital, claims that if the body faces constant stress and does not have opportunity to rest and renew itself, the resulting effects can be dramatic. ...Read more »
You Can Be a Visionary Leader

You Can Be a Visionary Leader

A few years ago, I interviewed Dennis Bakke, co-founder and longtime CEO of the worldwide energy giant AES Corporation. Dennis told me how he helped create a company where each employee was encouraged to dream, work hard, and make important decisions. He chronicled his leadership journey in his best-selling book Joy at Work.I have thought of Dennis' words often as I interact with leaders of Christian-format radio stations desiring to empower their staff to fulfill their individual calling. I especially remember Dennis telling me that his goal and passion was to try to create the most fun workplace in the history of the world. He said that with a straight face. Well, even though he retired several years ago, I checked out the AES corporate values on their web site...and there it was:Have Fun Through Work: We work because work can be fun, fulfilling and exciting. We enjoy our work and appreciate the fun of being part of a team that is making a difference. And when it stops being that way, we will change what or ...Read more »
Mark Kordic
Mark Kordic
Advocace Alumnus

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