Krämer: It is all just a bad transfer of power from the state to billionaires. So it’s not the state that determines what is good for the people, but rather the rich want to decide. That’s a development that I find really bad. What legitimacy do these people have to decide where massive sums of money will flow?
A team of UK bloggers laments the lack of philanthropy the United Kingdom suffers. They call on the British government to learn from the Irish government’s initiatives to broaden philanthropy through education.
My suggestion is that the Brit’s new Minister for Civil Society (I’d enjoy handing out business cards with that title. It’s so genteel.) cultivate a few wealthy donors and urge them to speak publicly about their philanthropy and challenge other people of means to increase their own giving. I believe in trickle down philanthropy (but not trickle down economics).
We’re in the midst of a recession (I really don’t like “difficult economic times”), with talk about our slight recovery losing steam, and Bill and Melinda Gates are full-steam-ahead encouraging philanthropy: Bravi!
Couple this with their encouraging fellow wealthy families to give away half their wealth during life in a $600 billion challenge, and I see really admirable deeds. I also see reminders for all fundraisers.
They’re soliciting their wealthy friends in a targeted, individual approach, and encouraging giving from the broader constituency, the entire world population, through the RPA activities.
The guides will be on the web in the “Donor Resources” section of the RPA website. I’m assuming they’ll be in many languages. The major gift prospects are getting personal solicitations while those of us who, in comparison, can give through the annual fund, are getting a broader appeal.
Their work is a perfect example of stratifying prospects and devising cultivation and solicitation strategies appropriate to each prospect segment. The largest nonprofits know this and the other 95% can learn.
Marquee name foundation grants instill confidence in the organization and encourage others to invest in it. Board members can influence others to give.
The testimonial letter should be standard in your fundraising, whether that’s for planned giving or your annual fund. All of these are more powerful than the fundraising or development officer solicitation.
Excepting foundations, it’s the power of a personal referral: “I made a gift, here’s why, and you should, too.” We all value referrals in our business and personal matters (“Do you know somebody who can . . .?), and they make both parties feel good.
I relish opportunities to refer solid people to my friends. It’s gratifying. And my friends are grateful.
Seek out your donors who can motivate others to follow them, and use their testimonials often.