Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wisdom that applies to any arena

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SHIRA LINDEN • 203 371-0654 •

I heard Jerry F. Smith, President and CEO of the JF Smith Group share what he learned in 10,000 days of fund-raising. If you’re marketing a product, idea or organization, his wisdom applies:

• There’s money out there. The number of people worldwide with $1+ million in assets passed 10 million for the first time

• Touch your donors (or audience) 5 times a year mixing calls, letters, hand-written notes and cards

• The word need is out. (I was told by a mentor decades ago that need or needs as a noun is an empty word – this applies across the board.) People give or respond to opportunities not needs. Opportunities signify that a donor can make great things happen with their gift. Talk to your prospective donors about investing in the future of your organization.

• 2% of the giving by individuals is online giving. The average gift was $116 in 2007 according to Giving USA. Online giving will grow and you must be ready for this growth

• Make sure to include a handwritten P.S. In your letter. It’s the first thing people read. Tell your donors (customers) thank you, and that they are appreciated.

• Continue to acquire new donors no matter what

• Giving by individuals accounts for ¾ of contributions versus ¼ from corporations, foundations and charitable bequests combined

• The number one reason people give is because they believe in the mission of an organization

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