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Personalized Philanthropy: Crash the Fundraising Matrix Hardcover – February 16, 2015
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Steve presents us with three new ways of thinking about fundraising, all of which should result in bigger and better gifts, in more engaged donors, and in richer relationships over many years.
First, he suggests a new organizational paradigm, in which all fundraising staff are engaged with donors and the traditional silos of annual fund, major gifts and planned giving, should no longer determine who acts and how we interact with donors. All members of the development staff should see their associations with donors as part of the evolving life-long process; everyone should understand the on-going conversation with the donor; and everyone should be aware enough of the range of giving opportunities (even though the technical aspects of some of those options may remain the purview of experts) to keep the donor conversation going over time.
Second, he calls us to adopt new processes, especially in the ways we count, report, and acknowledge gift commitments. When Steve and I served together on the PPP Task Force on Counting and Reporting Gifts, we, along with our colleagues from around the country, developed a new perspective on counting that focused on the donor and on building transparency into the reporting process. Steve views this new counting process as so fundamental to his new ways of thinking that he reproduces the entire PPP report as an appendix to his narrative. More and more, this new paradigm has come to characterize fundraising campaigns, and Steve’s continued eloquent focus will move the process still further toward universal acceptance.
Finally, he gives us a set of three new and quite flexible techniques, his “killer apps.” These new ways of thinking about donor commitments allow us as fundraisers to work with donors in new ways, to help donors to realize their long-term objectives even as we work with short-term resource limitations. These “apps” are by no means exhaustive, but they demonstrate in concrete and easy to understand ways how personalized philanthropy can work for the betterment of all.
Steve gives us practical tools and a clear conceptual model. His book is, as a result, both an inspiration and a guidebook. His suggestions build on his own significant experience and his understanding of the new trends in charitable fundraising. Even though my own philosophical approach to fundraising closely mirrors Steve’s, he reminds me of why I find myself drawn to personalized philanthropy and how I can enhance the relationships with donors. We can all learn from his insights, and in the process become more effective fundraisers and build more meaningful relationships with our donors.
As someone who has been seeking to redeploy into non profit fundraising with transferable skills from other careers and life experience, I have found your words inspirational and grounding. Wanting this last career chapter to be truly satisfying across all fronts, and being somewhat concerned that many prospective places to work are more traditional in their approach to development, I have embraced your ideas and have clarity about the kind of fundraiser I would like to be. This note is to thank you for putting your experience and ideas out there to germinate. They have found fertile soil with me. Now to find places near me with open positions and similar soil to plant myself.