HOW? How do we get them to fund operations??
Do you know everything your organization does and how much it costs? Do you have a file folder, either virtual or actual, full of projects and programs at different dollar levels to match up with each of your donors’ passions and interests?
When I ask MGOs that question they look both exasperated and excited at the same time. Exasperated because most MGOs don’t have what I just described, but excited because they want to know how to get it.
I cannot tell you how many development professionals ask Richard and me how they can just get donors to fund operations. “What is the answer?” they will ask.
The answer is that you can’t, really, unless you package everything you do into “fundable projects” that include ALL OF YOUR COSTS. By including overhead and allocating it properly among everything you do across the board, you can get your operations paid for.
You know how the “big thing” in fundraising is storytelling? Richard and I love this. You have to have great stories to inspire your donors… and you have to know how to tell it well to evoke emotion. But a great story is only half of it. The other half is actually having fundable projects with a budget (that includes overhead), so you can put the meat on the bones of an actual proposal.
Combine that with an incredible story, and you have a gangbuster of an offer to inspire your donor.
We’ve had so many MGOs and Development Directors come up to us lamenting how they have “nothing to sell” to their donors besides general operating funds. We always retort back, “Of course you do! Not only do you have programs and projects, but you can ‘sell’ those projects and include all the overhead to cover the general operations of the organization.”
I have to say that my business partner, Richard Perry, is brilliant. He likes to take things that seem complicated and impossible, and he helps to make them simple to understand. He came up with our Program Support Portfolio™ system, and he’s written a White Paper to show you exactly how to turn everything you do at your organization into fundable projects and programs that includes ALL costs.
I want you to get your hands on this white paper and read it. It will tell you step by step how to create this yourself with the help of program and finance. And if you don’t want to do it on your own, we are here to help. Just send me an e-mail and I’ll get right back to you.
We just don’t want to see you struggle any more with trying to get a donor to give to general operations. Major Donors want to be inspired, and they want to make an impact. Key word: IMPACT.
But they want to make an impact with something they have a passion for. This is why you need to package your entire budget into the different projects and programs you have going on, as you work to change the world.
I’m not going to lie; this does take work. And it takes the buy-in of leadership, from the executive to finance to program to development, to make it work.
But it’s so worth the effort and time it takes. We’ve seen it work over and over again. We don’t want to see you struggling with what offer you can bring to a donor that will inspire him to give a transformational gift. Your job is difficult enough. Your non-profit is doing incredible things to change the world.
So figure out all you do, put a price tag on it, and go out and inspire your donors.
P.S. Don’t forget to request the White Paper “Packaging Your Budget for Donors.” It will change your entire organization, it will make your life easier, and it will inspire your donors.