Question of the Month: What are the steps to move out of a membership, annual giving, or events-based fundraising model?
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Question of the Month
What are the steps to move out of a membership, annual giving, or events-based fundraising model?
Many non-profit organizations have revenue streams that rely primarily on events-based strategies, membership programs, or an annual giving model. While these strategies can certainly be valuable, they tend to promote a transactional giving mindset that limits the organization’s fundraising revenue. These transactional approaches often divert dollars and attention away from the one-to-one relational strategies that form the foundation of a healthy major gifts program.

To continue to grow into the future, our clients have recognized the need to move to a relational fundraising model that’s centered on learning the donor’s passions and interests, connecting them to the mission, and reporting back on the impact of each individual gift.

But adopting a relationship-focused fundraising model doesn’t mean you need to abandon membership programs or fundraising events. Those are still great tools to acquire donors and introduce them to your mission so you can cultivate those relationships toward transformational giving through your mid-level and major gift programs.

If you’re ready to build deeper connections with your donors, check out our Certification Course for Major Gift Fundraisers. This course is a comprehensive training on our system and structure for major gifts with a focus on helping you create more meaningful connections with your donors and increase revenue for your mission.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a couple FAQs we get on this topic
What do you mean by “a transactional giving mindset”?
When giving is a transaction, donors give in exchange for something – a “Platinum” giving circle designation, a table at an event, etc. In practice, this may mean that a donor gives $10k because that’s the cost of a table at an event, or the giving threshold for a certain membership level – but that same donor may be capable of giving much more, if you presented them with a unique offer that matched their passions, interests, capacity and desire to make a difference in the world.
We don’t want to stop doing events / membership programs! They’ve been working well for us.
Events and membership programs can absolutely have a place in your overall fundraising strategy. Think of them like a tool in your fundraising toolbox. What we’re really moving away from is the transactional nature of these approaches, which often fail to capture the donor’s heart in the way that relational fundraising can. Regarding events, it’s also important to look at the real cost, including staff time, compared to the actual revenue. For more on how to maximize your events strategy within a relational framework, check out our free White Paper, Events and Major Gift Fundraising.
Veritus Group is passionate about partnering with you and your organization throughout your fundraising journey. Where do you need more support? Learn more about ways to partner with us here.
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