Fund Raising Strategies

Topics: Non-profit organization, Marketing, Fundraising Pages: 54 (11204 words) Published: November 18, 2014
Know What You’re Selling

Produced by
David Connell, David J. Connell & Associates

FUND RAISING: Know What You’re Selling!


Fund Raising Strategies: Know What You’re Selling presents fund raising in a new perspective. Many excellent sources on fund raising already exist, many of which have been referenced in this document, however, they only mention that the fund raising environment is more competitive. Too often, they fall short of positioning fund raising in a strategic context. They tell you what to do, but don’t tell you how to compete.

Successful fund raising must begin with a shift in attitude: having a good idea is not enough – you have to prove it! Fund Raising Strategies aims to shift the reader’s attitude by presenting fund raising in the context of strategic marketing. Knowing what you are selling and knowing to whom you are selling are essential elements of a strategic fund raising plan.

While the basic elements of fund raising are included in this document, it is recommended that you look up other fund raising references for more details. A good strategic marketing book should also be part of your book shelf.

About the author
David Connell, B.Econ., B.Comm., M.B.A., is President of David J. Connell & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in market strategies. David possesses over ten years’ experience in the marketing and organizational development field. He has worked with international management consulting firms and with provincial non-profit organizations. David’s practical experience is supported by formal training in economics, marketing, and strategic planning.

Two principles guide David’s work. One is a belief in the strengths and values people bring to organizations. The second is the view that outcomes drive process. Practising these principles, together with his analytical and practical approach to solving problems, enables David to integrate the ‘bottom-line’ perspective of the corporate sector with the values that guide the non-profit sector.

DAVID J. CONNELL & Associates

Page 1

FUND RAISING: Know What You’re Selling!


The focus of this
guide is to help nonprofit organizations
develop a healthier
attitude and create a
responsive plan
to compete for a
limited pool of

We often hear that non-profit organizations need to be
more business-like. What does that mean? What can we
learn from businesses?
The first thing to learn from the corporate sector is to
approach fund raising like selling. Have you ever known
a business to survive by not selling something? Forprofit companies sell products that customers value. And they compete head-to-head with other companies for the
same customers. Non-profit organizations must do the
same if they are to be successful fund raisers.

A non-profit organization needs to know what it is selling,
why it is selling it, to whom it's selling it (target market), and how to differentiate itself from other non-profit organizations (the competition). Only those non-profit organizations that embrace a more assertive and aggressive marketing approach to competing for funds are going to survive. In some cases, they will even find themselves competing with for-profit organizations for the same pool of money!

This guide is not trying to convert you, your staff or your volunteers into cut-throat, corporate barons. It is trying to emphasize the need to shift gears, to change attitudes to be able to respond to increased competition in the fund raising environment. The reality is that many nonprofit organizations already have established their own market share of the funding pool. March of Dimes and the World Wildlife Fund are established in direct mail. UNICEF and the Salvation Army are known more for their fund raising methods than their services. The growing number of hospital lotteries is just a recent indication of the competition...
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