The Magic of Fundraising (1/2016)

Fundraising is an optimized mailing? Fundraising is a user-friendly website? Fundraising is donor-ROI and recovery rate? No, if you leave all the pretty and useful fundraising tools away that we have developed over time, then the fundraiser is all alone again – nothing is between him and the donor. Then fundraising is once again great theater, drama, excitement and emotion.

Fundraiser and donor are face to face. All concentration is directed at the close. The fundraiser stands there with his bare hands, he has only his charisma and the virtuosity of language. And in the end: grand finale, when the donor claps in the outstretched hand.

What Andreas Schiemenz desribes in his book “Das persönliche Gespräch – Fundraising durch Überzeugung”  (The Personal Conversation – Fundraising by Conviction) is fundraising in its pure form. Fundraising as a personal plea for a donation. It is the highest art of fundraising – and Andreas Schiemenz, who moved from sales to fundraising, masters this art like no other in German fundraising. This makes his authentic book, which, as one notices,  consists fully of personal thoughts and experiences by the author, more than clear. Under the slogan “Not donated, he has already” Andreas Schiemenz takes chapter by chapter away our fear of asking the donor request.

The reward is an incredible feeling of happiness. Andreas Schiemenz experiences it three times: when the donor makes his commitment and when the NGO receives  the money on their bank account. But above all, when the donor says thank you that he was given the opportunity to help. What a feeling of joy! At one stroke, two people made happy – the one who received help and the one who has given help.

That’s magic. The magic of fundraising.

Donor Pyramid – the American Way (3/2015)

It’s possibly the oldest and best-known scheme in fundraising. Probably, it was already known among the ancient Egyptians. The donor pyramid. Its statement is as easy as simple: Donors can and should be “built up” slowly, so they give through continuous relationship building step by step higher donations. With some we fundraisers will be hopefully so successful that they leave us a good legacy.

That sounds nice – and tedious. That’s why many US-organizations simply take a shortcut. They gather people who are interested in their mission. Search among those for the “high potentials”, i.e. the rather wealthy, cultivate them – and raise them at best right away to the top of their pyramid. 90 percent saved in costs, time and energy!

For example: the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A supporting membership is offered for a “cheap” 85 Dollar. Actually, you can hardly speak of a supporting membership. After all, as a supporting member you are enjoying free admission to the museum (without having to queue in normal line!), exclusive pre-entry to new exhibitions and heavily discounted tickets for family and friends.

No wonder, the number of MOMA-supporting members is well above 100.000 (!). A nice base to unhurriedly have a closer look on these supporting members – who have demonstrated through their membership a high interest in the museum. And to personally thank the “high potentials” with a nice welcome package for their new membership …

Spendenpyramide englisch Kopie