Nonprofit Fundraising: Lessons From The Best For-Profit Businesses


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Running a Nonprofit and running a for-profit have more similarities than you may think. Everybody’s goal is to at least break even, and at best- have a surplus at the end of the year.

That’s why nonprofits can learn a lot, in terms of how to effectively raise money and generate profits, by studying the best for-profit businesses, and vice versa. 

In this Nonprofit-focused episode, Jennifer Lehman, President & C EO of Mission Advancement, shares the best practices any nonprofit can take from the for-profit world and the most effective strategies for fundraising. With many business owners being on the boards of nonprofits, this is an important lesson for any leader.

We discuss:

  • Why your best donor is your current donor
  • Overcoming the fear of fundraising during difficult times
  • The science and art of raising money
  • Best practices for managing fundable programs

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If your job is to fund your mission,you have to spend time and energy with funders who can move the needle for youand significant ways: You're listening to pastor profit, a podcast looking atbusiness growth from every angle possible. If you're looking to hearstories of success and failure, lessons learned from leaders that have grownand scaled their businesses you've come it the right place, let's get into theshow, welcome back to path to profits. I'myour host for today's episode, Stephen King, CEO and founder of Growth Force,I'm joyed today by Jennifer Lehman of President and CEO of MissionAdvancement Jennifer. How re you doing today, I'm great! How are you Stephen,I'm really great and I'm so excited to have you on the show? I heard you speakat the Texas Society, CPA non profit conference and I thought, Oh, mygoodness. I need to get to know you. I need to work with you. We need to toshare what you shared with US c Pas with as many people as possible,because we're ready to today to have a conversation about how non profits canlearn from the best run for profit businesses to help them raise moremoney. But before we do, can you tell the listeners a little bit about whatyour background and what your team is up to admission advancement? Yes, well,thanks for having me on, I'm excited to share today some of what we do in thenon profit space and what we've learned from the fore profit space. So we are anon profit consultancy that works almost exclusively in the fundraisingspace. So we help organizational leaders, row, relationships, revenueand impact. That is the vision of mission advancement. I got into thisfield about twenty five years ago, after working in the arts and sort oftransitioning to human service and education, and just developing apassion for how non profits can go deeper in their fundraising strategiesand really scale and see a huge impact in how they can take their mission fromwhere they are today, to the vision that these people want to achieve inthe future. And how big is mission impact? How many employees have you got,how many clients you serve so we have about twenty full time. Employees werebased in the Dallas area, but we work all over Texas and the midwestprimarily, and occasionally some clients on the coast and other parts ofthe country, but yeah we're a full time team that does this work all day everyday, with missions that are making a big difference in our communities. WhatI loved was, I saw the title of your workshop. It was called mission impactmetric how to track meaningful data, and I just thought- Oh, my God, that'smy love language, and you know my s, thinking about inviting you into theworkshop and I thought well, it's a path to profits, podcast right. So howdo you? Why do you bring in a non profit gooin to a path to profits? Andit's for two reasons: Right One. There are almost one point: four million fiveUNC threes in the United States right. This is a giant space and a lot of thebusiness owners that I work with, and leaders in small businesses are also onthe boards of non profits. And what I find is that you know when I sit nextto them in board meetings. They want to help bring their expertise of runningsuccessful for profit businesses to the board, and this is exactly what youtalked about. So, let's start with: What's the biggest difference between anon profit of for profit, I mean, I always say a non profit needs to be runjust like a well run for profit. The only difference is you take thoseprofits and it's bit of distributing to shareholders. You Reinvest them intothe mission into creating more outcomes. What do you see is the biggestdifference. Here's what we love to teach that, I think, is a bit of aunique take on what Anon, what the difference is between a nonprofit andfor profit, because you're right, non profits do turn profits. So it seems alittle bit like a misunderstanding...

...almost of the term, because everybody'sgoal is to break even at the end of the year and even to have a surplus at theend of the year, which is what we do with it. That makes the difference, buthere's the biggest difference from our perspective, the for profit worldalmost always has one set of customers that it is serving. So if I own asandwich shop, I have an audience that I market to that audience buys mysandwiches and they consume my sandwiches. So I'm very clear about whomy target customer is and how I reach them in the non profit space most nonprofits serve two distinct groups of customers. The primary customer is whatwe would call the focus of the mission, and so as an example, I'm a homelessshelter. I serve people in my community that are in need of of services, and Iprovide those services to them. However, we also have this uniquecustomer, which is your funding base and most of the time, those are twodistinct sets of customers. Some missions have overlap, so there areinstances where that's true, but for the most part the funding base looksdifferent, thinks different and has different needs and desires as far ashow they interact with your organization than your primary customer,and so what we teach is this whole concept of thinking about this othercustomer base, as just as important just as relevant as your primarycustomer and who is serving them speaking to them and engaging them inyour mission. Has Everything to do with how you grow, how much money you canraise and how you can scale as an organization. So, in my view, that'sthe biggest difference and just acknowledging that you have two sets ofcustomers and that that second set of customers is integral to your success.Is the number one factor that a board and a senior staff needs to understand.So what does that actually mean right? So so we're going to focus on thefundraising piece. I know when I talk about data driven decisions in nonprofits. One of the things that is true in four profits is not all. Customersare created, equal right and you know some non profits.They have a mission where you serve anybody who shows up at the door, butif not you've got to choose like in the shelter you know inour e book we use the Fort Ben Women shelter as our case study. They had ayou know. I think it's a hundred and twelve beds and if it's full everynight, the board thought okay, we're we're doing well, but the mission isn'tto how's the homeless. The mission is to break the cycle of homelessness andabuse, which means getting a first job. So the people sitting in the beds whoare in vocational training are better clients than the people who are not do you have anything relevant like thatto the donor side, are there better donors than others yeah? Well,absolutely, and you know that's the reality I mean if your job is to fundyour mission, you have to spend time and energy with funders who can movethe needle for you and significant ways. So, first of all, let me go back to thesort of for profit analogy, because I think this is very applicable is yourbest customer is your current customer? We hear that a lot in the fore profitspace in the non profit space in the donor base. It is no difference and oneof the things that we see nonprofits do that I think, is extremely inefficientand can really stagnate. Your growth is they're, always looking for new donors,they're, always looking at new acquisition strategies, how to get morepeople in their pipeline and those are noble efforts, but at the same timethey're forgetting about their current customers. So what we teach is a modelof segmentation of your donor base. So... your point, yes, some donors aremore important than others, not going to say they're, better, I'm just goingto say, they're more important to funding your mission and you've got tohave different strategies for how you interact and engage with differentsegments of that donor base. But most organizations have an extraordinaryamount of revenue that comes from relatively few sources right. So the ttwenty rule is probably ninety ten, depending on the mission and the sizeof the budget. There's there's going to be still a small number of donors thatmake up a more than half of your fun raising revenue. So if your number onejob is to retain that customer base that donor base, you can meet anextraordinary amount of your budget for next year, just through retentionstrategies, which is very different than spending. Eighty percent of yourtime on New Genera acquisition strategies, so I think for me, that'sthe correlation that I think you know boards sometimes leave that businesssense at the door when they come into the boardroom of a non profit, and theyalways want to come up with shining new ideas for how the non profit can getmore donors and the door and find new people and not spend time on theretention of current donors to the organization. If they've said yes oncethere's a reason and there's absolutely no reason to believe that they won'tsay yes again if they believe that your organization is doing good work andtheir dollars are being stewarded. Well, that's a really great perspective. Imean, I think you know we. When we talked in the past, we've talked abouthow the giving USA statistics are really staggering, and it's a fantasticreport that talks about. You know how how do people give money and who givesmoney and where they give the money to right? It's the it's by the givinginstitute the Annual Report on Philanthropy, which is two thousand andtwenty one is for the year ten twenty and what was surprising and has alwaysbeen surprising when I talk to board members and directors of development,is seventy. Eight percent of giving in the United States comes from people most people, nonprofits, think offoundations and go corporations. You know talk about like if you're gettingyour money from the government or from corporations or foundations, how youreally only touching a small part of the of the opportunity. Yep, that'sexactly right and I love sharing these statistics because I don't thinkthey're widely known and the two thousand and twenty report just cameout this summer and there was a lot of speculation about what was going tohappen to philanthropy in the year two thousand and twenty given so manychallenges that we all faced. But it didn't surprise me at all, as somebodythat's been in this space for so long, that philanthropy was not only stableand resilient, but it grew because history tells us that we are it firstof all an incredibly generous culture and country, and that in difficulttimes we have weathered those storms very well. There's only been a coupleof times and forty plus years they've been tracking this data thatphilanthropy has gone down and it's been very miniscule at, has reboundedquickly. So, yes, almost eighty percent of philanthropy in the United Statescomes from individual donors, and that comes either in the form of currentcash gifts, which is about. Seventy is percent or deferred gifts like thequest which come at time of death or those types of events about fifteenpercent comes from the foundation community and about five percent fromcorporations, which is always kind of a Aha moment for a board or those thataren't familiar with the philanthropy space. So I always set n organizationlook at your breakdown, so even putting government and other earned revenues.worses aside, if you just look at your...

...philanthropy landscape, what is yourpercentage break down and if you are heavy on the corporation and foundationside, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it just means that you arenot tapping into the individual philanthropy market, which is where thevast majority of philanthropy happens, and that is what you know. MissionAdvancement really teaches and preaches is that individual donors are the mostsustainable and scaleable part of your philanthropy strategy and that that'swhere the vast majority of your time and efforts should be spent and in apandemic individual giving which was already seventy percent. Seventy eightpercent, when you include in the fact the bequest so almost eighty percent ofgiving is from people, it went up ten percent last year right it. So so yourthe data backs up your got, which is you know the the challenge is, is notraising money isn't out there? It's the fear that your donors don't have talkabout that. A little bit. You know, fear, is one of these hard tounderstand kind of qualities that we all have as human beings. But you knowduring the pandemic, so first of all, we weathered the storm in Oatine, sothat economic downturn had a similar kind of impact, and so in two thousandand twenty hits you know. I sat back as somebody who had walked throughdifficult seasons before and said. This is not the time for organizations tobury their head in the sand. This is the time for them to keep their messagestrong, to be communicating with Joners. It's not doesn't mean that you are hardpressed soliciting people in a way that feels uncomfortable. That's never theapproach, but when times are difficult, philanthropic people want to solveproblems. That is the bottom line. Donors want to solve problems, and wesaw in o nine in o a some of the most generous, giving that we had ever seen,because there are people who are still doing well. There are people who aregiving out of assets, not out of income and people who are passionate aboutcertain causes want those causes to be successful so for organizations to sayit's not appropriate to ask it's not appropriate to share our message withdonors. I just have to very respectfully say I couldn't disagreemore, that sharing your story with your donor bass couldn't be more importantduring difficult times how a donor responds. It's not personal right. It'syou're representing a mission, that's not about you! It's about yourcommunity and people that you serve and you need to be giving donorsopportunities to respond to that. If that's what they really care about,sustaining and growing through their own philanthropy, so fear has thiscrazy hold. Sometimes on leaders and boards, I who say: Oh, it's just not agood time, not appropriate, because people are hurting true statement. Butif you don't put your communication out your message out, I promise you peopleare going to give to those who do so. That's what we saw in two thousand andtwenty is the organizations who kept their message front in the center whochecked on their donors, who just had a positive message that we're stillworking we're still serving we're. Still solving problems in our community,for the most part saw some significant, giving and growth in their annualbudget last year and they're. Now the reaping the rewards of that and have awhole new group of donors in many cases to to work with. Let's dig into that, Imean you know I wish I had met you when I was the im just the international asthe CFO and director development, because there's so many things I heardI thought this is applicable to start up nonprofits to our twenty milliondollar nonprofits right, and so you know, you've talked in the past aboutin their science and there's art to...

...this right. You know the science is theis the best practices donor segmentation and you know, planning andjust making sure your messaging has got clear direction and then the art is thenumbers telling the story right dig into. You know how your clients arebeing successful, taking those two things and raising money right now. Yes,absolutely you know one of the Little Tag lines we love to use in our withour clients is hope is not a strategy, a God will provide as what I've heard ofmany many board meetings. Yes, yes, and as an Irish Catholic, I believe thatyes, but that's exactly right. Yes, and we, you know, we work a lot in thefaith community and worth a lot of people who who are very serious abouttheir faith and integrating that into their work, which is wonderful, but Godalso expects us to use our brains and, from our perspective, you've got tohave a process, a plan and a strategy. If you are serious about hittingsignificant targets just like in the forro world, again, it's a lot ofanalogies here between the two. So what we teach is very much thescience of how are you going to get to your goal for this year from a revenueperspective? And yes, there's segmentation as there's retention, as Imentioned, if you can retain your top one hundred donors, you need to knowwhat that number is, and that again probably represents a significant chunkof your philanthropy budget, so strategies around how to engage andretain existing donors, as well as how to kind of fill your pipe line with newdonors and mid level and all of those kinds of strategies. So that's part ofthe science is creating the plan. The Art, then, is really engaging donors inmeaningful ways and to your question earlier. Every donor is a littledifferent they're motivated differently. They need different messages andstories, and so how an organization tells the story and communicates withvarious donors in different ways is critical to being able to createrelationships, to retain people and to kind of meet people where they are soone of the ways that we like to do. This is through what we call impactreports, and this is a simple way for an organization to thank donors to showthem how their gift is being used and put to work in this mission, and it's asimple kind of stewardship act, but most organizations don't do itparticularly well. They kind of write the thank you note and move on, and sothis is a way in a Generosita, tion strategy to say I'm going to retainthose top one hundred donors. How can I give them an experience that makes themwant to continue supporting us in perhaps even bigger and moresignificant ways? So if the donor is giving you a gift of a thousand dollarsof ten thousand dollars, whatever the numbers may be not as important asshowing them kind of post gift, what that? What that gift allowed yourorganization to do, and so being able to tell your story in quantifiable ways,helps you with that donor engagement, conversation with kind of pulling thecurtain back, we like to say and showing the donor. What that reallymeans to your organization. It's a way to open a conversation in a unique anddifferent way. That gets the donor, really asking more proving questionsthat you know gives them a different sense of connection and, ultimately,investment in the organization. So what does it impact Tam and look like I meanI always like to say you know if I remember from my membership of theSociety of fundraising executives, that...

...if you can show the donor, the tangibleresults of their gift, you'll get higher average gifts and you'll getmore frequent, giving so kind of talk about. You know what an impact Tim andlooks like, and how do you use it yeah? So we like to use you know verycustomized impact reports with our top donors. So again the people that aremoving the needle the most are the people you want to to spend the mosttime and effort on when this in this type of reporting. So if I werecounseling an organization how to do this with a top donor, I would say youknow, first of all find a time to sit with the donor just to thank them. Ifthe only time you reach out to donors is ask them for a gift, you're missingan opportunity and you're, probably at some point, going a frustrated donorwho wants to engage with you outside of just solicitation. So this is a greatway to ask a daughter to coffee to sit with them. I would create maybe a twopage document that would say here are the highlights of what we did last year,both sort of metrics as well as human interest, some stories, some specificexamples of ways that your organization fulfilled your mission and then I wouldsay you know thanks to a gift like yours, whatever amount that might be.These are the kinds of things that we are able to do so you've got to be ableto save the ten thousand dollar gift. You know, ten thousand dollars mightallow a family and a homeless shelter to stay for six months. You knowwhatever those numbers might be, but you want to be able to bring it to lifebecause there's nothing kind of less motivating than the big black hole ofan annual fund in an annual operating budget. So donors want to understandagain. I said a few minutes ago: donors want to solve problems. So if I, as adonor, understand that that gift is actually housing a family for a periodof time, that feels very real to me and something that I want to do. Probablyagain- or maybe you say what would it take to house two families for sixmonths? So what we're trying to do is to get the donor really thinking abouthow important that philanthropy is. Why that gift matters to your organizationand to set the tone for how additional giving or larger gifts could be evenmore impactful to the mission. So you said a couple things wherethere's some nuance: I just want to go through. You know. You say thanks togifts like yours right, you know. The accountant in me wants to make surethat the listeners understand the importance of not making a contributionrestricted right. So you know simple things like you know when you make theask if you give us ten and dollars at allow a family to stay in the shelterfor two weeks you know and our other programs, as a sentence added to theproposal then makes it unrestricted. So just a CPA side bar. So it's two pageryou know one page is what what we did last year and then how it shows. Youknow what what? What is the grated numbers come into this? You know whenin business we look at unit economics right most important thing is to seehow much does it cost us to deliver our services? So we can price the servicescorrectly right. That's job, one most important decision in a business. Whatis that you know? Is it equivalent of unit economics in four Promoto? Ofcourse absolutely- and this is a- I think this is a really fun exercise fororganizations to do, and it very much requires you know your finance team sofor the finance people out there, you know they usually get excited aboutthis too, but we've got to be able to quantify what it costs to run ourprograms and it's not necessarily, what's in your piano, that's the kindof the conflict, maybe perhaps that exists sometimes between fundraisersand finance people or even program people. So when we think about what itcosts to run a program, we have to...

...calculate what I call the all en costor the comprehensive cost, and many times our budgets are built with directcosts with direct program cause that are quantified very specifically. Solet's go back to the homeless, shelter example. So I worked with anorganization just like that here in our area and one of their programs was, Imean they house, you know about three hundred people at any given time theyfeed them three males a day. It is a full residential program, and so webegan to break down. What is it really cost to run just your meal program andin the budget they caught? They had the cost of food and the very direct costsrelated to the supplies and the food that the kitchen purchases. But I saidno, no, no, we're talking about the all in cost. What does it cost to run thekitchen? What about the people who work there? What are their salaries? Whatabout the utilities that it takes to keep the lights on? What about themaintenance of that space? Because it's a big space in this organizationsfootprint? So it required a little bit of rolling up your sleeves and lookingat the budget from a different point of view that gives your fund raising teamthe ability to talk to donors in that more comprehensive way. So, in theircase, what they were calculating is about a ninety thousand dollar expense,which was food and supplies for a year, was really closer to a half a milliondollar expense when you put in the all in comprehensive cost of what it reallytakes to feed people for a year in that organization. So that's where we beginto what break down what we call Fundevogel or refundable projects foran organization, but you've got to be able to talk about it in thatcomprehensive way, and this is a bit of a soap box. But you know thunders aregetting better about this, but there's been this kind of historical, a wedon't fund salary mentality, especially kind of in the foundation space. That'sgetting better, but I say all day long: It takes people to run programs and-and you've got to be able to talk to your funders in a very specific wayabout the comprehensive cost which includes people overhead. You know thethings that must be in place for that organization to run so that's the way Iwould break the budget down and I like to think about it as a handful of bigbuckets of your mission. You don't want to have ten or twenty. You probablywant to have anywhere from three to seven that you would break down in yourmission and to compile those in a way that it's easier for a donor tounderstand and sort of consume. Give us a couple examples here: I'm not sureunderstood that last port, which big buckets. What do you mean labor andrent and nose? I'm talking about programs soback to the homeless, shelter example. So, in their case, you know we had themeal program, essentially so what it took to run the kitchen comprehensivelythey had a vocational program. That was a big element that helped people getback on their feet. They had counseling savings, they had employer programs tojob training, all of that and then they they had what we called a familyprogram, which really was all the support services. They provided daycare. They provided tutoring for children who were in the shelter at thetime. So we called that the family program, which provided a lot ofwraparound services that supported the whole family while they were in thisjourney. So it's a way again. We think about it. From the donors perspective,how does a donor understand what we do and how do we break it down in a simpleway that a donor can can say? Okay, so it takes you this much to basicallyfeed and house people. It takes you this much to get people back on their feet and getvocational elements in place, and then there's this. You know family support,which some people are very passionate about, and keeping kids in school andproviding programs and taking care of...

...of their families needs while they arein our program. So that's the way we like to break it down. This is why,when I listen to you speak, I said we have to work with you, because this isour mission, a growth forest right, we're taking the management accountingof a service business and playing it to a service non profit with a goal ofhaving the numbers, tell the story from a donors perspective, and it's justsimple things like overhead allocations and joint cost allocations and andbeing able to structure, quick books so that it can tell you that easily. Ilove this you're really sharing some great things. You've got a I'veexercise that you went through in the workshop. It was a red pen exercisetell us about that. I really liked that workshop. So this is an interestingexercise for organizations specifically that have some element of earnedrevenue or perhaps government funding something besides just philanthropy. Soif you're funded a hundred percent or almost a hundred percent byphilanthropy, this doesn't necessarily apply, but for organizational that'svery few of our clients. I know right right right. Most organizations havesome element of either earned revenue or government funding that make up aportion of their revenue model. So when that's the case, you know when we talkabout the philanthropy side, one of the most important pieces for anorganization to be able to articulate is why they need to raise money, and itsounds very straightforward, but sometimes you know it's difficult for aboard, even a leadership team, to clearly articulate why philanthropymatters to their budget, especially if you are an organization that, from thepublic perspective, is funded primarily through other sources. So evenindependent schools have this challenge where they have tuition revenue, butthey still need philanthropy and being able to articulate why philanthropymatters, so the red pin exercise is simply taking your budget, taking yourfull budget. Looking at what piece of that is made up from philanthropy andthen working through with your board or maybe a leadership team to say, let'sjust say we don't have philanthropy next year. What are we going to cut? So if philanthropy is a million dollarsout of a twenty million dollar budget, it may feel like a small piece, butlet's, let's really dig in and say without a million dollars next year.What piece of our budget are we not going to do and what it does is itbegins to really bring to life the conversation of why philanthropymatters because there's real things in your budget that you have to cut if youlose that million dollars, and it's probably going to be some type ofprograms and celery programs, perhaps that you probably see as critical toyour mission, but without the philanthropy they wouldn't be possible.So it's a way to get a board or a group of leaders talking about what thephilanthropy element does for your organization that you can begin tospeak to in a more tangible way and what I liked was it also. The answersbecome the specific things you want to talk to the donors about right. Youwant to pack it to these into fund able items, so the donors can see how theirgifts make specific outcomes possible. We looking at the what did you call it?The impact statements right? I liked how you were going down that path tosaying: okay, let's bake it break it down into a couple of big program:Budgets: The meal programs, vacational transportation, whatever it is,whenever you're list of you know five to seven fundales budgets and thencalculate the all in cost, the people, the overhead, the economics of eachprogram, each service each unit and then break it down into smallercategories, like how much per person...

...serve per day. Talk about thatquantifying the impact like walk all the way through that finishing thevillain finishing the shelter you know, how would how wouldthey have turned that impact statement to give something to a donor? Yeah andthat's that's kind of the ultimate goal is to take those fundales be able toput not only a big number around it like the half, a million dollars forthe fall and sort of meal program example, but then, based on the numberof people you're serving be able to quantify a per person a per family,perhaps a per week of per month. You know, then you can really begin to showdonors in very different ways and different gift levels. How that matters.So as an example again back to that same organization, they had what theycalled a sponsor a meal program and that had for years been going on atsomething like three hundred dollars for a month and what they had neverdone is actually calculated. The cost of the program that was just sort of anumber that somebody decided a long time ago was a palatable number thatpeople would give. So we went through an exercise like this, where we tookthe all in cost, and then we really broke it down by how many people theywere serving. What the average stay looked like at the shelter and it's afun if you're a numbers person, it's a fun number crunching exercise if you'renot give it to your numbers people and ask them to do it. That's why we're onearth? That's why? God created us, that's right, but but ultimately we'relooking for ways that weekend help donors understand not only the impactof their gift and put that into an impact report, but we can also use itto better inform how we ask and so that three hundred dollar figure didn't makesense after we kind of did this exercise and broke it down, and insteadthey got excited about some bigger numbers that they could share withdonors that they knew could give it these larger levels, and they began tocome up with sort of a menu of giving options for this all in sort of mealprogram that actually bumped up they're giving. So they were able to calculatethat as an example. I think it was about six thousand dollars a year tofeed a family of four, and so in one of their events. You know they had one ofthose fundane sort of paddle rays kind of moments, and so they switched uptheir paddle rays and use these types of numbers. Instead of just thetraditional who'll get five thousand sort of approach. It became sixthousand feeds of family for a year. If you can support one family this year,that's the ask and people who can give five sand can probably give sixthousand, and so suddenly it becomes very tangible and real people say Iwant to get a family through that program for a year INSTEADOF, just whocan give five and dollars tonight. I love that. I love that and if youcombine that you know, if somebody's giving you five sand dollars, we didthis at amnesty. We put a monthly giving program in place, so we took offthe last zero and instead of giving us five sand a year, we asked to give fivehundred dollars a month which, in your example now you just increase the gift.Twenty percent- that's a lot right, but by showing them what each month, whatthat family is going to get what's and cultivating that relationship bydemonstrating the impact of that five hundred dollars next year, you can goin and say: Hey! You know you gave us five hundred Lars. Can you give us sixhundred la a month because we've added this additional program and it just bycreating a sustainer program, a monthly giving program you would eliminate alot of that cash flow problems, and- and these numbers do this well Jennifer.This has been really great. I am so excited. I got so many notes. You know,there's three big things that I'm taking away here. Is that, like, like an a for profit, a lot ofbusiness owners focus on trying to...

...close the next sale instead of how do I take my existing relationships andincrease deep in that and get more profitability from the people alreadyhave? The same thing is true in the donor community, especially given whatgiving USA says is. Seventy eight percent of giving is from individuals,and that went up ten percent in a coved year. So it's critical to learn thatlesson to your best customer your existing customers, your best customerand then use impact statements to show that donor, the tangible result of thegift- and you know let them show you let them bring it to life, show themwhat their gift did and and use this as an acknowledgment right, you're, notasking for money right away, you're, just cultivating the relationship andyou're acknowledging their gift and thanks to you, a gift like your tenthousand dollars, show them what it allowed you to do, and- and I love thatyou shifted the numbers from you- know the budget and what development needs.When I moved from the CFO of MT, which is eighteen million at the time tobecome director development, and that's when I realized holy crop that theaccounting department doesn't help fund raising at all. In fact, it's a pain,we're pain in the butt, sometimes we're asking for numbers. They don't havebecause they're not readily available. so by structuring the chart of accountsin your system to be able to show you the full story that it doesn't justcost. Ninety Sandolas to to for the the cost around the kitchen, when you addin the overhead and the and the salaries and you allocate those laborcosts based on the work people do you can build a case for a half a milliondollars and that what what we call unit economics in for profit, which is thesingle most important data right in any business, is, is a non profit. It's theEquian of a fund able program, and I love how the third thing was. You saidtell that story from the donors perspective. You know, have thosenumbers tell a story and your red pen exercise if you're getting somewhere anincome or government grants, we know what can we cut if we didn't have thatmillion dollars in funding that becomes the case statement and break it downper person per week per month, show show it at different gift levels. Inever thought about that right. One of the things in four profits, as you liketo give clients three options: here's the essentials package, here's theadvance package, here's the complete package! Why? Because then, the peoplelike to choose from three different options, and instead of going tosomewhere else to choose they'll, choose from one of your three optionsin for pro and non profits. If you say, if you give me five hundred lars amonth as we could do, give you seven fifty month or give me thousand dollarsa month, I've always been amazed by that one and a half times the circle onthe car. That is one and a half times the highest previous contribution iswhat people choose, because we're afraid to ask enough. Well, I'm excitedabout how much knowledge you brought to us. Is there anything else that wemissed any any. You know story like to leave us with that kind of helpseverybody. They don't understand why this is so important, yeah. Well, it kind of goes back to what thestatistics proved in two thousand and twenty, and just from my own work. Youknow what I what I experienced, but you know I would just say that first of all,we are a generous culture and never underestimate the generosity of theAmerican individual. In Two thousand and twenty, we worked with a lot ofclients who were in the middle of projects trying to figure out how tonavigate the climate and how to talk to donors, and there was one in particularthat was in a capital campaign getting close to the end and really concernedabout how to talk to people in that early kind of Ovid time period aboutSporting. It a significant level, and you know they they stayed the coursethey had great relationships with their donors, and there was one family inparticular that they had been sort of stewarding and cultivating, but hadnever asked for a very large gift. A...

...and we just can. You know, encouragethem to press on to continue the conversation. Despite the climate, theyhad a zoom meeting with this family in November of two thousand and twenty asthey were getting close to wrapping up their project and the C A a beautifuljob of just telling the story. Here's where we are this is where the campaignis sitting. You know we have no idea kind of what your circumstances are atthis point, but you've been such good supporters of ours and she made a veryspecific ask. It was a six figure ask to this campaign and the familyresponded on the spot and said you know. We've been thinking about this andwe've already been talking about how we want to support this effort and theyended up making a significantly larger gift than what the organization askedfor, but the best part of the story is they said to the CEO on this zoom callthank you for asking, because our family wants nothing more than to begenerous and to give back to those in need during difficult times, and noteverybody's asking us right now, because they're afraid- and we are sograteful for the opportunity. Thank you for allowing us to be generous to yourorganization. It was just one of the best stories of the year because itjust kind of you know reiterated. I think, just what we know about thegenerosity of people and the fact that if you give them the opportunity manytimes they will respond and sometimes in extraordinary ways. So I would justsay: stay the course share your message. You don't be afraid to communicate whatyou're doing you're doing. If you believe in your mission, it's alwaysimportant, regardless of the state of the economy or the climate of what'sgoing on in the country, so keep your message strong, keep relationships withyour donors, they will respond when they want to and are able and it's theright time so never back off and never underestimate the generosity of theindividual denner base. That's such a great story, and it really reinforcesthat you're. Not You know. A lot of board members and executive directorsfeel like they're they're, taking something away from their donors whenthey're trying to separate them from their cash instead they're, giving theman opportunity to to make a difference in their world and and that's a greatparadigm shift well Jennifer Lehman. This has been a great conversation. Wereally appreciate hearing about what non profits can learn from the best runfor profits to help them raise more money. If anyone's listening has anyfollow, questions or just wants to connect with you. What's the best wayfor them to reach you, you bet so mission advancement com is our websiteand there's multiple ways through the website that you can request aconsultation or reach out to me directly. So I would just encourage youto go to mission advancement com and find us and send us a message, andsomebody will get back in touch very quickly. Jennifer Lehman thanks fortaking the time to join us on paths, to profits and to the rest of you, we'llsee you the next time visit growth, forecome podcast for more helpfulresources on how you can find your own path to profits. Growth Force is the smart back officesolution that CEOS need for better financial management, their business,delivering a level of reliability, consistency and expertise that istypically reserved for mid mark at coupable from advanced bookkeepingmanagement, accounting, Controller and advisory services. Growth Forceprovides dedicated teams and cloud based technology that becomes a scalebol solution for your pesses. You meet you where you are to learn more visit,Great Force Com you've been listening to Patterole to ensure that you nevermiss an episode subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player, ifyou're listening an apple, podcast, we'd love for you to give a quickgrating show just hap the number of stars. You think the podcast deserves.Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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