Fundraising Jump Start: 8 Steps to Growing Your Donors

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking about ways you can jump start your fundraising program. The Fundraising Jump Start Home Study System follows an 8 step plan for accomplishing that faster (and with less stress).

Are you overwhelmed by fundraising? Not sure of the best ways to
engage your board? Feeling frustrated that you can’t get the money
you need to impact your community in a bigger way?
Tired of struggling? If that resonates with you, this could be the
program for you.

Here is an outline of those 8 steps to help you get started.

  1. Fundraising 101. First, you’ll want to learn about trends in charitable giving. Visit for some general information. Blackbuad USA and Convio publish stories periodically that can help you stay up to date.
  2. Vision / Mission. Revisit your vision. Do you have one? This isn’t about a vision for your organization exactly – it’s a vision for how your community could and should be. Your mission can address how your organization will help that vision come to pass.
  3. Case Statement. Your case statement should clearly articulate everything that a donor needs to know before making a decision to giving a large gift to your organization. It should be compelling, visionary, easily read, and packed with information. Here’s a link to my Diigo page with links to lots of samples you can review.
  4. Audiences. Next you’ll want to identify the primary audiences you will communicate with. Try to identify those groups of people (and individuals) who identify most with your cause. Don’t try to approach everyone, just target in on a few. If you’re not already following Seth Godin’s blog, I strongly recommend it. He often talks about focusing in our marketing.
  5. Awareness. People won’t give to your organization if they don’t know about you. And they won’t give if they don’t know that there’s a need. Social media has expanded the ways we have of getting our message out, but there are many more traditional, proven methods as well. Again, focus in on just a few awareness strategies – don’t try to do them all. Based on who you’re communicating with, select just 3-5 avenues to start with.
  6. Asking. This is the one topic that generally leaves most people shaking in their boots. Asking for a gift. Please know, this is not begging. Rather, it is inviting people to participate in a cause that they are already passionate about. It’s about providing a vehicle (your program / your organization) that will help a donor accomplish one of their life goals. Learn about your potential donors and what is important to them. At some point you’re going to have to ask.
  7. Develop a Plan. There’s nothing worse than having all the pieces, but not knowing where to get started. Map everything out by month so that you can make tracking easier.
  8. Expand Your Team. Don’t try to do all of this on your own. Engage your board and/or develop a fundraising committee. Use your plan to help structure expectations of your volunteers.

These thoughts might be enough to help you get started, but if you’d benefit from a step by step program that you can go through at your own pace, visit This Home Study System will take you through these 8 steps through worksheets, assignments, 10 different recorded trainings (about 4 hours worth) and supplemental reading. If you’re looking at Jump Starting your fundraising efforts, this can help you get started on the right foot.

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