Why We Ride

Team IRON EAGLES is a group of friends and family dedicated to fighting Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We join forces to raise money for the NATIONAL MS SOCIETY to support the great PROGRAMS they have available to help members of the community and to support the exciting RESEARCH being done in the field. We blog about why we ride, our experiences at fundraising events, our fundraisers and training tips. We also have links to information on MS and MS research. JOIN US!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A New Look at Fundraising

Yesterday I went to a great forum at the college held by the business school. The speaker was Kerry Hepworth, the Dixie Regional Medical Center Foundation CEO. It was fascinating! She talked about philanthropy and noted that 80-85% of all donations come from *individuals*. She has been working in fundraising for 25 years and often serves on the boards of new charitable foundations. She said one mistake they always make it to put all of their energy into pursuing grants and putting on fundraisers. That's not where the money is! This is a direct quote: "Events are a total time suck. You're lucky if you make 50 cents on the dollar." Here are my notes from her presentation:

Build relationships with the "5 I's" -- Identify, Inform, Involve, Inspire, Invest

Identify -- Find out who is inclined to support your cause. Think "alumni." Also identify who has the means to support your cause. Be where your alumni/target markets are.

Inform -- Tell them what your needs are. Learn to connect. This can be personal communication or impersonal communication (personal is more effective because it builds relationships). In DRMC they have a saying: No silent elevators. Take any and all opportunities to build relationships!

Involve -- Ask them to volunteer their time, attend a lecture, go "behind the scenes" and experience the mission first hand. Ignite their passion!

Inspire -- Give them a personal look at the value of the mission. What life changing experiences have there been?

Invest -- This is the last step in a long relationship that you have built. Success comes when you have the Right Person, the Right Amount, the Right Project, the Right Time and the Right Asker. If you have been through the 5 I's with this person then you are likely the Right Asker! Also, remember that nothing happens without "the ask." Don't be afraid to ask!

I was really excited about this presentation (and not just because she confirmed what I had already suspected about fundraising events). I think we can improve our fundraising by applying these principles. We may not be looking for the same amounts that the Dixie Regional Medical Center is, but we can be more effective even in our smaller ventures! Let's cultivate those relationships!!!

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