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Posts from the ‘Culture’ Category

Comembership and the BIG Major Gifts

By Gil Israeli, GI Financial Resource Development and Dir. of Operations, Osher ELC

When seeking to connect with a major gifts prospect, it is smart fundraising to draw on a lay person who knows the prospect well or can connect to the prospect through a few degrees of separation. Since this isn’t always possible, the next best strategy is to introduce and connect people who share avid, strong affiliations and affinities. One anthropologist has described these social traits as “co-membership” – unique points of contact in shared identity.

The really good fundraisers and prospect researchers go beyond identifying prospects and look for points of co-membership between your helpful community and prospects. These are ideal launch pads for relationship-building and just a few of these include… Read more

Finding Access People is Key to Advance Major Gifts

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By Gil Israeli, Director of Prospect Research and Senior Writer, American Technion Society

Currently, appearing in APRA’s online magazine Connections, Volume 25, 1-Q1. The article is a review of Israeli’s session at APRA’s International Conference, August 2013.

Years ago, a fundraiser send me a research request with minimal data: an individual’s name and residence. He noted (with an exclamation point) that the family foundation had assets exceeding $100 million. Responding too quickly, I reviewed the list of grants for the past three years and placed each gift in one of three categories that I had decided represented the foundation’s giving: higher education, medical causes and social welfare. I generated statistics on the foundation’s interests and multi-year giving trends. Then, I listed board members, contributors to the foundation and changes in their investments. I sent this insightful research to the fundraiser and his response was to the point: “Great stuff, but what I need to know is how to access the foundation president.”

To download the entire issue click here: APRA – Connections Vol. 25, No. 1: Q1 2014

Additional articles in this issue include… Read more

Timely Tweets: Real Time Marketing in the Fundraising Industry

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By Ethan Fenton, Chief Conversation Starter, iWave Information Systems

Can you guess what Zombies and Oreos have in common? The answer might surprise you: the commonality between the two has to do with the recently popularized practice of “Real Time Marketing.” Real time marketing is an on-the-fly marketing approach that promotes products or brands by associating them with trendy events in hopes of exploiting the event’s popularity for profitable gain and is a unique by-product of the Social Media revolution. In this world of “push notifications” it has become increasingly important for companies and organizations to communicate with… Read more

How Media Raises Fundraising.

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By Avis Richards, CEO and Founder, Birds Nest Foundation

Few forces can equal the power of media in today’s global society. Whether it be on the big screen, at a film festival, a Public Service Announcement, televised news (and its variants including investigative reporting and news-entertainment shows), or for in-house use, we’re a society that now necessitates video content. In turn,video content is the fastest, and most efficient way to spread information, to educate, and to raise awareness.

A couple of years ago, technology revolutions began to upend the film industry. Cheaper cameras, the shift from celluloid to digital media, and the development of internet-based distribution democratized the industry, and the cost to make a video fell dramatically. This democratization has led to an explosion of new media from every cat owner to amateur filmmaker. That’s when I first saw an opportunity to work with charities to help them develop a voice… Read more

Learning Relationships, Love and Becoming a Major Gifts Fundraising Organization

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By Gil Israeli, Director of Prospect Research and Senior Writer, American Technion Society

What is one critical difference between an organization that has raised several major gifts and the organization that continuously raises major gifts… maintaining a growing major gifts program?

In brief,  the latter nurtures longevity in all its relationships and understands that longevity is the key to nurturance. And, specifically, it is learning relationships that elevate organizations to raise major gifts.

Today, having a major gifts fundraising program has become one of the outstanding priorities (and sometimes wish) of many fundraising organizations. After all, you can spend two years raising small gifts of $5,000 to meet a $1,000,000 campaign goal, or, you can cultivate the same number of prospects all with $50,000 to $100,000 gift potential and target a much higher campaign goal.

The strategy to achieving this requires multiple developments in your company culture and a confluence of three critical persons in your operation: board members (which includes prospects/donors and volunteers), fundraisers and researchers. A healthy web of relationships here bears directly not only on your annual fundraising revenue but also on the robustness (and sometimes the longevity of your organization).

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