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National Philanthropy Day 2018

Kennari Consulting was a proud sponsor of this year’s National Philanthropy Day (NPD), presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals West Michigan Chapter (AFPWM). Our own Steve Ozinga was the Chair of the event, working many long hours to ensure the day was a success. Congratulations to him and the entire AFPWM team on what truly was an inspirational afternoon.

National Philanthropy Day is a great chance for fundraising professionals to come together with peers, celebrate some of our community’s outstanding leaders in philanthropy and hear from great minds in the philanthropy world. This year, AFPWM welcomed keynote speaker, Dan Pallotta, an award-winning speaker, author, and fundraising innovator. His keynote address was a breath of fresh air – and we are proud to stand beside so many and say, “I’m overhead.” Kennari wholeheartedly agrees that nonprofits need to invest more in infrastructure and overhead or are otherwise paralyzed by a lack of resources. Pallotta’s speech was inspiring and we hope this marks the beginning of a movement to change the rule book for the nonprofit sector.

Additionally, congratulations to all of this year’s awardees: Vicki Weaver (Spectrum Health Foundation/Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation); Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors; Louise “Punky” Edison; Stephanie Kerr-Cathey (Kids’ Food Basket, Muskegon); Lake Michigan Credit Union; Veverly Austin (Girl, Get Your Fight Back and Rock The Runway); Janean Couch and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation Youth Grant Committee. And to all out there serving our community through their tireless work in the nonprofit sector, we salute you. Keep up the good work!

To view Dan Pallotta’s TED Talk, click here.

Strategic Plan Sets Course for Success at Ottawa County Parks Foundation

Kennari Consulting works with organizations of all sizes, focus areas, and passions. Ottawa County Parks Foundation is no exception!

In 2015, a small group of Ottawa County, Michigan residents formed an all-volunteer committee with the intent to form a Parks Foundation. A year later, that dream became reality and the Ottawa County Parks Foundation (OCPF) was formed! OCPF reached out to Kennari Consulting to assist with its inaugural Strategic Plan. Over the summer of 2016, the Kennari Strategic Planning team worked with the Foundation to create the important first plan. After defining OCPF’s Value Proposition, Mission, and Vision, we defined important strategic priorities for a brand new foundation. This included alignment with the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission, Board and Infrastructure Development, Visibility, Financial Sustainability, and support of land acquisition and development.

Over the past two years, OCPF successfully launched its fundraising programs, became ingrained in Ottawa County, created working committees under the Board, hosted a number of successful cultivation events, and hired its first full-time employee! Kennari Consulting is currently working with OCPF on a Strategic Plan refresh that will help carry the organization into the next phase of success.

Strategic Plans are important for multiple reasons, including organizational alignment, simplification of decision making, and consistent communication. For more information on how effective Strategic Planning can benefit your organization, please contact Steve Ozinga, Vice President of Strategic Planning and Planned Giving at or 616-340-8771.

“Kennari Consulting was hired to lead the newly established Parks Foundation Board through a strategic planning process in 2016. This was a critically important project because the organization was new and needed to determine its core beliefs. Steve Ozinga of Kennari led the Foundation Board through the process and did an outstanding job. Board members were fully engaged and excited to contribute. Most importantly, the resulting product is one that has provided the framework for Foundation’s activities over the past couple of years. The plan does a wonderful job of identifying the Parks Foundation’s basic mission and includes text with a timeless quality that is used regularly in Foundation documents. The Parks Foundation was more than satisfied with Steve Ozinga and Kennari’s work on the strategic plan and continues to rely upon them for assistance with strategic decision-making.”   ~John Scholtz, Director, Ottawa County Parks

To learn more about Ottawa County Parks Foundation, visit their website.

Round Table Round Up: Event Follow Up – Maximizing the Benefits of Events

Though it often feels like getting through an event is a major hurdle, it’s really what happens after the event that makes all the work worthwhile. Don’t let all that hard work go to waste! Here are some strategies for making sure what happens after your event keeps your donors engaged all year long.

Philanthropy vs. Fundraising

Rather than simply fundraising for the net return of the event, you can take it to the next level by looking at events as ways to renew, recruit, and cultivate donors. An important component of philanthropic events is equal attention to your follow up.

Plan Post-Event

Knowing that the days immediately after the event will likely be jammed with “catching up” on other demands, it is helpful to make your follow up plan and have time scheduled on your calendar for those important details. Here is a handy guide for planning the week, month, and three months after your event.

Within One Week

  • Process cards and deposit checks If possible, at the event so if there is any omission in information, problems can be immediately resolved. Look for opportunities to convert donors to pay in unique ways such as text to give and other electronic methods.
  • Thank You Letters should be written in advance to speed the process. There is really nothing more important than prompt donor acknowledgement. Your donors are likely donors to other organizations, so your thank you lag time may be noticed.
  • Facebook/Instagram posts will be a great way to keep the focus on your event. People like to see pictures of themselves and their friends. Photo posts get the most attention and can help grow interest in your event. Social media posting is also a way to thank sponsors, honorees, and committee members.
  • Email to Attendees “Here’s what you helped us do!” Send an email letting them know that they participated in the success of your event. Share some photos and the results. Links to video and testimonial message are also great to include.
  • Cards to Participants/Committee Members More than just donors need to be thanked! Send kind and intentional notes to those who helped make the event a reality.
  • Major donor and first-time donor calls Block time in calendars for the day after an event to make calls. Voicemails are acceptable. Determine prior to the event who will need to make calls. Significant donations should get a call right away – same day if possible.

Within One Month

  • Internal Staff Debrief with the development team and key players involved, such as program staff that may have helped with identifying stories or data, will help maintain the relationship between development staff and the rest of the organization.
  • Committee Debrief Find a committee member to host this to change the tone. Must be guided discussion to ensure feedback on specific pieces. It is an opportunity to see how they felt about the planning process and whether they feel connected to the event’s success.
  • Follow Up with Honoree to acknowledge the personal impact the honoree made on your organization. Share how they helped bring new people into the donor family through their influence. Look for ways to keep them engaged by being on the committee or have them present the award next year.
  • Donor Development Committee follow up on high-level gifts. The DDC is already trained to help with donor relations so it’s part of their charge as a volunteer. They can help with customizing next steps for major donors or those whose gifts increased.

Within Three Months

  • Sponsor Report Develop a 1-page recap that shares the success of the event, number of people in attendance, dollars raised, number of first-time donors. Focus on the benefits they received so they will see the marketing value as well. Send program to absent sponsors. NOTE: Be sure to thank all appropriate contacts at the sponsor’s business: CEO, Marketing Manager, “table wranglers.” Offer sponsors the opportunity to give feedback on benefits.
  • Set a Google alert on sponsor/donor names ( so you can be reminded of when they are mentioned online, and then reach out to let them know you saw it.
  • Donor tour You can invite all donors – most won’t come but they’ll be glad they were asked. Those who are interested will be able to see the facility and your mission in action.
  • Schedule next year’s event!  It might seem really soon, but there are so many events, you want to stake your claim early. Check nonprofit calendar to avoid conflicts with other key events. Commit to a date and time and get your event on the calendar as soon as possible.

Happy Events!


Round Table Round Up: Planned Giving – Why You Should be Doing This Now!

A generational transfer of over $59 trillion is underway through 2052. Approximately 97% of donors leave a planned gift to an organization because they care about the charity. Nonprofit organizations need to take steps today and build necessary infrastructure to allow donors to leave a legacy and impact society in perpetuity.

Planned Giving Overview

  1. Why do donors make charitable bequests?
    • 97% care about the charity
    • 82% want to do something special
    • 35% as income or estate tax planning strategy
  2. What is Planned Giving?
    • Planned giving is a program of various financial instruments that can be adapted to each donor’s needs.
    • Each donor is unique; what works well for one, does not work well for another.
  3. Why is Planned Giving important?
    • $57 trillion transferring between generations through 2052
    • Three options for wealth transfer: Government, Heirs, and Charity ($8 trillion transferred to charity in 2003)
    • If you don’t ask, someone else will!

Common Types of Planned Gifts

  1. Gift in a Will or Trust
    • Last will and testament or a trust are the legal documents that give the individual right to exercise the disposition of assets
    • Bequest: specific provision in the will
  2. Beneficiary of a life insurance policy
    • A donor can buy a life insurance policy naming your organization as the beneficiary and pay premiums on it
    • The donor may claim a tax deduction
  3. IRA Rollover
    • Donors 70.5 and older
  4. Charitable Gift Annuity
    • Contract between charity and donor where the donor transfers cash or property to a charity for a lifetime income stream & partial tax deduction
    • When the donor passes, the gift stays with the charity
  5. Charitable Remainder/Lead Trust
    • More complex, usually executed by a designated professional
    • Individuals with larger incomes (i.e. those who may be inheriting money from parents)
    • Donor or charity receives a set percentage of the value annually
    • When the donor passes away, the remainder goes to the donor or charity

Is Your Organization Ready?

  1. Simple steps to start:
    • Clean up database to determine best prospects
    • Targeted mailings, asking donors if they’ve considered leaving a legacy
    • Cultivation is key; how cultivated are your donors? How much do they know about your organization; where does your organization compare?
    • Utilize CPA’s/Attorneys who may be on your board and have estate planning experience
  2. Marketing Strategies
    • Greatest & Silent Generation
      • Hard-copy information
    • Baby Boomers
      • Hybrid: hard-copy & online
    • Generation X
      • Transitional generation = multiple channels
    • Millennials
      • Online/text appeals
      • Want a seat at the table
      • Different definition of support
      • Heavy advocacy
    • Others include:
      • Planned Giving inserts
      • Donor Stories (people like to see their name in print!)
      • Planned Giving ads
      • Internet and social media outreach
      • Tagline in stationary and flip envelopes

Non-Negotiables: Make Sure You Have Proper Documentation

  1. Gift Agreement
  2. Letter of Intent
  3. Attorney Letter
  4. Scholarship Agreement

Identify Prospects

  1. Who is your target? Overlay with generational metrics
    • Consistent annual fund donors over 70 who have given the last 3-5 years.
    • Alumni

Debunking a Planned Giving Myth

  1. “If they leave a planned gift, they won’t contribute to my annual fund.”
    • According to Dr. Russell James, annual giving increases 75%, due to increased investment.

Round Table Round Up: Board Recruitment and Onboarding

“My neighbor is a teacher so he likes kids, I could ask him to be on our board – I bet he would do it!”
How many times have we heard something like this when we want to expand our board?  All too often, a lack of processes and time leads to a board full of people who believe in the cause, but just aren’t the right fit for our organization.  Once they are on the board, we task them with all kinds of things that they don’t have the tools to accomplish, and then we’re upset that our goals go unmet.

Proper board development is an ongoing cycle that ensures we have the right board members, with the right tools to be successful.  There are four steps to be taken both while recruiting board members, and four steps to engaging them as competent and effective board members.


Board Recruitment

The first step to effective board recruitment is knowing what you need to complement your existing board and meet your organizational goals.  The Board Governance Committee, along with staff, should take time to identify how many new board members should be brought on, and what the profile of new prospects should look like.  Use an analysis tool that is specific and appropriate to your organization, and then share the desired profile with your board and staff.  Create a prospect list of ideas of people who have some of the qualities identified in the desired profile.

Once you have identified the needs, the next step is to cultivate the prospects.  You might invite them to an event or tour, or simply begin introducing them to the organization by sharing social media or newsletters.  Another cultivation step might be to invite them to serve on one of your committees so you can begin to know their volunteer style.

As you get to know your prospects, you then need to recruit their service.  Those who have shown interest during the cultivation phase can now be recruited to join the board.  The recruitment stage is when you can share your expectation policy and ask them to complete an application form.

Once you have completed the “get to know you phase,” it’s time to formally nominate them to the board.  It is important that the board has ample time to review their profile, and best practice is to bring all new members on at one time throughout the year – preferably prior to the start of each fiscal year.



This second half of board development is essential not just for your new board members, but to ensure that all of your board is continually being provided with the right tools and information to be effective in their work.  As one of my favorite board members once told me: “Staff are in it up to their eyeballs and beyond, but the board is only involved at ankle level. You have to educate and repeat.”

Educating your board means not only sharing program information and important dates, but also sharing industry trends, peer organization metrics, and newsworthy milestones for the constituency you are serving.  Education is not just about your organization, but about how your organization fits in your community and your industry.

Beyond simple education is deliberate training in areas that board members have identified as necessary to do their job.  Board gatherings should include regular training that includes tools for doing the work they are being tasked to accomplish.  Staff can help arrange and guide the training, but the board should be engaged in identifying which training opportunities would be most helpful to them.

Evaluation is another key component of board development.  If we haven’t taken the time to execute regular evaluation of the board, we have no actual data to measure board engagement or effectiveness.  There are many tools available for board self-evaluation, and when members have the opportunity to think about their performance as it relates to the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit board members, we can gather the information we need to improve.

The best part about deliberate processes for Board Recruitment and Onboarding is enjoying your success!  As you reach the end of your fiscal year, take time to recognize your outgoing board members by celebrating the organization’s achievements during their service, and encourage their continued engagement with your organization once they have completed their service.


While it may take time and resources to set up, deliberate board recruitment and onboarding that are executed following inclusive processes on a regular timeline will set up your organization for long-term success. And, just as importantly, it leads to engaged and fulfilled volunteers who become lifelong advocates for your work.

Round Table Round Up: Finance & Development Reporting

Overview of Financial Reporting

All organizations have some kind of financial report that is shared with the Board of Directors and hopefully with the leadership of the organization.  Making sure these reports are useful, comprehensive, and readable can be a challenge. It is important to create templates for various reports, get feedback on those templates, implement the use of them, and then regularly review their effectiveness.

Reports for Leadership

Every organization should be using a budget, and each department director or manager should be working with finance to develop that budget. On a monthly basis, finance should be providing leadership with a budget vs actual comparison for the month and year-to-date.  These reports often look like financial statements.  The reports should also be easy for program staff to understand. Relate it to non-dollar items they’re familiar with in their program. Your program served 65 families last month, which is the equivalent of $2,500, for example.  Also, include detail whenever it is helpful for the person reviewing the reports.

Reports for Finance Committee and Board of Directors

Your board might gloss over at detailed finance reports.  In this case, it’s often helpful to provide them with visual dashboard-style reports. Dashboards give a more visual snapshot and overall picture of the financial numbers.  Several finance tools, like QuickBooks, can produce reports that offer pie charts and graphs, rather than an account listing. They key is relating your dashboard reports to financial statements for easy correlation.

Communication Between Development and Program Managers

It is helpful for development and program managers to communicate needs of their program, what funding may be required and how it will be funding (private donors vs. grants). It’s also helpful for program managers to know what grants are being submitted by the development team and how it may affect their programs and spending.  Also, program staff and development staff should be mindful of what is covered under an awarded grant. You don’t want to fund a program with grants and realize later that you’ve covered 125% of the program staff salary with the grant, instead of the program itself.

Reconciliation of Finance and Development Reports

Reconciliation can be an easy monthly task, or extremely difficult. Here are a few items to watch out for in gift recording to help make sure development and finance are reporting the same thing:

  • Date received vs. Deposit date
  • Pledges and pledge payments – especially event pledges – they’re often going into donor software, but finance isn’t booking until payment is received
  • Recurring gifts – be mindful of a needed process for any received through an event
  • End of year – donation date should be date envelope is postmarked
  • Credit card transactions – timing and actual processing
  • Gift coding in database vs. finance software – adding custom fields for the accounting codes in your donation is sometimes helpful in the reconciliation process

Make sure as a development office, you have a monthly process in place to reconcile numbers.  If a lot of issues start appearing regularly in reconciliation, finance might be able to enter more detail into their transaction (donor last name, for example) to help avoid further problems.

Overview of Development Reporting

It is important for the Board and organizational leadership to regularly see a development report that includes more than just the total dollars raised.  Some examples of additional data points are number of new donors, performance of a specific appeal, number of planned giving commitments, etc. Development reports provide an opportunity to connect your board to the whole development program and where they can have impact.

Development Score Card

Share a score card of some sort with your board on a monthly basis. This helps the board see number that focus on your donors, not just the dollars being raised. Include details on your individual donors. How many are new? How many new donors gave over $1,000? How many donors are not individuals? What is your donor retention rate? How do all of those numbers compare to last year at this time?  Show a summary of a few appeals that are relevant that month for the board to see.

 Development Projections

The projections are closely related to your development budget. You’re showing actual vs. projected for specific line items in your fundraising activities – events, appeals, grants, etc. If you’re showing an increase of 10% or more from one year to the next, be ready to explain how you anticipate that growth to happen.

Appeal/Event Analysis

 This analysis contains in-depth detail of your appeal or event. It should show your goal, how many were solicited/received an invite, total amount received, average gift, number of donors, and response rate.  It should also give detail for each “segment”. If it’s a mailed appeal, break it down by each letter sent, include email campaign response data also. If it’s an event, show each line of revenue – sponsorship, tickets, donations at the event, and live auction, for example.  You should also include the expenses for the event or mailing with an overall cost per piece mailed, or per person for an event.

Round Table Round Up: Year-End Appeal

Devoting time to your year-end appeal seems a difficult task when faced with an upcoming fall event season. However, with 30% of annual giving happening in the month of December and increased online giving (up 12% in 2017*), devoting time to your year-end appeal is a necessity, specifically segmenting and telling your story. Planning ahead will help if you have a clear timeline with tasks. And some small steps taken now will ensure greater success later.

Start now on finding that story. Work with program staff or ask someone to write their own story. Maybe this is an update on a client served; a client whose story was showcased recently at an event or in a donor newsletter. Keep in mind that while donors want to know the story, they also need metrics. Over the next couple of months, think of clever ways to incorporate metrics into that letter and ensure the story gains empathy, not sympathy.

Now that a story is underway, it’s time to tackle – and segment – the list. Utilize board and other committee volunteers to help identify who they know on the list (or specific segments of the list) so they can handwrite personal notes on those letters later. This is what takes time and forward planning.

Over the next couple of months, you will fine tune those segments and make sure you are speaking to the donor in meaningful ways. How? Well, segmenting isn’t a one size fits all. Once you’ve pulled your data, determine which groups need which language and how you are going to reach them. Major donors, monthly donors, volunteers, regular donors, non-donors – they are all different to you and must be asked differently.

Major Donors are often the trickiest segment and the one that we usually say “forget it – no time!” Truth is: you HAVE to spend time here. It’s likely that not all major donors are giving at year-end. Perhaps they choose to give in August, or March. Honor that by still sending them a letter with a handwritten note thanking them for their annual gift and telling them you wanted to share the story they had a role in. Don’t ask them for anything specific here. For major donors who DO give at year-end, make a plan for how you will appeal to them.

This same approach could be used for your monthly donors as well. Let them know you know them by writing that handwritten, personal note thanking them for being a monthly donor.

Segmenting data and writing personal notes is time intensive. We get it. That’s why your year-end appeal planning should start in August.

*2017 Blackbaud Giving Report

The Power of Events: Michigan Sports Academies Foundation

With a busy spring event season behind us, we congratulate all our clients who held events in the last few months. No matter the size or scope, you undoubtedly connected with people and raised needed funds for your organization. Each year you spend many hours preparing, reworking, and building special events that bring your donors closer to the mission.

When the Michigan Sports Academies Foundation (MSAF) came to Kennari Consulting for help, we were excited to get involved. As a new Foundation, this was an opportunity to introduce the community and donors to the important work being done. For Kennari, it was an opportunity to build a new event around best practices, ensuring success for the first year, and success long into the future.

MSAF was created to provide financial resources that facilitate participation in youth sports to families who otherwise could not afford to do so. Critically important to the event was sharing the impact youth sports have on individuals, and why this Foundation is worthy of their financial support.

Attendees had an opportunity to engage with the “tailgate” theme through games during the cocktail hour and the food that was provided. It’s not every day that fundraising events are held in a basketball gym and include corn hole and fowling, but for this event, it was the perfect fit! A highlight of the program was hearing from former Michigan Volleyball Academy player, Abby Cole and her fiancé, Austin Hatch. Abby and Austin met at the University of Michigan, where Abby played volleyball and Austin played basketball. Though not a West Michigan native, Austin shared his powerful story of overcoming the adversity of losing his family in two separate plane crashes, and how youth sports played a significant role in his life.

Guests had an enjoyable evening, sponsors were proud to stand behind the work being done, and people left the room feeling inspired. Most importantly, the community was shown the mission of MSAF and had an opportunity to financially support it. Plans are already underway for 2019!

“Kennari Consulting is the key to sanity! In our first venture into event planning and getting started as a Foundation, they were critical to our ongoing success. Their staff is responsive, accessible and professional.” ~Rena Schwartz, MSAF

For more information about Michigan Sports Academies, visit

Giving USA 2018

The Giving USA Foundation has conducted its annual survey determining sources of donations in the USA for more than 50 years. Below are a few of this year’s findings. For more information or to order a copy of the full report, visit

Since the initial survey in 1954, only three years have seen a decline in total annual giving (1987, 2008 and 2009). In 2017, total annual giving rose 5.2% to more than $400 billion with 79% of gifts coming from individuals, 5% from corporations and 16% from foundations. Overall online giving grew 23% compared with 15% in 2016 and monthly renewal giving saw an increase of 40%. Giving from all three sources increased, and Family Foundations was the sub-sector that saw the largest increase in giving at 15.5% growth. Religion was the sector with the most donations – about 31% of the total. Education came second with 14% and Human Services third with 12%. Giving to the arts was the second-fastest growing subsector with an 8.7% increase over the previous year. To be successful, nonprofit organizations need to calibrate their efforts to seek gifts primarily from individuals as they still are the largest and most stable source of charitable gifts for nonprofit organizations.

Gifts by Individuals
Fewer American households are donating to charity, though the numbers held steady among certain groups such as wealthier and older Americans. However, the gifts coming in are larger, making the total amount raised increase in recent years. The report reinforced the importance of paying attention to mid-level donors, suggesting that organizations that spend time nurturing donor relationships of mid-level donors will see the rewards of sustainable donation revenue. Charitable giving by bequest is estimated to have increased 2.3% in 2017. Intentional strategies should be developed to encourage not only major donors, but annual donors to consider bequests.

Gifts by Foundations
Grantmaking by foundations increased 6% from 2016. Giving grew by all three types of foundations including independent (4.9%), operating (6.2%), and community (11%). The political environment is shaping funding considerations; 80% of foundation leaders agree that philanthropy will be more important to society than ever.

Gifts by Corporations
Charitable giving by corporations increased an estimated 8% (including cash, grants, in-kind contributions, and gifts made by corporate foundations). The report found that corporate giving spiked in disaster relief and that 63% of U.S. citizens look to companies to take the lead on such issues.

This summary is just a brief glimpse at the extensive data Giving USA delivers each year. Please visit to learn more.

Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2017 (2018). Chicago: Giving USA Foundation

Round Table Round Up: Overview of Campaign Leadership & Volunteers

We all know that Capital Campaigns are a lot of work! You will need some support. Successful Campaigns rely on great leadership and volunteers to extend the reach into your current and prospective donor lists. Getting the right people in the right position will help move your Campaign towards its goal in an efficient manner. How do you find the right people? Each organization has a unique garden of donors. Your volunteers are also unique. It’s important to recognize their differences and how to best place them on your team. Knowing this will add to your “gardening tool kit” and help move your fundraising along.

Who are the players?

Campaign leadership and volunteers consist of a range of roles. Making sure you find the right people for each role will be immensely helpful. Connectors and Sales type people make the best fundraising volunteers, so consider this while determining who to recruit for your Chairs and Cabinet.

Honorary Chairs or Committee are the big names in the community, or in the culture of the organization, who operate in a high level and are capable of a significant amount of leadership in the campaign. Expect them to make a gift, but not to be active fundraisers. Their influence is a Maven, or someone whose passion, knowledge, and expertise is their gift to your campaign.

Campaign Chairs are your “face of the campaign” and should be able to help you with high level asks, campaign strategy, and be available for regular meetings. Engaged and connected Chairs are key to really keeping things moving forward. Look for those whose networks will be inclined to your project.

Cabinet Members are those who will help extend your ability to make face to face asks. These are volunteers who are connected to your current and prospective donor list at the mid-range gift size. Remember what your capacity is and what you’re willing to manage. Each member should average of 5 – 10 asks. They should also be able to make a personal gift.

Endorsement Council Members are those who are supportive of the project but are unable to help raise money. They help answer the question “is a good idea?” These people may have a conflict of interests and may or may not donate, but have experience or relation to the project.

Diversity – how does diversity come into play? Look at what it means to your organization. Funders are wanting to see more diversity and equity in the key volunteers for projects as well as in the organization itself.



Determine who should be identified to which role. Have a job description and be upfront. Tell them what you expect from them. Busy volunteers who are connected, deserve to know what they are committing to (e.g. be there once a month, ask x amount of times).


Training & Supporting

One of the main reasons volunteers are reluctant to make asks is because they feel like they might not be able to answer questions.  Give them all the tools for success. Provide a binder with all the information on the campaign – campaign materials, pledge cards, brochure – and distribute any videos that will be used to share the story with their donor prospects. Having all the materials helps give them confidence. Review any new strategies and bring them in to discuss new prospects that emerge. (Face-to-face giving is ten times higher than receiving information in the mail.) Review the prospect list with them to find those who they are comfortable with working with. Just as one on one asks are most effective, working one on one with your Campaign Volunteers is also the best way to customize and strategize the asks they will be making.

Determine the communication point person from your staff so volunteers will know who they should expect to hear from and to whom they should direct their questions. Communicate with your Campaign Volunteers regularly to keep them in the loop on progress and any relevant developments. Share successes with the group so they will be inspired.

Together, with your enthusiastic, engaged, and well-trained cadre of Campaign Volunteers, the success of your Campaign will result in lasting relationships as well as a new building, additional programming, or an endowment.


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