Fundraising for Small Shops

Published on Nov 18, 2015

Strategies for small charitable organizations to succeed in fundraising



for Small Shops


  • Where to spend your time
  • Strategies
  • What to avoid

Your Time

What to do with

Connect your work to the development cycle

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What to do

  • Research
  • Cultivation (includes marketing)
  • Solicitation
  • Stewardship

Target Time Usage

Managing the List


  • Research
  • Planning
  • Reporting


  • Initial contacts
  • Top donor cultivation
  • One ask activity


  • Donor acknowledgment
  • Thank you note, email or call
  • Marketing & awareness

Quarterly or other

  • Other reporting required
  • Professional development

Tools and Strategies

Photo by geishaboy500

Managing Data

Stop using Excel
Photo by K8

Databases for small orgs

  • Cloud based
  • Small number of records
  • Scaleable as you grow
  • 1-2 users at start

Databases for small orgs

  • Email newsletter function
  • Letter templates
  • Export and import

Social Media

doesn't have to be a time suck

Social Media in Small Bits

  • Monitor
  • Manage
  • Aggregate
  • Schedule
Photo by j&tplaman

Managing Volunteers

Keep it simple

Volunteer coordination

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Direct Mail

Invest money, not time
Photo by acme401

Simplify Direct Mail

  • Use a mail house
  • Stick to a couple packages
  • Keep the design simple
  • Email doesn't replace
Photo by jonny2love

Online Campaigns

Crowdfunding is not the magic bullet

Online Campaigns

  • Secret shop your website
  • Start small but tangible
  • Incentives are critical

Do online campaigns actually work?

Yes and No.

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Keys to Online Success

  • Visuals and Videos
  • Urgency
  • Existing social network
  • Multi-platform promotion

Planned Giving

for normal people
Photo by Ken_Mayer

Simple planned giving

  • Focus on wills and bequests
  • Develop sample language
  • Promote on everything

I bequeath to the Stratford Shakespearean Festival of Canada _________
(state percentage of estate or
specific amount) to be applied its general endowment (or for _________ fund area, please specify).

Big Gifts

require attention and long view

Things to plan

  • Know your top 10-25 donors
  • Know your top 10 prospects
  • 5-7 cultivation advances

Stop and Think

Might be good, might be horrible
Photo by


can be scary!

Evaluating events

  • Potential revenue
  • Amount of work
  • Likelihood of success
  • Uniqueness
  • Mission match

Board Involvement

should focus on other things than asking

Boards in fundraising

  • Provide connections
  • Testimonials
  • Discrete tasks
  • They can stall asking!


Tie activities to development cycle

Create checklists

Database, mail worth $
Simple online, volunteers, planned giving

Be ruthless with events
Be strategic with board

Alice Ferris, MBA, CFRE, ACFRE
Jim Anderson, CFRE
GoalBusters Consulting