<![CDATA[teishaarcherconsulting.com.au - PUBLISHED WORK]]>Tue, 08 Jun 2021 18:29:20 +1000Weebly<![CDATA[TRAINING YOUR BOARD TO BE THE BEST]]>Sun, 01 Dec 2019 13:00:00 GMThttp://teishaarcherconsulting.com.au/published-work/training-your-board-to-be-the-best
PUBLISHED IN F&P MAGAZINE - 2 DECEMBER 2019
For-purpose boards everywhere are pursuing the philanthropic dollar.
No longer is fundraising an alternative stream of income. It is now a secure and reliable source of funds for many institutions.
And boards in Australia are changing too. No longer can directors meet quarterly to discuss financials and governance alone. Our CEOs and fundraisers expect much more, including active participation in fundraising activities.
Asking for money for the first time is daunting. Many feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger for philanthropic support, let alone approaching their closest peers. But this is the support we, as fundraisers, need from our boards to meet our ambitious fundraising goals.
How do we give our board members the best chance at fundraising success? Well, the same way we would give anyone the best chance of success at anything. We train them.
We are all busy, and bringing together a group of busy and influential people is difficult, but a half-day (or ideally a full-day) workshop with your board is a great investment in you and your board’s time. It could be the difference between the success and failure of your fundraising campaigns.
So here is my Introduction to Fundraising for Boards 101 to get the right conversations started and boost confidence in fundraising.
Step 1: De-mystify what it means to fundraiseMany fear fundraising because they don’t understand it. Fundraising is not begging. It is not tricking people into giving, or tricking them into giving more than they want to. There is no harassment to make a gift. You are ‘simply’ connecting someone with means with something they care deeply about and giving them the opportunity to change the world.
Based on relationship building, fundraising is strategic. It is, and should be, exciting for parties on both sides of the table. By understanding the work you do in the background, your board will feel confident that you will treat their peers and networks with the utmost respect throughout the process, regardless of the outcome.
Step 2: Walk them through the research and cultivation processStart way back at how you find a prospect, undertake research and then engage and cultivate that prospect. Work your way to the point where a board member is sitting in front of a prospective donor and explain why that moment won’t be scary.
Let them know that by the time they have reached that point, you will have undertaken extensive research and due diligence. You will have done the groundwork with your prospect and they will know that they are meeting to be asked for their support. You will know how much they are capable of giving and where they will want those funds to go.
The more your board and fundraising team understand and trust each other, the more likely you will be able to have open conversations about how board members can use their networks to obtain philanthropic support.
Step 3: Inspire themTraining your board is a great opportunity to inspire them. Some basic training on storytelling is an important key to their success.
Tell them your organisation’s story using your fundraising elevator pitch. Break it down for them. Outline your vision, mission, audacious goals and proof points (in that order). Give them an opportunity to practice telling this story with each other. I know, role playing – insert eye-roll emoji here.
Ask your board members to start a conversation with the most compelling vision of the world if your organisation has the opportunity to achieve its goals. This is the time to excite the donor. It’s the time to make the donor want to see the future you envision and need to be part of it. Then encourage your board member to move the conversation onto how you are tackling the problem at hand and making that future a reality. Make sure the story compels the donor to understand that you are the best people to do the job. Teach your board to leave the conversation about how much you need until this story has been told.
Step 4: ‘Ask’ trainingAnother amazing opportunity for role play. Insert eye-roll emoji here. Again. But seriously, the best way to get used to asking for money is asking for money! Having a couple of scripts prepared with room for improv will support the board in practising the ask. They can practice on their own at home or in the office. They should also practice replies for the variety of responses they may get. Or you can ask them to role play in pairs where one person is the ‘asker’ and the other the donor. This gives them a chance to modify the script to suit their style of language and prepare for all of the different outcomes a meeting might have.
Where possible, it is always nice if the first time a board member makes an ask, it is with someone likely to give and when success is almost guaranteed. This can really take the nerves out of future asks.
Step 5: Following upIt is no good making an ask and then not following up with the prospective donor. In some cases you will get a response on the spot. In this instance your board needs to be trained to offer appropriate levels of thanks, such as “thank you” in the room followed by a formal “thank you” in writing or by phone .
The board must also be trained for a scenario where an ask does not elicit an immediate response. You can and should provide a basic script and briefing for a follow-up call or meeting. But while you have a captive board in a training session, why not walk them through the process? Have your script developed and ‘perform’ a call or meeting in front of them, role playing a positive outcome and a negative outcome and how to respond to each. This gives the board an idea of how to handle the possible responses they may receive.
So look to the months ahead now and lock in the time to upskill and inspire your board to fundraising success! Good luck.
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<![CDATA[GET MATCH FIT FOR 2020]]>Thu, 28 Nov 2019 13:00:00 GMThttp://teishaarcherconsulting.com.au/published-work/get-match-fit-for-2020
PUBLISHED IN F&P MAGAZINE - 29 NOVEMBER 2019
APPROACH MAJOR GIFT FUNDRAISING LIKE IT IS A RUNNING RACE!
Here are my three tips for the long run to major gifts success.
Get those ‘feel good’ endorphins pumping
Nothing gets people motivated like stories of success. Time to get your stories into shape. Consider: What does the world look like if you achieve your vision? What are you doing now to demonstrate your success? Why should we trust you are the right people to do it?
Build endurance to go the distance
Fundraising is hard at the best of times. By ensuring that your team, including your executive and board, have the training, networks and fundraising resources to achieve your goals you are halfway there. Then get out there and ask. Practice makes perfect.
Know your fellow runners
Do your research into your donors. Get to know them and what makes them tick. Know their ‘go to’ moves in philanthropy. You can never do too much research before making an ask.
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<![CDATA[COMMUNICATEYOUR CAUSE]]>Thu, 17 Oct 2019 13:00:00 GMThttp://teishaarcherconsulting.com.au/published-work/communicateyour-cause
PUBLISHED IN F&P MAGAZINE - 18 OCTOBER 2019
Why are we here? This is the question that has kept philosophers and fundraisers busy for centuries…  And one of the first questions I ask all of my clients. Too often the response I get is not what I was hoping for.
We do research into (insert disease) to better understand why people suffer.
We aim to grow employment opportunities for vulnerable people across Australia by (insert program)
We run (insert program) so that everyone will have access to the arts.
I hear of some amazing programs in my work. Programs and services that reach the most vulnerable in our society with the most inspiring people at the helm. But running programs and offering services with dedication and true leadership is is not why we are here. This is what you do and who does it, not why you exist.
We are here to change the world. Not to just do things, no matter how noble.
“Instead of telling me that you do world-class research into a cancer, ask me to imagine a world where no one dies from cancer.”
What I want to hear when I ask “Why are we here?” is your vision. How will the world be a better place when you achieve what you have set out to do. I want to be able to imagine that world being my world, so make it personal too.
Your actions are not your vision. Instead of telling me that you do world-class research into a cancer, ask me to imagine a world where no one dies from cancer. Ask me to imagine that no one needs to suffer. My dad died from cancer last year, as did so many thousands more in Australia. I can relate to that and I want to see that world. I want to help you achieve that vision.
Whatever your area of expertise, once you have articulated that vision, I will want to know more and need to know how I can get involved to help you realise that vision. Once I am engaged you can continue the conversation into how you will achieve that goal through the programs and services you offer, giving me the proof that you can do what you say you can. This is also the point to showcase your leadership that will ensure that your goal is achieved.
More than anything I want to be inspired and so do your donors and prospective supporters.
So when you are next asked why you exist, don’t list off the amazing programs you run or the fantastic services you offer. Tell them what the world will look like when you achieve your goal. Tell them your vision.
Happy storytelling!!!
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<![CDATA[ARE YOU READY?]]>Tue, 08 Oct 2019 13:00:00 GMThttp://teishaarcherconsulting.com.au/published-work/are-you-ready9279630
PUBLISHED IN F&P MAGAZINE - 9 OCTOBER 2019
Everyone is doing it. Major campaigns are where it is at. Millions, actually almost billions, are being raised through major campaigns across Australia right now. This very minute, boards and executives across the country are asking their fundraising teams to work out how they can get their slice of the pie. Now. But are you really ready for this?
Planning a major fundraising campaign is huge. It requires additional resourcing, research and planning, donor and prospect engagement, events, meetings, collateral and so much more. Many are not ready for what lies ahead simply because they have not yet had the chance to really assess where they are and where they want to be, along with what they need to make it from here to there.
I have worked with many organisations as they plan a campaign, working through its feasibility – assessing the organisational readiness and the likelihood of donations and support from those closest to the organisation. Sometimes the timing is just right, and other times alarm bells start ringing loud and clear.
So how do you assess the feasibility of a major fundraising campaign? Here are the top three indicators that your organisation is ready to run a successful campaign.
1 YOU ARE RESOURCE READYHave you ever heard that it takes money to make money? Well never was this truer than with a major fundraising campaign. Every successful campaign is backed with the financial and human resources it will need to succeed.
Ideally, your campaign will be resourced with between 10-20% of the total campaign target. For example, if your target is $5 million, you will have a budget of $500,000 to $1 million to ensure its success.
This budget will be required for any additional staffing needed to run the campaign, including consultants and outsourcing. More staff and support will likely be required to undertake prospect research, develop engagement strategies, ensure record keeping and database maintenance, provide administration, support approaches and asking, run events and meetings, and steward donors.
You also need to ensure that you have the collateral and technology required to undertake a successful campaign.
2 YOU ARE INSPIREDUndertaking a series of loyal supporter interviews can be a great way to understand the support for your cause and a major fundraising campaign. These interviews will allow you to test messaging, understand your networks and their reach, and better understand your current and prospective donors and how they will support a campaign. These interviews should start with your board.
The chairperson and the board of your organisation must share the passion and not only understand the vision, but be able to articulate it in an inspiring way. Why? Because if your board members don’t understand the reason for the campaign beyond the fact it will raise more money for your organisation, then they cannot effectively act as advocates, influencers and champions of your cause.
I recently spoke with a chairperson who had taken part in a series of loyal stakeholder interviews. When asked why the campaign was important and urgent, the chairperson answered: “Well it isn’t really. It is important to us because we want more money to do more things, but it is not really urgent to others.”
That comment was not only concerning for the success of the campaign, but it was also not true. The campaign was urgent. In fact, it could affect hundreds of thousands of people across the country if successful, potentially improving health outcomes and social inclusion in communities everywhere. But the chairperson didn’t understand that and didn’t hold the vision, choosing to focus on the economic benefit to the organisation not the cause itself. If one of the main influencers in your organisation is not on board, then it is time to reassess your readiness for a campaign.
Not only should the highest level influencers in your organisation (I mean your board, CEO, trustees and patrons) be aligned with your vision and understand the urgency and importance of your campaign, they should also be willing to donate.
I have long advocated that if you are going to ask someone to make a significant gift to your cause – perhaps the most significant gift they will ever make – you should also make a donation that is significant to you. The CEO and the board are not exempt from this – they should lead by example.
In fact, I once worked with an organisation where 100% of staff working at the foundation gave to their cause. This is a powerful statement when discussing a gift with prospective donors.
3 YOU ARE SUPPORTEDIs your case for support well-articulated?
Can you engage someone in just one sentence and will they feel compelled to learn more?
Articulating your vision is so important to securing support. It is even more important that everyone in your organisation is able to do this in a way that is relevant to their audience.
Let’s say you have the vision. Do you have the networks? It is time to pull out the gift chart. Let’s say we want to raise $1 million. Ideally we need to secure at least one gift of $100,000 and a number of gifts above $25,000.
Do you have current networks, donors or influencers who can introduce you to the people who can help you raise that amount? If you don’t immediately have four prospects in mind for that gift of $100,000, given a 1:4 success rate projected for major gift asks, then you are already in a bit of trouble. If this is the case, it may be time to dig deeper into your database, build up your appeals and community engagement program, or consider some marketing activities to build your profile before launching a campaign.
Campaigns are exciting, challenging and can be world changing. But they can also be a disaster if due process is not followed. So my advice? Take your time. Plan, plan and plan. Talk to others in our industry who have had experience in planning and managing a campaign. Talk to your stakeholders, internally and externally, until you get your messaging right and grow your networks. And finally, when the time is right, jump in. It is exhilarating seeing a campaign come to fruition.
I wish you the best of luck – but you won’t need it because you will be ready!
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<![CDATA[TOP TIPS TO BEING BRAVE]]>Thu, 29 Aug 2019 14:00:00 GMThttp://teishaarcherconsulting.com.au/published-work/top-tips-to-being-brave
PUBLISHED IN F&P MAGAZINE - AUGUST 30, 2019
    Three ways fundraisers can get ready to ask a donor for a major gift.
So much of what we do comes down to nerve.
Sure, preparation is paramount. Days, weeks, months and even years of research ensure that we head into that ask meeting with a bag full of tools to ensure the best outcome possible.
But having the nerve is something else. I am not sure if we develop it, or are born with it, but all of the best fundraisers (or askers for that matter) have it.
So what can you do to steel your nerve for that big ask? Here are my top three tips.
1. BE ORGANISEDHave everything you need on hand.
Nothing says desperation like someone digging through a pile of documents trying to find that piece of paper that they need to show a prospect.
It is important to only take to the meeting what you will need – in most cases a Case for Support document, an annual report and perhaps another person to add weight and gravitas to the ask (or to do the asking). Have these in a neat folder, in an order which makes sense to you.
By being organised you will feel more confident that you have all of the basis covered for whatever might come your way.
2. KNOW WHAT YOU WANTIf you are going to practice anything, make it your ask.
Stand in front of a mirror, or even better test it with a colleague. Out loud. When we practice out loud we are able to hear the sincerity in our voice and ensure clarity of message and speech. Doing this with someone else can also highlight where more information is needed.
Having a succinct and clear ask (or even a couple of asks in case the conversation highlights a change in ask is required!) prepared is so important to your confidence levels when making an ask.
3. LOOK & ACT THE PARTI don’t just mean wear appropriate attire… although this is very important. Some meetings will require you to dress up, while others might require you to wear the team uniform or a particular cultural outfit – ensure that whatever it is, it is what represents you and your organisation in the best light in front of the prospect.
Perhaps more importantly, stand tall, smile and act professionally. It is amazing what good posture and good body language can do for your confidence and others confidence in you.
Walk into that meeting as the equal of the prospect, they will respect you for it.
And even if you don’t feel it… act brave. You know what they say – fake it ‘til you make it!
 
Teisha Archer is a fundraising coach and consultant specialising in major gifts and campaigns and Director of Teisha Archer Consulting. Teisha is also a Specialist Consultant Member of The Xfactor Collective – Australia’s first network of social impact consultants and coaches across 300 areas of specialisation that exists to support social changemakers to achieve their social mission. The Xfactor Collective has the sector’s first CONCIERGEservice to help you get your projects off to a flying start, and a sector-first video library THE X-CHANGE., comprising 140 helpful videos for changemakers such as the links above in this article.
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<![CDATA[NO, NO, NO, NO. NOOOO...]]>Tue, 06 Aug 2019 14:00:00 GMThttp://teishaarcherconsulting.com.au/published-work/no-no-no-no-noooo
PUBLISHED IN F&P MAGAZINE - AUGUST 07 2019

We have all been there. Months of research and planning. Strategising down to the finest detail. Where the meeting will take place. Who will be there to ask. How much we will ask for and how it will be used.

We have used every resource available to us. Databases, networks, consultants and so much more. We have played it through in our heads and role-played. It is going to work. It is going to be big.

Then the day arrives. Everyone and everything is where it needs to be. The conversation is flowing and the passion is palpable. The moment arrives. The ask. It is made with perfection. You sit, and wait, as you have done many times before. The answer arrives. A clear and resounding ‘no’.
Wait, WHAT?!? But… but… but…

Reasons are given. Thanks are offered and the meeting is over. You all walk away. So where do you go from here?

No matter the planning and preparation, we can never know the full reason why someone decides to give or not to give. It is human nature that we change our minds very quickly, just as quickly as our circumstances change. Therefore
“Understanding ‘no’ is important. By understanding ‘no’ we can make a plan to get a ‘yes’.

There are many types of no, and more often than not you will not hear the worst kind – the ‘No, I will never give to you’ no. Basically, there are (at least) five versions of no to be aware of.

1. NO! THE ‘NO, NOT TO YOU’ NO.It is so important for a donor to trust that you are the right people to achieve the outcome you say you will achieve. To combat this no from ever happening, you need to demonstrate that you have the brightest people working on the need you will be addressing.
Are your CEO and board trustworthy, passionate and informed? Are they influencers in the field? How can you best position them in the future to be the people philanthropists want to support?

Consider if you had the right person asking. Too often fundraisers are tasked with making an ask, mostly to make someone else feel more comfortable. But this is often not the best option. In saying this, sometimes the CEO or chair of the board is also not the right person.

Rather than using the job role or title to decide who should ask, consider who has the most influence with the prospect. It may be someone who does not work for your organisation, but who loves what you do – an advocate who will ask on your behalf. Whatever the case, the person tasked with the ask must be someone who the prospect would not want to say no to.

If this is your no, take some time to find the right person to ask, double check everything else is in line, and make preparations to ask again when the time is right.

2 NO! THE ‘NO, THE TIME IS NOT RIGHT’ NO.
But what if the time is not right? “I have just given a major gift to…”; “The market is not in a good position right now…”; “Ask me again later in the year…”

These are all common reasons for saying no to an ask. All are legitimate, but must be recognised as a timing issue rather than a direct no. If this is the response, follow up immediately regarding a better time to come back to them. At the end of the meeting, it should be reiterated that you will be in contact again at that time. Make sure you understand why it was bad timing and ensure that the situation has improved, so that at the next meeting the answer is yes!

3 NO! THE ‘NO, NOT THAT MUCH’ NO.
Sometimes our vision for that big gift is more ambitious than realistic. Sometimes, even with all of our research, we will ask for too much. This can be flattering or it can be seen as a sign that you do not know or understand your prospective donor.

Either way, this no should be dealt with immediately if possible. Ask the donor what is appropriate, ensuring that you have made it clear that you want this to be a significant gift for them – one that they can be proud of. If it’s not possible or does not seem appropriate to ask during the meeting, go back and do more research. Take a look again at their giving to other organisations and try to better understand their financial position, including their liquid wealth. Once you have a better understanding of their giving capacity, make contact and arrange to discuss an alternative where the level of support they are capable of giving can have the greatest impact.

4 NO! THE ‘NO, NOT FOR THAT THING’ NO.
Our need is not always what a prospective donor wants to support. Positioning your need through the donor’s eye is so important to the success of an ask.

Telling your story in a way that has impact on the life of the donor makes for a successful ask strategy. How will the world be better for them (and all) if you do what you say you will do? Sometimes, your storytelling will hit the mark but other factors (such as ‘no’ number 1 and ‘no’ number 2) will result in a ‘No, not for that thing’. It may be a very simple timing issue – perhaps the donor has recently supported another organisation in the same space as yours.

So, if you get the ‘thing’ wrong, what do you do? Ideally, be flexible in the meeting. Listen to what the donor is saying and change your direction (strategically!). If you are asking for a salary for a key position and you hear them mention how much they love a particular program you run, perhaps it is worthwhile speaking about opportunities within that program. But be careful not to jump around as this could give the impression that you are guessing what your donor wants to support, which will diminish your need. Instead, be sure to have two or three options in mind which you have positioned as the key priorities of your organisation prior to and at the beginning of the meeting.

If you still get a no, go away, do more research into their past giving and engagement with your organisation, and then develop your next ask, noting what they demonstrated interest in.

5 NO! THE ‘NO, NOT TO YOU, NOT FOR THAT, NOT THAT MUCH, NOT EVER’ NO.
This is no. Walk away. If a person becomes upset, walk away. If a person says no in all of the above ways in one meeting, walk away.

You don’t have to walk away forever (unless they explicitly tell you to!). But you need to take some significant time to consider your position, respect their wishes and rebuild the relationship.

So, they said no. It is not the end of the world. No does not always mean no to everything forever. Recoup, refresh, rebuild. So much of fundraising is relationship-based, and with a good close prospective donor, great communication, mutual respect and time, you will see many a no become a yes.

Teisha Archer is a fundraising coach and consultant specialising in major gifts and campaigns and Director of Teisha Archer Consulting. Teisha is also a Specialist Consultant Member of The Xfactor Collective – Australia’s first network of consultants and agencies across 300-plus areas of specialisation that exists to support organisations in times of change and challenge. xfactorcollective.com
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<![CDATA[DON'T DO IT]]>Wed, 31 Jul 2019 14:00:00 GMThttp://teishaarcherconsulting.com.au/published-work/dont-do-it
PUBLISHED IN F&P MAGAZINE - AUGUST 01 2019

THREE SIGNS NOT TO PROCEED WITH A MAJOR CAMPAIGN.

If any of these three alarm bells start ringing when contemplating a major campaign, it could be time to rethink your fundraising plans.

If you don’t immediately have four prospects in mind for that one gift level – given a 1:4 success rate projected for major gift asks – then you are already in a bit of trouble.

Everyone is doing it. Major campaigns are where it is at. Millions, actually almost billions, are being raised through major campaigns across Australia right now.

So you think it is time that your organisation gets a slice of the pie. But are you ready?…

I have worked with many organisations as they plan a major campaign, working through the feasibility in assessing the organisational readiness and the likelihood of donations and support from those closest to the organisation. Sometimes the timing is just right, and other times alarm bells start ringing loud and clear.

ALARM BELL 1
The first alarm bell often rings when speaking with the CEO, chairperson or other person of high influence in the organisation. Why? Because they don’t understand the reason for the campaign, except to raise more money.

I recently spoke with a chairperson who, when asked directly why the campaign was important and urgent, said, “Well it isn’t really… it is important to us because we want more money to do more things, but it is not really urgent to others” 

Argh! That comment was not only concerning, but it was not true. The campaign was urgent. In fact it would affect tens of thousands of people across the country if successful, potentially improving health outcomes and social inclusion in communities everywhere. But the chairperson didn’t understand that, and instead focused on the economic benefit to the organisation and not the cause itself. They did not hold the vision.

If one of the main influencers of your organisation is not on board, then it is time to reassess your readiness for a major campaign.

ALARM BELL 2
So Alarm Bell 1 didn’t sound for you? Great! But are they willing to put their money where their mouth is? There are two things I want to highlight here:

1. Not only should the highest level influencers in your organisation (I mean your board/CEO/trustees/patrons) be on board with your vision, understanding the urgency and importance of your campaign, they should also be willing to donate. I have always advocated that in order to ask someone to make their most significant gift to a cause, you should do the same. The CEO and the board are not exempt from this, they should lead by example. In fact, I once worked with an organisation where 100% of staff from the Foundation gave to their cause personally. This was a powerful statement when discussing a gift with prospective donors.

2. The campaign needs to be backed with the financial resources it will need to succeed. Additional budget will be required for staffing, marketing, events and meetings and so much more. It costs money to make money and a campaign cannot be successful if no additional resources are supplied.

ALARM BELL 3
Alarm Bell 3 sounds when we pull out the gift chart. Let’s say we want to raise $1 million though our major campaign. To do that ideally we need to secure at least one gift of $100,000 and a number of gifts above $25,000.

So who are your supporters? Do you have current networks, donors or influencers who are going to introduce you to the people you need to be speaking to to raise that level of donation. If you don’t immediately have four prospects in mind for that one gift level – given a 1:4 success rate projected for major gift asks – then you are already in a bit of trouble.

If this is the case, it may be time to dig deeper into your database, build up your appeals and community engagement program, or consider some marketing activities to build profile before launching a major campaign.

Campaigns are exciting, challenging and can be world changing. But they can also be a disaster if due process is not followed. So my advice? Take your time. Plan, plan and plan. Talk to your stakeholders, internally and externally, until you get your messaging right and grow your networks.
 
Teisha Archer is a fundraising coach and consultant specialising in major gifts and campaigns and Director of Teisha Archer Consulting. Teisha is also a Specialist Consultant Member of The Xfactor Collective – Australia’s first network of social impact consultants and coaches across 300 areas of specialisation that exists to support social changemakers to achieve their social mission. The Xfactor Collective has the sector’s first CONCIERGE service to help you get your projects off to a flying start, and a sector-first video library THE X-CHANGE, comprising 140 helpful videos for changemakers such as the links above in this article.

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<![CDATA[What About Me?]]>Wed, 19 Jun 2019 14:00:00 GMThttp://teishaarcherconsulting.com.au/published-work/what-about-me
PUBLISHED IN F&P MAGAZINE - 20 JUNE 2019
Making It Personal To Inspire Philanthropy

Some years ago, I was chatting with a valued supporter of medical research. I asked her what her reasons for giving were, and I am sure you have heard similar stories.
I don’t want others to suffer as my loved one suffered…
I want others to have the opportunities I had…
This cause is important to me…  
What struck me was that giving is so personal, and just a little bit selfish. OK, stay with me here. I don’t mean selfish in the sense of wanting more and wanting it now. I mean that the reason for giving is so often that by giving ‘my’ world will be better. Of course, through philanthropy the world is likely to be better for others too.
In my consulting, I spend a lot of time with organisations talking about why they do what they do, and how to make that personal for each and every prospective donor that they will approach. For every ask, I suggest they consciously consider the donor asking the question: ‘But how does this affect me?’ By having a plan to answer this question without it ever actually being asked puts the organisation on the front foot in understanding their donors’ reasons for giving.
So how do we make it personal?
We need to flip the script from what we need, to the world they want to see. We don’t have a conversation about an expensive piece of medical equipment, we talk about eliminating disease so future generations won’t suffer. We don’t have a conversation about scholarships, we talk about enabling the brightest mind to solve the most complex of our world’s problems. We don’t have a conversation about the purchase of tape recorders, we talk about preservation of cultural heritage and the importance of sharing stories with generations to come.
OK, a quick example using a piece of equipment for medical research. You need a machine. It’s big and it’s expensive. It’s complicated, but it will allow you to better understand a disease. So, instead of telling the story of the scientist who will operate the machine and their qualifications, or how the machine works, what the machine does and how much it costs, let me tell you this.
Imagine a world where no one needs to suffer from (insert disease here). Imagine you could simply go to the doctor and have a test to show if you will ever get (insert disease here). Your husband, your daughter, your best friend, YOU. With the test you can know you are clear, or if not, get the preventative treatment required so that you never have to suffer the effects. 
This could be reality. In fact, we have the experts that can make it happen by 2030. But we need your help. 
Straight away I think of my loved ones who have suffered from disease. I am engaged. This is the world I want to see.
How are you telling your story? Are you telling a story of what you need, or the change your prospective donor wants to see?
Flip the script and let’s talk about how the world will be a better place for meif I support your organisation.
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<![CDATA[ARE YOU READY?]]>Sun, 02 Jun 2019 14:00:00 GMThttp://teishaarcherconsulting.com.au/published-work/are-you-ready
PUBLISHED IN F&P MAGAZINE - JUNE 03. 2019

“Why don’t we just do a campaign and raise $50 million?”
True story – I once sat in a meeting when a member of the senior executive made this statement. It was made like running a major fundraising campaign was the easiest thing in the world. Like $50 million would come to us just because we wanted it.

Of course, running a major campaign is not so simple. There is months, if not years, of planning to do let alone the resources and time needed to actively fundraise for major gifts.

No doubt, embarking on a major fundraising campaign is daunting. But there are three ways you can make sure you are prepared and ready to go.

1. YOU KNOW YOUR VISION
​You can clearly articulate your vision. Not just your organisational vision, but your campaign vision. You are able to clearly state why someone should support you with a major gift. It can’t be for business as usual, it can’t be simply because you do good things. It has to be for something that inspires people, something that will change the world. If you can’t articulate that, you are not ready.

2. YOU HAVE PROSPECTS TO ASK
You have a supporter base. Who will you be asking? Do you have the community on hand to secure the majority of the funds? Or do you have at least a number of key supporters who have agreed to bring friends and peers into the organisation for a discussion about support? You need to test your vision with this group of close supporters, and undertake a feasibility study to ensure that your vision aligns with those you will be asking to support it. If not, back to the drawing board.

3. YOU HAVE A PLAN
You have a strategy and an implementation plan. Campaigns do not run themselves. While they can pop up rather unexpectedly, you do need to plan. These strategies need to include timelines, targets, resources, budgets and actions in detail.

And if there is a final point to be made… You have passion! You have everyone on board. A campaign is extremely difficult if not supported by the whole organisation. The board must be supportive as they will need to introduce peers, ask and promote the campaign. The executive will need to be supportive as they will need to back the campaign through funding, resourcing, asking and promoting. Staff need to be on board – after all campaigns are a lot of work and can be high stress. And finally, your community of close supporters need to be on board. If you can’t inspire them, what hope do you have of inspiring new donations to your organisation?

Teisha Archer is a fundraising coach and consultant specialising in major gifts and campaigns and Director of Teisha Archer ConsultingTeisha is also a Specialist Consultant Member of The Xfactor Collective – Australia’s first network of social impact consultants and coaches across 300 areas of specialisation that exists to support social changemakers to achieve their social mission. The Xfactor Collective has the sector’s first CONCIERGE service to help you get your projects off to a flying start, and a sector-first video library THE X-CHANGE.comprising 140 helpful videos for changemakers such as the links above in this article.
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<![CDATA[HOW MUCH SHOULD I ASK FOR?]]>Sun, 21 Apr 2019 14:00:00 GMThttp://teishaarcherconsulting.com.au/published-work/how-much-should-i-ask-for
PUBLISHED IN F&P MAGAZINE  - APRIL 22, 2019

OK, so you have identified a major gift prospect. They are engaged. They love what you do. They are interested in supporting your campaign. You know who will ask. You know where and when that will happen. Just one question remains… 

How do you know how much to ask them for?


To know this, you need to know your prospective donor. Do your research. Engage them in the day, weeks, months or even years in the lead up to the ask.

One way to start is to consider their support of the causes they are most passionate about and compare to their affinity with your organisation. This can give you an insight into their giving patterns, gift levels and their preferred style of recognition.

Depending on how close the prospective donor is to your cause, you might want to consider an ‘entry level’ ask. Perhaps the donor has capacity to give at a very significant level, but due to this being the first approach by your organisation you may decide to ask for a smaller gift now as a building block to a bigger ask when stronger relationship has been formed in future years.

If you know the donor very well, you will want to ask for a gift that stretches them. Ask them to give a gift they have never given before, a gift that will make them proud. Remember, asking for a gift that is just a little too high can in some cases be flattering with a response like “I would love to give a gift like that, but we are not able – how about $X?”

Of course, asking for a gift that is much too high can be embarrassing, resulting in “You clearly don’t know us, we could never/will never give at that level!”. So be aware of the difference between the two!

At the other end of the scale, the worst outcome is often asking for a gift that is too low. This is disappointing for all involved. There is nothing worse than a quickly written cheque and a parting thought of, “I thought you said my gift would be life-changing…”.

So, plan. Some key questions you should aim to answer before setting a figure.
  • What is their largest known gift?
  • What is their liquid wealth?
  • How connected are they to your cause?
  • How well do you know them, is it an entry level gift or have they been life-long supporters?
And as you plan, remember successful major gift fundraising is based on relationship building and research. The important thing is to take your time. Deciding how much to ask for is an integral step in securing a transformational major gift.

For more on this topic, or a short video to share with your team or board, here’s a 3 minute video I recorded last year.

Teisha Archer is a fundraising coach and consultant specialising in major gifts and campaigns and Director of Teisha Archer ConsultingTeisha is also a Specialist Consultant Member of The Xfactor Collective – Australia’s first network of social impact consultants and coaches across 300 areas of specialisation that exists to support social changemakers to achieve their social mission. The Xfactor Collective has the sector’s first CONCIERGE service to help you get your projects off to a flying start, and a sector-first video library THE X-CHANGE.comprising 140 helpful videos for changemakers such as the links above in this article.

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