Do you see the future as one of shortage, lack, and ever-harsher governmental funding reductions? Or are you focused on an abundant future filled with new opportunities and innovative ways for people to engage and contribute? Let’s talk about how we can create that abundant future through development strategies that will enhance your organizations.
- Success draws success. People want to give to successful organizations. If they see your hospice is struggling and shrinking in size, significant donors are likely to turn away. Make sure they’re hearing your success stories – in the press, on your website, and on social media.
- Be great stewards. Not-for-profit hospice leaders must ensure their operation is efficient and financially sound.
- Make it easy to give. Offer a wide range of giving opportunities for donors, from memorial donations to in-kind donations of goods or services, grants or events. More stakeholders equals broader community support.
- Planned giving offers a tremendous advantage to long-term survival. Foster relationships with people who may not give today but who’ll want to leave funds to your worthy cause tomorrow.
- Throw that party. Yes, fundraising events are time-consuming and may not offer always offer large returns – but they raise awareness and establish alignment with your organization. Make sure that your events reached a variety of potential givers; not just the big donors but also the smaller ones who want to see themselves as stakeholders, too.
- Make your website donor-friendly. Streamlining your online giving process makes it less likely that your potential donor will get cold feet while filling out your online forms.
- Tell your story on social media. Post videos on Facebook or your website of patients or families talking about what the donations made to your hospice have meant to them personally – including a heartfelt “thank you”! These 30-second or minute-long videos can be shot for free on a smart phone, and the connection they create between donors and your mission is priceless.
- Put an expert in charge…If you want to have vibrant fund development activity in your organization, you have to hire people with experience. It’s best to assign experienced fund development professionals who understand the psychology of giving to take charge of the philanthropy department.
- …But train all of your staff to be your ambassadors. Every interaction is an opportunity to raise awareness – and funds. If you wear your name tag in public, people may see it and thank you for the care your hospice took of a friend, for instance. Your reply could be, “I’m happy you had a good experience; we operate thru the generosity of others, and if you’d like to make a donation, just go online.” Provide training to physicians, nurses and all your staff on how to tell the story of hospice and the importance of donor generosity in keeping it going.