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March 26, 2013 - In This Issue:
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Animal Shelter Fundraising



3 Fundraising Realities Every Board Member Must Face

For board members, the essence of big-gifts fundraising can be distilled into 43 "realities." In my book, Fundraising Realities Every Board Member Must Face, I explore each of them. Here, let me single out just three.


Wealth Alone Doesn't Determine

The Guinness Book of  World Records memorialized her as the world's greatest miser.

Hetty Green, known as the Witch of Wall Street, made her millions through real estate, banking, and railroads. Her frugality was legendary. Hetty didn't use hot water, didn't heat her home, wore the same black dress, even refused to pay the doctor to treat her son's leg (which later had to be amputated).

Moral of the story: Regardless of income or assets, most of us find it hard to thin out our wallets.

In terms of giving, we all think alike: Who's asking and for how much? Why me? For what purpose? Why now, and how soon again?

Things would be so easy otherwise. The World Wealth Report pegs the number of U.S. millionaires at just over three million. If giving depended solely on wealth, all you'd have to do is drop each one a line (or place a call for the personal touch).

Regrettably, it doesn't work that way. Regardless of their means, donors follow a logical progression. First they become interested in a cause, get more closely involved, then deepen their commitment with a gift. That's the normal course of events.

You'd like it to be otherwise. But as Harold Seymour colorfully put it years ago: "You can't make a good pickle by squirting vinegar on a cucumber-it has to soak awhile."


A Few Contribute the Most

Pea pods tell you a lot about fundraising.

If you're a gardener, you know from experience that 80 percent of your peas come from 20 percent of your pods. The first person to observe this, at least on record, was Vilfredo Pareto (born 1848), a gardener in addition to engineer, sociologist, economist, and philosopher.

Today, the "Pareto Principle" is an accepted rule of thumb in business. It states-and your retail friends will confirm this-that 80 percent of a company's sales come from 20 percent of its customers.

Only in fundraising, the ratio's more skewed.

As borne out by decades of experience and literally thousands of campaigns, 90 percent of the funds raised in a typical campaign come from just 10-percent of the donors. A recent study by CASE (higher education's professional association) reaffirmed this ratio as the "canonical rule."

What it means is that to reach your goal you'll need to devote most of your time-as much as 90 percent-to your top prospects, relying on sizable gifts from them.

Only don't ignore everyone else or you may come to regret it!

Consider that Mary Jean and Frank Smeal's first gift to Penn State's College of Liberal Arts was $5. More than 30 years later their$10 million gift ranked as the largest in the school's history.

Or take William and Joan Schreyer. Their $30 million gift built the Schreyer Honors College, also at Penn State. Their first check to the university 37 years earlier? That would be $10.

Last, listen to what Teresa Eyring, former director of the Children's Theatre of Minneapolis, told Minnesota Public Radio: "One day in the mail we received a check for $12 from a young girl who attended the theater on a regular basis." Attached was a note saying this was "part of her savings and she thought it was very important for the children's theater to have this campaign."

You just know that 30 years from now you'll pick up the paper and read about a $5 million gift from a woman who scrimped as a child so she could donate $12 to a nearby theatre she absolutely loved.


The Secret to Success

If you've been to New Orleans's French Quarter, there's a good chance a hustler came up to you, pointed to your feet, and said, "Two dollars I know where you got those shoes." Figuring only the clerk at Sock 'n Soul knows for sure, you bite. "On your feet!" says the con man, holding his hand out to collect.

Here's a similar trick question. The last time you gave to a cause-$20 says I know what motivated you. ...

Because somebody asked!

Donors give for an assortment of reasons. According to a study by the Colorado Nonprofit Association, the top three are:

  • they believe the organization is trustworthy (98 percent),
  • they believe the organization is well-managed and effective (96 percent), and,
  • they feel the organization supports a cause they believe in (96 percent).

But even so, what sparks a gift in the first place is the fact that there you are, in the flesh, asking for it. The problem is that many of us are willing to do anything but ask.

Maybe we don't fully believe in the cause. Or we're afraid we'll be turned down. Or we question our persuasive powers. Or we worry we'll be asked for a gift in return. Or the cumulus clouds are foreboding today.

The truth is, there will always be a knot in your stomach, which, funny enough, is all the more reason to feel proud. "Courage is being scared to death ... and saddling up anyway," said John Wayne.

You won't ever quell the fear, not fully at least, but it can be controlled if you:

  • are well-prepared,
  • are genuinely enthusiastic about the cause,
  • have some leverage with the prospect,
  • communicate a sense of urgency, and,
  • are a generous giver yourself.

Here's something else to remember; some donors like to be asked. Jeff Brooks, a noted copywriter, is one. A few years back, his mother succumbed to Parkinson's. And now Brooks is a regular donor to organizations fighting the disease-and happy to be asked.

"There's a way I can strike back at Parkinson's," he says, "I can defy it, take back some of what it stole, by giving to a nonprofit organization. It can't bring my mother back or erase the pain, but giving re-orients me. I'm less a victim, more in control."

Keep Jeff in mind as you're about to knock on your donor's door.

 This article appears on the GuideStar website.



Looking for on-line grant resources?


Try thesed websites:



 Remember to pay close attention to each grant maker's requirements such as geographic restrictions, documents required, submission deadlines, etc.


Fundraising and Board Members - the poor, neglected kids of non profit
Tim Crum promotional shotYou may have noticed something about our newsletter articles lately.  Most of them have been about either board development or fundraising.  The reason is simple.  Most non profit animal shelters or rescue groups place less emphasis on these two areas than any other area.  Now, I don't have any empirical data or studies to back this statement.  I base this on two things.  My visitation of animal shelters across the country and networking with professionals during the workshops that our company provides.  What I see and hear is the same whether you are in the Pacific Northwest or the Deep South - or anywhere in between.  Non profit animal professionals don't have the time or the skill set to do fundraising or board development.
Since Spring has just begun and this is the time of year that we associate with "rebirth", "rejuvenation" and "renewal", I thought it only appropriate that we ask you to spend some time renewing and rejuvenating your fundraising efforts and board development.
If your organization needs help with either area, we can help you since those are our areas of expertise.  We have helped other groups rejuvenate themselves - we'd like to help yours.
-Tim Crum
with our Guaranteed On-line Fundraising Program
online fundraising    



For years, animal welfare groups have sought us out for our expertise and knowledge about our successful online fundraising campaigns. Now we have packaged an entire year's worth of our most successful online fundraising campaigns for you to purchase. And the cost is so affordable. As little as $100/month (when you pre-pay for the entire year).




STEP 1: Each month, you will receive an e-mail from Animal Shelter Fundraising with your complete online fundraising campaign material for that month in its finished format. (Text, graphics, photos and illustrations). You will be provided with a actual sample of that month's campaign so that you can see how it looks. You will also receive all the text, graphics, photos and illustrations for the campaign.


STEP 2: Simply copy and paste all the campaign material into your own e-mail along with your donate buttons.


STEP 3: Schedule your e-mail for distribution.


STEP 4: Sit back and watch as the donations come in.


This is a non-refundable program and results not guaranteed. 
Olivia introduces her dad     



This is a photo of my eight-year-old daughter Olivia as she introduces me as a speaker at the Texas Unites for Animals Conference in Austin, TX on March 16.  This was a highlight of Olivia's spring break.  She enjoyed the experience so much, she has asked me if she actually help give a presentation.  We are working on a way to incorporate her into a future presentation.   Thanks to Rebecca Poling with the Texas Unites for Animals Conference for allowing Olivia this opportunity!

April 6: Raleigh, NC
April 27 : Albuquerque, NM
We are bringing our highly-rated and nationally acclaimed fundrasing workshops to Raleigh and Albuquerque.    Don't miss this opportunity to learn fundraising tips from an animal welfare fundraising expert.

Our one-day workshop provides hands-on instruction, tips and techniques in the creation and design of fundraising campaigns that attendees can implement for their own organization. Our workshops are based on actual campaigns!


We'll cover fundraising campaigns for:

  • direct mail
  • e-appeals
  • events
  • donor cultivation & solicitation
  • acknowledgements

For more information visit:





Tim Crum Delivering a Presentation
Tim Crum speaks to a room filled to capacity in Michigan.


High Hopes for Pet Foundation

The High Hopes for Pets Foundation seeks to provide support for the many individuals and groups who are dedicated to the prevention of homelessness for companion pets everywhere. Grants are made periodically to support these groups.

Animal Care and Control and Shelter organizations can request funding for these specific types of programs:

* Food costs
* Housing costs
* Spay and neutering programs
* Capital improvements
* Training programs to make animals more adoptable
* Educational workshops


DEADLINE: March 29, 2013




Every week, I talk to non-profit organizations that fool themselves about fundraising.   These organizations want to raise more money, but...

  • They don't want to make more personal asks ("can't we just hold another event?")
  • They don't want to invest more time ("we're too busy with programs!")
  • They don't want to hire a development pro ("we can't afford it!")

These non-profits say they are running full steam ahead... they say they are working hard on programs, spending all of their money on programs, and don't want to bother their current supporters and friends with more or higher level asks.  But... they still want to raise more money.


Does this sound like your organization?


Something's Got to Give!


You can't have your cake and eat it too.  You can't do things exactly the same way, and expect different results.  If you want to raise more money, you're going to have to do one of the following:

  • Invest more time into fundraising
  • Invest more money into fundraising
  • Try new fundraising strategies (usually, this means making more direct personal asks).

There is no magic button you can push to increase your organization's fundraising.  Just because you want to raise more money doesn't mean you will.  Something has to change.


I Hate to Generalize, but...


The truth is, most non-profits that aren't raising the money they want to be raising aren't making fundraising a top priority.  They cherish programs... but underfund and understaff the development office.  They refuse to spend a reasonable amount on fundraising, hire a Development Director, or require that their board members go out and make asks on a regular basis.


Other do "drive by" fundraising... sure they want to raise money, but they don't want to "ruin" relationships by sitting down across the table from someone to ask them to give $5,000 today to fund that new program.  Instead they hint at the need, and send out an invitation for an event (with no follow up calls or meetings) and then wonder why the big money never rolls in.


If You Really Want to Raise More Money for Your Non-Profit...


You've got to do something different.  You've got to think bigger.  You need to invest more time and money into your development operation.  You need to put fundraising first (gasp!).  You need to make more asks, be more bold, and be ready to spend more of your energy on development... so that you'll eventually have more money to spend on carrying out your mission.


Don't fool yourself, or your non-profit.  If you want to increase your fundraising output, you're going to need to increase your fundraising input.


This article first appeared in the March 19 Fundraising Authority Newsletter.
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