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Reader Questions: Raising money for kiwanis clubs


I love my subscribers and readers, and I’m always looking to them to tell me what they want to learn about next. Luckily, tons of people responded to my recent survey. If you’ve got a question you’d like answered, go here to tell me what you’d like to learn about next!

One reader asks,

“What are the best ways to motivate key business and civic leaders of a community service membership organization (Kiwanis Club) to make annual and major gifts to our Foundation when they serve on so many other local nonprofit boards? Our mission is to improve the lives of local children and youth, but there are so many more narrowly-focused nonprofits competing for donations.”

This is a good question.

First of all, some Kiwanis clubs seem to have a bunch of different things they do. This can make program staff a tad stretched. Not to mention it’s more difficult to fundraise if your program areas keep expanding.

Bottom line: Make sure you don’t have scope creep on your programs.

Next, get to the core of what you do. Improve children’s lives, but how? What are some of your success stories that illustrate exactly what you do? Make sure those stories are front and center on your website.

Bottom Line: Focus on the real stories of real people that your Kiwanis club has touched. This will help people feel more connected to you. And if you’re asked, “how are you different from X or Y nonprofit, you can say, “This is how.”

Start to talk with your current donors. Are they feeling thanked? Are they feeling like a part of what you do? Ask them (eventually) if they know anyone else they think should be involved with your cause.

Get more volunteers. Volunteers give 10x as much money and support as non-volunteers.

Look at annual reports of other, similar nonprofits. Is there anyone rolling off the board who might be a good fit for your board?

If people are feeling tapped out, can you look further afield? With your new focus on a couple of key program areas, is there another nonprofit who does something complementary to yours, that you could partner with?

Maybe you could do an event together? Table together? Talk to corporations together? Whatever it is, you share a similar (but not identical) mission, and it’s important to partner and help each other out.

You don’t have to go it alone.


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