And right up there with all that is the “we can’t compete with our local college, hospital, museum or Y.” Giant organizations don’t have a corner on the endowment business. They just started before you.
1 – Write 3 short sentences describing what you can do with the new source of annual income from your permanent and "forever" endowment fund. These are the positive ideas that will inspire gifts, NOT needs that you see.
2 – Identify 12 long-term, faithful supporters as your key contacts. Not necessarily measured by amount given, these could be your best volunteers or previously most engaged board or committee members.
3 – Commit to making one call per calendar quarter to each of these folks. Just thinking of you, remembered your birthday/anniversary, read something that reminded me of you, wanted to tell you about a recent exciting activity are all you need to say. May only be a three-minute call. Don’t groan – that’s 12 calls spread throughout 60 work days. You can do it!
4 – Twice during the year send a fun card, article, picture from your work or poem.
5 – Have a current or past board member make a quick call to them to say thanks again for their generous support. Two minutes. Nothing fancy, just a warm contact.
If you are regularly suggesting in your print and electronic messages that you have an endowment fund that will provide income to you forever, these easy contacts will produce amazing results when you actually want to ask for an endowment gift.
The “giants” may not even do this. Their donor lists are too long, staff are too busy and ability to be personal probably lost in the bureaucracy. Just get started with a small number and add a few each year. You can do it!
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