Hi there folks!
Creatives Meet Business is an event and podcast series based out of Austin, Texas for artists and creatives to learn the ropes of entrepreneurship.
This episode features Erica Ekwurzel, Founder and Owner of CivicAIM, who joined us in August during our roundtable event on Fundraising. As you'll soon find out, she has so much to share about how to get to know your donor and how to prospect (with specific examples!). Because there's so much magic in this episode - let's hop in and hear what Erica has to say!
- 0:00 to 1:35 - Ashland Opening Remarks and Intro of Erica Ekwurzel
- 1:40 to 2:33 - Introduction of Self and Topic
- Founded CivicAIM - works with gift givers
- What do we think of when we think of "fundraising"?
- 2:34 to 3:46 - Why Do People Give?
- Because they're asked
- Because people that they trust ask them
- Because they believe in your cause
- Because they want to be recognized / because they want to be part of a larger purpose
- Tax advantages
- 3:47 to 6:18 - What Do Donors Expect and Want?
- We've all donated before and have experienced either a response from the organization we donated to or no response until they make another ask
- Think about how you'd want to be treated if you were the one making the donation
- Acknowledgement and accountability
- Communication - share the narrative as well as the quantitative data. How has the donor contributed to that work?
- A good rule of thumb - 7 touches with a donor before the next ask.
- Touch can be a generic thank you or personalized.
- Handwritten thank you goes so far!
- 6:19 to 7:18 - Doing Your Homework - Getting to Know Your Donor (Individual)
- 80% of fundraising is doing your homework, it's not the ask. 10% is about the ask.
- Know who your donors are and what motivates them. Position yourself to know this information and when it's the right time to ask them
- How can you do this?
- Ask your current donors (one-time or veteran) what it was that brought them in to make a donation to the organization. Ask why they're sticking with you.
- 7:19 to 10:08 - Finding Grantmakers and Organizations
- Regional Foundation Library (if you're in Austin)
- Database that's open to the community
- Clearinghouse for all sorts of grantmakers (corporation, foundations, etc)
- After you have your list from this search, dig in a bit deeper and make sure it's a fit
- Pull the organization's 990 and look at what organizations they gave to, what type of projects they funded, and the amount of funding given
- Who serves on their board?
- Ask your donors or board if they have any connections to the organization's board
- For organizations that don't have a website or annual report, the 990 is a great way to learn about their application process
- 10:10 to 10:36 - Always Be Authentic
- When you're fundraising, always be yourself!
- Be proud of what you're representing. You aren't begging, you're asking donors to contribute to a larger cause.
- 10:38 to 11:03 - Be Quiet and Listen
- After you give your intro, be quiet and listen to prospective donors
- See what their interests and concerns are
- Be open to that!
- They might have criticisms and thoughts that are valuable to making a better organization
- 11:04 to 11:41 - Don't be Discouraged After a "No"
- Sometimes it's the timing or it just wasn't in alignment
- A "no" is only a "no" today, things can change tomorrow
- 11:46 to 15:16 - Ashland Closing Remarks
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Just one more on Fundraising, then we switch to Bootstrap, stay tuned!
Ashland, Creatives Meet Business