NEXT: A 6-webinar series for CEOs and Development Leaders
…how to build and sustain a more profitable fundraising operation
OCT 8 | OCT 15 | OCT 22 | OCT 29 | NOV 5 | NOV 12
1:00pm – 2:15pm EDT/EST
Fundraising rises and falls along with the economy and a large-scale emergency can send your Development operation into freefall. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Becoming Donor-Centered realigns programs and tactics to suit today’s donors who are less compliant, more questioning and more decisive about managing their philanthropy. Yes, when modern-day donors don’t get what they need they abandon not-for-profits more quickly; but they remain unfailingly loyal and give more generously to causes that are “donor-centered”.
Becoming Donor-Centered is an interactive webinar series developed and led by renowned author, researcher and fundraising expert, Penelope Burk. The course is designed especially for CEOs and Fundraising Directors and Managers. Crafted in six interactive segments, Becoming Donor-Centered gives delegates the tools they need to transition to a more profitable and rewarding fundraising future.
- Six critical measures that explain why and how donors are giving differently
- A bird in the hand: why improving donor retention is a fundraiser’s most important goal
- Why donors are giving to fewer causes today and how that impacts new donor acquisition
- “Donor-Centered Fundraising”: the 3 things donors need to stay loyal, make larger gifts, and shift from modest to generous giving sooner
- Vivid opportunities for raising more money in a Donor-Centered environment
- You aren’t like anyone else: your not-for-profit’s unique performance benchmarks are right there in your database just waiting to be discovered
- How to design a Fundraising Plan that raises more money with fewer donors
- Creating a Fundraising Plan that prioritizes donors and gifts, not just fundraising program
- What inspires donors to choose your not-for-profit in a highly competitive fundraising environment?
- Improving donor retention in direct marketing programs
- How Donor-Centered Sustainer (Monthly) Giving programs can ready more donors sooner for major and planned gifts
- How to raise more money in a Donor-Centered Giving Tuesday or year-end fundraising appeal
- What donors say would get them excited about planned giving
- How to attract top fundraising talent in a highly competitive environment, even when you can’t pay top dollar
- The prospect pool is bigger than you think: where to find great fundraisers hidden in other industries
- Interview questions that simultaneously showcase high performers while weeding out unsuitable candidates
- How to reconfigure job descriptions to meet Donor-Centered Fundraising goals while enhancing job satisfaction
- Why good fundraisers leave and how to keep your best ones longer
- How to increase productivity in a forty-hour work week
- How to manage young fundraisers where the rate of turnover is highest
- How to be a great fundraising CEO whether or not you have direct experience in raising money
- How to sustain fundraising in an economic crisis, even one as challenging as a pandemic
- Where to focus management time for optimum results
- Why Leadership Volunteers have no idea how influential they are with donors
- The nine things Board members do best
- How Board members can hold onto donors and secure larger gift just by saying “thank you”
- How CEOs and Development Directors can help Board members become confident fundraisers
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
- Chief Executive Officers who manage one or more Professional Fundraisers
- Directors of Fundraising or Development Departments
- Managers of Fundraising Programs who supervise staff
DATES, TIMES AND COST
- Becoming Donor-Centered is offered over six webinars on the following dates:
- Thursday October 8th, 2020 | 1:00pm – 2:15pm EDT
- Thursday October 15th, 2020 | 1:00pm – 2:15pm EDT
- Thursday October 22nd, 2020 | 1:00pm – 2:15pm EDT
- Thursday October 29th, 2020 | 1:00pm – 2:15pm EDT
- Thursday November 5th, 2020 | 1:00pm – 2:15pm EST
- Thursday November 12th, 2020 | 1:00pm – 2:15pm EST
- Cost of the six-webinar series is $1,050. Register by September 18th for $900 and save over 15%
Becoming Donor-Centered FAQs
Yes. Each delegate will receive a complimentary copy of Donor-Centered Leadership by Penelope Burk. This 360-page best seller includes research evidence from thousands of donors, fundraisers, CEOs and Board members on how to raise more money in a changing giving environment. Webinar slides will indicate where expanded information can be found in the book.
Definitely. Penelope Burk leads each session and the chat box will be monitored throughout so that questions can be immediately addressed. In addition, questions can be posed between sessions to a private Donor-Centered Leadership Forum which Penelope will address during the following webinar.
A full refund is available until November 12th if no webinars are attended minus the cost of Donor-Centered Leadership ($85).
The refund policy is void if at least one webinar is viewed between October 8th and November 12th.
A recording of each session will be available for delegates until the next webinar in the series is broadcast.
The session, Donor-Centered for Boards, with Penelope Burk was by far the best learning experience I’ve ever had as a board member for any organization. I also bought and read both her books (which is something I rarely do after attending a session) and I have applied so much of her donor-centered philosophy to my work, not only as a board member but as a donor, too.
Penelope Burk is a phenomenal presenter for two reasons: first, her casual and engaging style draws participants in and makes the subject matter easy to understand with real-life examples and an “I know what it’s like” connection to those in the room; second, her data is extensive and compelling, and it gives fundraisers real-life tools that they can use to begin shifting from a traditional dollar-centered approach to a more dependable and lucrative donor-centered approach.
Penelope’s keynote address and her break-out session yesterday were the highlights of the conference for me. She shared such relevant and immediately-applicable information. What an inspiration she is—in speaking, in writing, and (most important) one-on-one.
I congratulate Penelope for her presentation at the AFP International Conference. She is a truly dynamic performer and speaker who shares her vision with humor and energy. Listening to her makes me want to commit more to my work; and she increases my dedication to philanthropy.
Penelope is the most knowledgeable and interesting speaker I have ever heard in my nearly twenty years in the business.
Penelope is a rock star for fundraisers. Always entertaining; always provocative. She has transformed how we see our donors and how we do our work in fundamental ways.
After 10 years of attending conferences and seminars, I had no idea that research of this magnitude existed. I’ll be looking to Penelope Burk and Cygnus Applied Research for new ideas in the years to come.
Penelope Burk is a dynamic speaker. I enjoyed her seminar very much and learned more about what donors want in one day than in the five years I have worked in development – awesome!
Penelope is the only presenter with empirical data and her information blows the lid off our preconceived ideas about how we can fundraise successfully.
Penelope’s enthusiasm and understanding of today’s donors is a welcome concept in today’s fundraising arena. Through her time with us, Penelope has helped us to better understand our donors and help us re-evaluate our approaches and strategies that will strengthen our relationships with our donors. Penelope’s wealth of knowledge and expertise is a blessing to each of us.
Penelope was fabulous! Our staff have not stopped quoting Penelope’s session. Penelope “pushed” us to think about our current practices and their impact on the people we care about. We are so thrilled to have had the time with her for her to share her insights, experience and knowledge with us.
Penelope conducted a terrific presentation. I admit I was worried about a 2-hour session with no break but, oh boy, her presentation captivated the audience throughout!
Penelope’s input has been invaluable to us as we strive to engage our supports in creating business solutions to poverty.
Simply put, Penelope is an inspiration to my career! I am still using my notes from every session of hers I’ve attended and refer to her books when building and presenting fundraising strategies to our Board and campaign volunteers. Thank you to Penelope for all she does for this sector and for ambitious young women looking for role models and inspiration!
Penelope’s seminar appealed to everyone on my staff. The concepts apply whether someone manages data, produces accountability reports, revises donor walls, conducts events, updates the websites, plans galas, or works directly with donors.
Penelope understands the importance of speaking at a professional volunteer level and giving recommendations to help reinforce the more appropriate techniques of fundraising. Her demeanor helped set everyone at ease and created a more open atmosphere to accept the message. I only wish we could have had more board members present!
Penelope provides excellent researched info we can all use – from acquisition, mass marketing, major donors, stewardship to planned giving.
Penelope shares her extensive knowledge and research in a clean and compelling manner. She provides perspective on how to connect with donors on a meaningful level and shares strategies and techniques to relative donor-centered fundraising to the mission and business objectives of my organization.
Penelope Burk is the guru of effective, thoughtful fundraising. The research and tools she and Cygnus are able to provide set every development professional up for success.
Penelope Burk knows fundraising inside and out and shares her knowledge with humor and stories that makes her presentation stand out. I left feeling excited to implement many of the ideas she shared.
What a joy to listen and talk with Penelope. It has rejuvenated my love of the art of donor relations and inspired new ideas for how to better connect our donors to our work.
Penelope is always a breath of fresh air because she is out in front of the curve. You leave her presentations with your batteries recharged!
As staff and volunteers, it’s so easy to become comfortable with how we raise funds. Thank you for challenging the sector to hear what donors want and inspiring us to deliver.
Penelope Burk challenged me to think differently about my work and my donors. And she inspired me to act differently by giving me practical tools and advice.
Penelope's approach to enabling philanthropy should be made into a vaccine. The health benefits to the sector would be immediate and obvious.
Penelope’s presentation was JUST what our AFP members had been craving: a complete recharge. Her all-day seminar on Donor-Centered Fundraising, from the woman who “wrote the book” on the topic, was entertaining, informal, and timely. The information was presented in an “easy to digest and easier to implement” fashion, and everyone left with “to-do” lists several pages long.
To put it simply, Cygnus' research works! This year we set our fundraising goal 10% higher, which was ambitious. But, we applied all that we learned from Penelope and Cygnus on being donor-centered, and pulled it off. In fact, we raised 18% more than last year. As an added bonus, our volunteers are feeling great about their achievement and several have already offered to make asks in next year's campaign.
I've always wanted to have real data that comes straight from our own donors. Cygnus' research has been invaluable in helping us allocate resources to more productive strategies.
Cygnus' research reminded us that our donors don’t give just because they like our organization – they want to improve children’s lives, and they expect us to tell them how their gift is making a difference
A Donor’s Opinion on the Power of Thank You Letters
I do not want fancy chocolates. I do not want hard-bound books about the history of your organization. I do not want clocks or serving plates or paperweights.
You know what I do want? A thank you note. One that tells me something about the work you’re doing, and arrives within a few weeks–let’s say four–of receiving my gift. I want that thank you note to reflect the importance of my gift to your budget. In fact, I will assume that it does.
Over the past decade I have made contributions to several dozen nonprofits in amounts ranging from $500-$50,000 annually. Most of these are civil rights advocacy and human services organizations. I prioritize organizations where I believe my size gift will make a difference, based on budget size or revenue model – i.e., the group doesn’t have many donors at my level, or few non-foundation donors. Because I was formerly a non-profit fundraiser, I give general operating support and often make multi-year commitments.
The Number One reason I stop giving or downgrade my gift is when an organization doesn’t say thank you graciously.
Many do! In fact, what’s notable is the absence of any pattern. The tiny Afghan women’s empowerment group whose board member sent a handwritten note has stayed on my list a long time. The advocacy group that solicits me personally, but acknowledges my $25,000 (c)(4) with a machine-signed form letter? Not so much. I love their work, but their response tells me my gift doesn’t matter that much.
This especially goes for multi-year pledges: don’t treat them like receivables. Say thank you, promptly and with genuine appreciation, when the pledge is paid. Organizations perpetuate a rotten cycle when they pursue and flatter me when I haven’t yet committed for the year, but don’t acknowledge receipt of a $50,000 prior year pledge payment. (A true story.)
Doing a good job is easy and inexpensive. Just say thank you, nicely and promptly, with a level of effort that reflects how important the gift is to the organization. The gold standard is a handwritten thank-you note – you know, an old fashioned thank you note. A personalized note on top of a form letter will suffice, if it’s written with authenticity. As for swag, I don’t mind a bumper sticker or even a t-shirt that lets me be a brand ambassador for an organization I like. But swag is not a substitute for a good thank you note, and for goodness sake don’t FedEx it.
Last secret? If I’m a major donor to your organization and you really, really want me to keep giving? Call me once or twice a year to tell me, honestly, how the work is going. Thank you.