Everyone has an idea about what "fundraising" is and sometimes, people (and boards) don't much like it--based on past, sometimes negative experience. But that's because they really don't know how it can work and what it can mean for their organizations--especially in these budget-challenged times--says Terry Axelrod, CEO of Benevon, an organization that says it offers an "evidence-based" method for creating and sustaining long-term funding support--from happy, cooperative and committed donors.
One of the keys to effective fundraising, says Axelrod (and this is just one of many from a four-hour Sunday workshop) is to know that individual donors account for 83 percent of all giving in the United States and that each gives because the mission of the organization they support (and often volunteer for as well) connects with them in a very personal and meaningful way.
So, to them, the gift is a joy, a chance to make a difference. Brad Barry, CEO of Child Guidance Resource Centers (Havertown, PA) started a Benevon-based fundraising program several years ago. He says that it's changed his role in many ways, yet also provided the resources needed to support his role changes and build a better and more effective organization.
I found the presentation very enlightening. While the Benevon fundraising process represents a culture-shifting, long-term commitment, it is clearly something that seems to work. If you're curious about what's involved, Axelrod is giving another, shorter presentation on Monday morning and welcomes questions and inquiries.