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Allyson Kapin 4 min read

How To Fundraise Like A Rockstar: Tips From Nonprofits Doing It Right

report, commissioned by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, was just released to address chronic nonprofit fundraising challenges. They conducted the survey through the lens of the following questions:

  • What if the real answers to nonprofits’ fundraising challenges were already solved by others?
  • What if we could identify and capture the stories of organizations that are uniquely successful in their fundraising?
  • What if we could learn from these organizations what’s working—not so we can copy their strategies and tactics but so we can get a better sense of the beliefs, values and organizational cultures that create the conditions for fundraising success?

In addition to reviewing nonprofits' individual fundraising performance over the last three years, the report includles in-depth interviews with staff, board, and donors to really dig into the intricacies of their successes. 


Here are some highlights, "bright spots", we've pulled from the report:

  • Fundraising is a form of organizing and power-building, not merely a strategy for financing the organization’s work.
  • The conversation about fundraising goals and progress belongs everywhere. It’s not contained in a single department or confined to a single team.
  • “Donor” is only one aspect of the many relationships that committed supporters forge with an organization.
  • Authentic relationships with donors are part of a larger organizational culture that values relational rather transactional interactions with everyone.
  • Development and communications are inextricably linked; compelling communications are a powerful way to acquire, engage, and retain donors.
  • The use of data is not just about having a donor database. It’s also about surveying your donors; getting feedback from your fundraisers on what messages are resonating; and studying the performance of every fundraising campaign and event.

There's still lots of time left in 2016 to develop your fundraising plan on a deeper level. What are your priorities? What do you know you could be doing better?


Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.