SOFII’s letter to the future

Just in time for the new era of responsible fundraising: SOFII’s letter to the future comes to you, free, in 44 short video segments that month by month will build into your personal blueprint for transforming fundraising in your charity.

Written by
Ken Burnett
Added
January 17, 2018

Dear SOFII user,

Fundraisers always prosper when they focus less on the money that people send in and more on the people who are sending it.  As a fundraiser, you’ll get better at your job and get more out of life when you deliver what your donors want rather than chasing after what you want for yourself or your cause.

Focusing on fundraising as it should be

All fundraisers aspire to a world where donors enjoy being donors, where they feel inspired, empowered and enriched with meaning, fulfilment and a clear sense of tangible achievement and appreciation of the difference they make. Last year the Commission on the Donor Experience (CDE) delivered their 28 project reports and 526 recommendations supported by more than 250 case histories of donor-centred fundraising. Now SOFII presents an exclusive preview of the key, transformational content from that gargantuan body of work, in a series of lectures delivered in Amsterdam in late 2017 by CDE co-founder Ken Burnett. This unique event was filmed and now edited highlights from the film are coming your way for free, soon, on SOFII. The first film in the series is live on SOFII now, please click on the active link below.

What's Reinier got to say to SOFII users? Click here

SOFII’s new video series focuses on fundraising as it should be, while recognising what goes so badly wrong when it falls short. Each month throughout 2018 SOFII will release several of these short videos for you to download and watch as the series builds into a template for fundraising change, a handy, permanent reference guide for you and all your colleagues on how to do donor relationship development properly in the new era of responsible fundraising.

The first taste of this series is here, now. Click here for The Botton Village story: the cradle of relationship fundraising. Plus here for an introduction to the lightbulb moments. And watch your SOFII updates in coming weeks for what’s next in SOFII’s 32 lightbulb moments series. For best effect, watch the videos on ‘full screen’. And please add your comments and share with your colleagues. Thank you.

With every good wish for your happy, successful fundraising,

The SOFII team

Watch as this series builds into 44 films that, collectively, illustrate how great fundraising can be, what happens when it goes badly wrong and how, in ways large and small, fundraisers can work together to transform the culture of fundraising, for good.

Every two or three weeks or so over the coming year SOFII will be adding more videos to this series, one, two or even three at a time (mostly they are really short). So you can quickly build a detailed, practical, easy-to-access picture of why and how fundraising should change. Then you can start planning your part in making the dream of truly donor-based fundraising come true, in your organisation and across the fundraising sector.

12 bonus films that set the context for these lightbulb moments 

01. The cradle of relationship fundraising: The Botton Village story. 20.08 minutes.

02. An introduction to the lightbulb moments. 4.01 minutes.

03. About the Commission on the Donor Experience. What did the Commission on the Donor Experience achieve? The 6Ps, 7 principles and 12 pillars of change. 7.48 minutes.

04. What happens next? A caution, CDE, SOFII and the way forward. 5.53 minutes.

05. Meeting Etta: a short story that shows fundraising can be great. 4.06 minutes.

06. Three definitions of fundraising. How fundraising is evolving – and has some way yet to go. 3.04 minutes

07. Fundraising problems and how we’ll solve them. 12.14 minutes

08. What really went wrong. And why these problems won’t just go away. 12.24 minutes

09. Empathy and rapport. The fundraiser’s secret weapons. More lessons with mother.

010. How bad fundraising can get, plus 28 antidotes to make it better.

011. How fundraisers killed their golden goose.

012. Questions and answers session.

The 32 lightbulb moments

1. The importance of asking properly.

17. Effective communication and the truth, told well.

2. Reciprocity – why you have to give, to get.

18. Invest in feedback and deliver the 5Fs.

3. Stories, not statistics.

19. Major donors don't get a better experience.

4. If giving is a good experience...

20. Why chasing money in major gifts leads to disaster.

5. The essential ingredient: integrity.

21. Consult your donors when things go wrong.

6. How you’ll know you’re making progress.

22. How you can keep your best fundraisers for longer.

7. Listen to and learn from your donors.

23. Only pursue major donors if they are right for your organisation.

8. A different view of investment in fundraising

24. The ultimate donor experience.

9. What kind of leadership will ensure that a charity will operate in a donor-centred way?

25. Give emotion the priority it deserves.

10. Vulnerable people. Why just having a policy isn't enough.

26. Make emotional connections.

11. The power of words to take us right to the heart of our donor.

27. Information vs communication.

12. Recruiting and developing the right kind of people

28. Put your WHY at the centre of your donor's experience.

13. How to give your donors practical control of their relationship.

29. Learn to really listen.

14. Why investing in customer service and donor care leads to fundraising success.

30. Prepare for the next big thing.

15. Thanking donors properly.

31. What if CEOs and boards were to insist on some specific actions?

16. Measuring more than just the money.

32. Make a new promise to your donors.


Four more hot topics coming very soon. Watch out for them…  

0.8. What went wrong. And why these problems won’t just go away. Are we missing something really significant? Why are generous and caring people fed up with fundraisers? The problem with volume and why renewed promises are not enough. How a tragedy unfolded and why it happened. 12 minutes 24 seconds  

…including three more lightbulb moments to usher in the new era of responsible fundraising

12. Recruiting and developing the right kind of fundraisers. Why fundraising needs radiators, not drains. And why getting the right people matters so much, to donors.1 minute 50 seconds  

13. How to give your donors practical control of their relationship.

Before watching this video you really should see SOFII’s earlier special, The Botton Village story. Who should be in control of our relationships and why it may pay to make some changes. How much control should you give your donors? And how can you do it, practically, effectively and enjoyably to increase trust, confidence and lifetime value?  2 minutes 47 seconds  

14Why investing in customer service and donor care leads to fundraising success.

Oh dear, that ‘investment’ word, again. But relax, please – this is about leaping over false economies to deliver real value for your cause, because it’s focus is retention – keeping donors longer so they’ll more quickly and surely repay the cost of their acquisition. And maybe even leave you a legacy. Being nice to do business with is something our sector should be noted for. How you can provide such a service, at the right level, is explained here. 5 minutes 40 seconds.

About the author: Ken Burnett

Ken Burnett

Ken Burnett is author of Relationship Fundraising and other books including The Tiny Essentials of an Effective Volunteer Board (The White Lion Press Limited, London, UK) and The Zen of Fundraising, (Jossey-Bass Inc, San Francisco, USA). His latest – and in his view, most important – book is Storytelling can change the world, just published by The White Lion Press.

Ken is also SOFII's managing trustee.

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