SOFII’s letter to the future / 32 lightbulb moments

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 build into your personal blueprint for transforming fundraising in your charity. These videos summarise the highlights from the Commission on the Donor Experience’s Herculean undertaking to document the best lessons from donor-focussed fundraising. All 44 videos are on SOFII now, for you, just follow the links below.

Written by
Ken Burnett
Added
May 22, 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 here for you, for free, live on SOFII now. Please click on the active links below. 

Please also see the 6Ps document, a summary of CDE’s main findings, which is downloadable here.

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

SOFII’s special video series focuses on fundraising as it should be, while recognising what goes so badly wrong when it falls short. The ‘Lightbulb Moments’ series has built 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.

Click here for The Botton Village story: the cradle of relationship fundraising. Plus here for an introduction to the lightbulb moments. Then follow the links below for all 32 LBMs plus 12 ‘context’ videos that will help to set the content in context. 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

The 44 films in this video series 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.

Mostly the videos in this series 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.

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.


About the author: Ken Burnett

Ken Burnett

Ken Burnett is author of Relationship Fundraising and other books including The Zen of Fundraising, (Jossey-Bass Inc, San Francisco, USA). The Tiny Essentials of an Effective Volunteer Board and Storytelling can change the world, both published by The White Lion Press, UK

In 2021, he wrote and published a book about campaigning fundraising, The essence of Campaigning Fundraising in 52 exhibits and 199 web links.

Ken co-founded SOFII with his late wife Marie and served as a trustee before retiring from the SOFII board in 2022.

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