The Problem with Fundraising Integration is …

Let me ask you this question: when you take a bird’s eye view of your charity’s fundraising program,

Let me ask you this question: when you take a bird’s eye view of your charity’s fundraising program, is it truly integrated?

Is it structured in a way that puts beneficiaries and donors at the centre of everything you do?

Have donor journeys been designed with the intent to eventually engage them in a legacy conversation?

The word integration is used liberally in conferences and presentations but what are we *really* talking about? The Oxford Dictionary definition is ….. no no no, just kidding, I’m not going there!

What I’m referring to by integration is involving every area of the organization to weigh in and be part of designing an experience for the charity’s beneficiaries, donors, volunteers and staff that reflects its mission, values and objectives. Does this mean developing everything we do in a committee? Absolutely not, that doesn’t help. What it means is that key relevant internal stakeholders are invited to provide input and to decide the role they will play in reaching the organization’s goals. 

Unfortunately, what often happens is that the prospect of engaging in future legacy conversations with donors isn’t factored in the way organizations generate new leads, convert and retain donors.  

Why is this important for legacies?

A truly integrated fundraising program that enables legacies to be successful will:

  1. View every new donor as a prospective legacy donor in the future
  2. Offer responsive donor journeys based on data and insights, not gut feelings and opinions
  3. Use legacies as a retention tool
  4. Continually communicate, using various channels, the impact and the numerous ways donors are supporting the mission
  5. Offer donors multiple ways to remain engaged, whether that be through giving, volunteering, or promoting the organization’s programs
  6. Offer value to donors so they remain engaged and passionate about the mission
  7. Reflect the donor’s interests, passions, and needs

Regardless of how developed your legacy program is, these are some of the fundamental ways you can ensure that your fundraising structure contributes to future legacy success. Does it mean your program won’t be successful without these points? Of course not, but ensuring your fundraising program is integrated will make it easier to truly engage with donors in a meaningful way and to raise the legacy funds your organization needs.

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