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.

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

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

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.


More lightbulb moments coming soon

Three more of the 32 ‘lightbulb moments’ short videos will go live on SOFII from March 15th. At the same time SOFII will also be adding two more ‘context-setting’ videos. In just three minutes, video 0.6 Three definitions of fundraising shows how our understanding of the fundraiser’s role has evolved, changing fundamentally in recent years. And 0.7 Fundraising’s problems and how we’ll overcome them explains the catastrophe that struck UK fundraising in 2015, and the response that began to coalesce around the Commission on the Donor Experience. The next three ‘lightbulb moments’ are perhaps among the most important realisations of all, for fundraisers now.

Lightbulb moments 9-11

9. Leadership, the donor-centred way.  What kind of leadership increases the chances that a charity will operate in a donor-centred way? Why our leaders have to act differently, to change their organisation’s culture. Whole organisation fundraising defined, and why your board and senior management team have to get involved in being the change. How to find and build your dream. And how to avoid the same old dull way of doing things. 13.11 minutes.

10. Vulnerable people and how to deal with them appropriately. The more generous a donor is, the more he or she will be targeted. Why a policy on vulnerability is not enough. 1.57 minutes.

11. The power of words to take you right to the heart of your donors. Why communication is the fundraiser’s most important skill and how to do it better, to make your donors’ experience unforgettable. The best word in fundraising. And why fundraisers so often offend. 3.07 minutes.

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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