In the past seven years, I have had the privilege to learn from a Christian leader, Jamie Levy. Jamie is the President and Chief Vision Officer of https://jdlevyassociates.com/), which offers individuals and organizations, among other things, “strategic philanthropic consulting services.” Essentially, they have been most valuable to us as they’ve helped us think purposefully about raising up and caring for donors and volunteers for and with our ministry.
We all find ourselves with limited resources, right?! Well, in a recent newsletter, Jamie revisited research he did about 20 years ago on keys to increasing giving to an organization. His findings were the result of researching 15 different national studies on increasing giving, along with other research that had assessed thousands of donors. He narrowed all of the research down to 13 critical things that were present in all of the research, no matter what the focus of the constituency.
Over the years, Jamie has continually tested these in practice and seen many of them continually pop up in new research. Recently, he shared them with an international group of leaders. It was very impactful to them and validated by what they have observed as well.
Thus, here are the 13 influences that existed in every study. They have proven to be a good way to reflect on all that we are doing in the Church of the Nazarene, and specifically in Genesis and Global Missions ministries. I have underlined some of the key words that jump out at me from each characteristic.
1. The organization has a clear mission and case for support.
2. The organization has credibility in its philosophy and operations.
3. The public has trust in the organization.
4. People can see the vision and connect to it.
5. People served are represented and their views are expressed.
6. The organization is actively engaging the community in volunteering.
7. Core donor relationships are closely stewarded (they give 2.5 X’s more).
8. Youth and adult volunteers can have opportunities to serve together.
9. Services and programs are aligned with the need.
10. Solicitation is highly donor focused and personal.
11. Stewardship is accomplished through wise spending and keeping donor interests as a priority.
12. Offering tax deductible contributions because those that deduct give more.
13. Sharing stories of strong donor relationships with the organization and offering opportunities to engage through giving.
These are pretty helpful, right? Keep them in mind as you focus on stewarding relationships with donors and volunteers. Reflect on them with your leaders. As Jamie says, “Thankfully, old wisdom still rings true–these are still the ways we can most effectively build support for the causes we serve.”