Hi! Thanks for joining me on this fundraising journey. This is the first in a series where we’ll be talking about various aspects of the fundraising process. Rather than diving into details, I’d like to start with an overview of the process. For each video in this series, you’ll be given the option to watch the video or read the transcript – your preference!

Here’s the transcript:

If you’ve ever been involved in sales or marketing, you probably recognize this sales funnel. While there are some significant differences between sales and fundraising, there are several similarities as well – and that’s why I’ve borrowed the funnel to help provide that overview.

The first stage of fundraising is to help people become aware of who you are and the work you do. If no one knows who your organization is, then no one will contribute. Building awareness can take many forms: personal conversations, giving talks to different groups, advertising, sending direct mail, and many other.

The second stage is to engage people in the work you do. This can be by volunteering, but it could also be as simple as learning more about your organization through a newsletter or regular email you send out.

The final stage is asking. In a survey of donors a few years ago, over 90% said that the primary reason they gave was because someone asked. And the truth is, if we don’t ask, people assume that the money part is all taken care of. We need to communicate the need for funds clearly. But please be clear that asking is not begging. You’ll notice that the funnel gets a little smaller at each stage. That’s because some people opt out at each stage, leaving you with just those who are most engaged and interested in partnering with you.

That’s it for today. In our next installment we’ll talk more about asking.