Just to clarify what we're currently doing:

* we have a donor database meeting Rand's criteria
* we thank donors
* we don't yet have tax deductibility

So we are at least on the right lines.

Currently the system is manual though it's potentially automatable in the
future. Tango's has suggested moving to CiviCRM which is another
possibility. (Almost certainly desirable in the long-run, but may be
premature now.)


-----Original Message-----
From: wikimediauk-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org
[mailto:wikimediauk-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Michael Peel
Sent: 22 June 2009 23:25
To: wikimediauk-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Subject: [Wikimediauk-l] Chapter Fundraising Basics

Hi all,

Following on from a side-discussion at the last irc board meeting,  
Rand Montoya, the Foundation's Head of Community Giving, has been  
writing a "Chapter Fundraising Basics" page, which he's given  
permission for me to email around (see below). That same discussion  
also lead to tomorrow's board meeting discussion on fundraising, so  
this is aptly timed from that point of view.


==Chapter Fundraising Overview==

So you want to fundraise for your chapter? Sounds great.

This page (and related pages) are designed to be a helpful resource  
for helping your chapter fundraise.  It should be noted that all  
chapters will fundraise differently as every country and culture is  
different.  Approaches that will work in one area won't work in  
another.  I hope to have Chapter input on different successes and  
failures so that we may share knowledge.

In the end, you want to keep this theme in mind when you think about  
fundraising for your chapter:  "Treat the donor as they wish to be  
treated."  It's a variant on the Golden Rule...but one that all  
chapters will need to explore and test and figure out how your donors  
want to be asked and how you can invite them to join the cause so  
that they give again.

This page is not for discussing whether or not your chapter *should*  
fundraise.  That discussion is for another page.   This page is for  
discussing how to chapter fundraise.

However, if your chapter is going to fundraise, there are several  
requirements:  a donor database, tax deductability in your country  
(if applicable), and a commitment to steward your donors.  If a  
chapter is not ready or not willing to take do the minimum steps,  
then that chapter is probably not able to fundraise and resources  
should be placed into other areas.

==Fundraising Goal==

Some people thing the goal of fundraising is raising money...they are  
only partially correct.  The goal of professional fundraising is a  
combination of 3 things:   1) selling/marketing the good work your  
organization does, 2) convincing donors to give to your organization,  
and 3) thanking that donor and reporting what your organization has  
done so that the donor will give again (cultivation).

Fundraising is about building a relationship of trust and information  
with your donors so that they feel their donation is going to a  
trustworthy cause and making an impact in the world.

==Donor Database==

The donor database is a tool that allows you to track donors (and  
donor information), their donations, *AND* your communications with  
them.  There are many different donor databases (it's quite a  
lucrative industry here in the States)...the Wikimedia Foundation  
Inc. uses [http://www.civicrm.org CiviCRM] which is a [http:// 
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_and_Open_Source_Software FOSS] solution.   
Some smaller organizations will use a modified Excel (or similar) or  
Access database (or similar) to track donor information.

At the minimum, a donor database captures the following information:

Donor Information:

* First Name
* Middle Name
* Last Name
* Gender/Sex
* Address Lines/Postal Codes (as appropriate to your country and any  
donors you plan on courting)
* Email Address(es)
* Relational Codes (Groups, Tags, Familial relationships, Work  
relationships etc.)
* Contact Codes ("No email"=donor does not want any emails, "no  
mail"=do not mail this donor, "no events"=donor not interested in  
events, etc.)

Donation Information:

* Gift Date
* Gift Amount
* Payment Type (cash, in-kind, stock, other)
* Payment Method (currency, check, bank transfer, paypal, EFT, etc.)
* Gift Notes
* Donation Restrictions (see Our Responsibility, below)
* Date that acknowledgment communication was sent

==Fundraising Basics==

* Suppose you just want to fundraise right now, what are the steps?
# Set up your donor database.
# Set up your payment processing into the donor database.  Test  
# Have a nice thank you email/letter process for when a donation  
comes in.   All donors MUST be thanked!
# Begin collecting addresses (home or email) from your supporters..at  
events or from donations or sign ups.
# Work on your messaging...what story, project, or event are you  
going to use to show your impact to the world and the donor?
# Prepare a communication with your donors...via email or postage mail.

* Develop compelling, understandable reasons why your donors should  
* Be very open about what the money is to be used for and explain the  
impact to the world.  (Specifically to WMF fundraising, we need to be  
very clear to our donors about what they are giving to:  be it  
Wikipedia or a WM Chapter.)
* Make it easy to give...figure out how your donors in your country  
want to give, and offer those methods.
* We *CANNOT* accept donations restricted for services we do not  
offer.   For example, we can accept money for Wikipedia.   We cannot  
accept a donation to be used directly to provide internet and  
Wikipedia access to hurricane survivors.   If it's not something we  
do (or are actively planning to do), we need to return the money or  
ask the donor's permission to re-purpose the gift.  If a donor offers  
us a restricted gift, we must honor that intent or return the money.
* In general, do *NOT* email/mail prospective donors who have not  
shown interest in your Chapter.  In short, don't spam.  One a donor  
gives money, sure...feel free to ask them for money in the future.   
If a user attends a Wikiversity workshop and signs up for the Chapter  
newsletter, you can also ask those people for money.
* Always check out how other well-established non-profits in your  
country fundraise?  In what ways can donors make gifts?  What does  
their donation page look like?  What is the privacy policy? Well  
known world wide non-profits include:
** [http://www.ICRC.org International Committee of the Red Cross]
** [http://creativecommons.org/international/ Creative Commons  
** [http://www.greenpeace.org/international/ Greenpeace]

==Major Gifts==

Major Gifts refer to larger gifts made by individuals.  The monetary  
amount differs from organization to organization (usually $1000 and  
up) but the main difference between a major gift and a community gift  
is that a major gift is cultivated on a personal one-on-one basis.  A  
major gift donor has a relationship with a staff person or volunteer,  
and that donor can sometimes serve in a volunteer leadership position  
within the organization.

Major gift prospects are usually uncovered by 1) scanning your  
current donor lists for anyone with greater capacity, 2) referrals  
from your current donors and other stakeholders, or 3) researching  
potential funders utilizing purchased databases and other means.

WMF staff are happy to assist you in developing your major gift  


The Wikimedia Foundation expects that every chapter that is  
fundraising has policies for ensuring that donor data is safe and  
secure.  Any basic donor privacy agreement includes the following  
concepts/protections (copied from the [http://www.afpnet.org/ka/ 
ka-3.cfm?content_item_id=9988 Association of Fundraising  

The Donor Bill of Rights

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is  
a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of  
life. To ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the  
general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full  
confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked  
to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

*I. To be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the  
organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to  
use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
*II. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the  
organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise  
prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
*III. To have access to the organization's most recent financial  
*IV. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for  
which they were given.
*V. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
*VI. To be assured that information about their donation is handled  
with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
*VII. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing  
organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
*VIII. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers,  
employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
*IX. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from  
mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
*X. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to  
receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.

The donor policy should be readily visible on your Chapter donation  
page and in any online appeal.

The Wikimedia Foundation will never, ever buy or sell donor names or  
information...neither should you.


*WMF:  https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/internal/wiki/ 
Fundraising_committee/Donor_privacy_policy (admittedly, pretty  
hideous if you're a donor...we'll clean it up for the next  
fundraiser, make it more specific for donors)
*WM DE:  "http://wikimedia.de/index.php?id=81";

==Random Notes==

===Thank You Letter:===
It's very important to have a nice, short, clean Thank You letter/ 
email for your donors
# Donors should receive a thank you letter/email no longer than 48  
hours after their donation.
# The thank you letter/email should include: the donation date and  
amount, several and repeated "thank yous", and reporting on how your  
Chapter is going to efficiently use the money.
# It's also nice to exhort the donor on how their donation is  
changing the world and helping people.
# Always include a link to your Chapter page or place where the donor  
can go for more information.
# As needed, include tax deductibility information.
# Provide a place/way the donor can ask questions/get help.

# There are two types of events: fundraising and cultivation.  
Fundraising events make money for your organization, often by selling  
tickets, securing sponsorship, hosting an auction, etc... Cultivation  
events are usually free of charge, and the goal is to increase  
awareness and future donations to the organization.
# Give your attendees both the options to support/donate to the  
cause...but also *reasons* to support the cause.
# Always ask for email addresses!  Collect them at every  
opportunity.   Be sure to explain that the addresses will be used to  
share Chapter information and newsletters.

Chapter are STRONGLY discouraged from fundraising outside their  
country(ies)...especially in competition with another Chapter's  
donors.  However, in this virtual world, those lines can be difficult  
to see.  To avoid problems, use the following guidelines:
#  Do not direct mail outside your local geographic area unless you  
have specific permission from the donor.
#  Make your donation appeals very clear to the donor where their  
donation would go.  In fact, let me stress that all Chapters (and the  
Foundation) need to be clear to any potential donor where their  
donation is going and what the money would be used for.
#  If you have questions about an online fundraiser, please feel free  
to contact [[user:Rand Montoya|Rand Montoya]] to discuss possible  

===Finding new donors:===
The lifeblood of any non-profit is the donor pool and finding ways to  
motivate potential donors into being donors.  Best approaches include:
# Have a clear active presence in your community.
# Collecting email addresses and names at every opportunity:  every  
event, training, or gathering.
# Having a place for potential donors to sign up for newsletter online.

===Crafting a email ask:===
You'll find many articles online about how to write an appeal.  It's  
very likely that an approach that works for one Chapter will not be  
as successful as another Chapter's.  However, I believe the following  
tips apply across cultures:
#  Be passionate and positive in your messaging.
#  Do not be afraid to ask for money or support.
#  Be very clear about what you will do with the donation.  Explain  
clearly what the donation how the money will be used and what impact  
it will have on the world/society.
#  Use '''*bold*''' print to highlight key points.
#  Keep it simple and as short as possible.
#  Test different versions to see which works better for your group.
#  Always provide ways for donors to get more information.
#  Read online for better approaches!  There are thousands of words  
on this topic.
#  The WMF fundraising staff is happy to help you with your appeal.

==Foundation and Other Resources==

*In general, the Wikimedia Foundation is open to help Chapters  
fundraise.  Resources include:
** [[user:Rand Montoya|Rand Montoya]] Head of Community Gifts:   
General questions about fundraising, donor databases, email appeals,  
and Foundation fundraising policy.
** Rebecca Handler, Head of Major Gifts: Major Gift  
cultivation...anytime you have a lead on a Major Donor, feel free to  
contact Rebecca for help.  She can arrange meetings with Sue, Erik,  
and Jimmy as needed.
** Anya Shyrokova, Development Associate:  CiviCRM expert and general  
fundraising knowledge.
* [http://www.gpaumier.org/blog/229_five-fundraising-tips-for- 
wikimedia-chapters/  Guillom's 5 Tips for Chapters] A most excellent  
guide to Chapter fundraising.
* Need help setting up your CiviCRM database, this might help:   
[[CiviCRM_Gift_Coding]].  It's how we code our gifts at the foundation.

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