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Fundraising Rules 2021

Fundraising Rules Today? Some Things Don’t Change

2020 has certainly been a year for the record books. Everything may feel upside down in our personal and professional lives. For nonprofits, it’s important to remember that fundraising best practices remain the same. Drawing from my over 30 years as a fundraising consultant, here are my nonprofit fundraising rules to live by:

Justin’s Nonprofit Fundraising Rules to Live By (in Any Economy):

  1. People give to people. It’s as simple as that.
  2. Are you meeting people — even virtually — so when it’s time to ask, they’ll be ready? Are you thinking like a donor? What do they want to know about you? It’s a great time for proof-of-performance communication.
  3. Value and foster existing donors above and beyond new ones. When was the last time you thanked those who have made living your mission possible?
  4. Focus on the organization and its needs. How recent is your strategic plan? When was the last time you determined your strengths, problems, opportunities and threats?
  5. Be proud of the work you do and the cause. It’s a great time to build the skills of your staff and board.
  6. Keep asking. It’s number one of the nonprofit fundraising rules. You must continue with your mission and there are donors who wish to give to you. Provide them the opportunity — but ask softly.

As a nonprofit, you know why you do what you do. It’s why we at AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising do it, too. Together, we will find a way to succeed in nonprofit fundraising.

Written by:

When Justin and AMPERAGE first met, Justin was one of the agency’s clients. Now, as a fundraising consultant on the other side of the table, Justin helps AMPERAGE’s nonprofit clients get results. Renowned for not being too pushy because he’s worked in the fundraising trenches himself, Justin relates to, listens to and understands clients’ unique needs. A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Justin has long-established relationships with foundations and corporate funders and knows the ins and outs of running a successful fundraising campaign. A journalism graduate of the University of Iowa, Justin began his career in Germany as an intern with Stars and Stripes newspaper for the armed forces. Upon his return stateside, he worked as sports editor for the Ottumwa Courier. He charted a new career course with a communications position at Lutheran Mutual/Century Life of America (now CUNA Mutual) insurance company and then a public relations and fundraising position with Lutheran Services in Iowa/Bremwood — before ultimately joining AMPERAGE. Justin has been a writer throughout his career and is a contributing author to two books: “Successful Capital Campaigns: From Start to Finish” and “Nonprofit Consulting Playbook: Winning Strategies from 25 Leaders in the Field.” He is a member and past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Eastern Iowa Chapter, which honored Justin as 2015 Outstanding Fundraising Professional. He is also a member of the Eastern Iowa Planned Giving Council. Justin is also active in the community through organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement and Waverly-Shell Rock United Way. As an avid Chicago Cubs fan, Justin’s favorite holiday is opening day of the Major League Baseball season. That may explain his collection of old baseball cards and why he can name the entire 1965 team roster of the Minnesota Twins.