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What does Community Organizing Have to do with Fundraising?


Need some more donors? Of course, you do.

But not just any donor will do.

It’s important to find donors who will be with you for the long haul. Donors who are committed to your mission and who share your organizational values.

Organizers and advocates have taught us so much about building a base of support that can fuel fundraising. To be honest, our fundraising changed completely once we started applying these tested strategies.

It takes organized money and organized people to create the power for change. And a strong base of support is key to unlocking both.



Base building is the process of creating and nurturing a community of individuals who are committed to a common cause. It's the essential "top of the funnel" opportunities for supporters to make their way into deeper involvement with your organization.

All you need to build your base is an opportunity for folks to engage with your mission in a way that is:


🌟 Regularly recurring. "Every first Friday" or a pre-posted list of times on your website.


🌟 Easy for staff to deliver. Keep content brief, clear and consistent each time, changing only 5-10% to include the newest updates or needs for your mission.


🌟 Compelling and inviting. Share your values/vision/mission, what it takes to fund it, and your goals for introducing more people. Throughout, engage your audience so that they think about the systems at play and how they feel about those systems.


🌟 Easy to follow up. Call or email people who attend (you'll need to have their consent to do this) and ask them if they will invite someone to the next one to spread the word.

We call these kind of non-fundraising base building sessions "Community Engagement Opportunities" or CEO's. They are a tried-and-true donor acquisition system that offers an open door and warm welcome to all who are interested – then helps you stay connected with those who choose to engage when you ask them to.

And the final secret to their success? Start with who is already in. Identify those folks who talk about your mission to others and give time (and maybe money too). Ask them to build this with you and give their feedback as you go.

New donors and supporters are out there for you. Think like an organizer to start bringing them into your mission to build power for change.


Want more?


 

Base Building for Values-Based Fundraising


If you'd like a guide to begin or improve your donor acquisition and base-building for fundraising, let's talk. We’ll help you build your own Community Engagement Opportunity and integrate it into your fundraising practice. You choose the level of support.

We can offer right-sized guidance to meet a tight budget or jump in with the heavy-lifting to develop your messaging, identify and coach speakers, script your Community Engagement Opportunity, and write the invitations. We’ll coach you through the follow-up and your engagement strategies for new supporters, including drafting the appeal that invites their first financial gift.




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