attracting new donors

February 24, 2016

Cliff worked for 23 years as a photojournalist, editor and assistant bureau chief at The Associated Press, where he covered top stories around the world while seeing his photographs published in thousands of newspapers. In 2007 he made a hard left turn in his career and became the interim executive director of Literacy Kansas City, a non-profit that teaches adults how to read. He then joined the staff of the Heartland Men’s Chorus as development director in October 2008.


Yes, millennials are a valued demographic cohort that deserve your attention in marketing and fund development, but never at the expense of those who are your traditional and loyal audience members and donors.

The best salespeople for Heartland Men’s Chorus, or any organization, are members, volunteers and staff who have a passion for the services or products they create and deliver.

Keep good statistics to satisfy the left-brained folks who need quantifiable measurements to determine the effectiveness of your organization. Yes, they still need to hear a good story, but they will want to know how many people are served by your organization, how much does it cost to provide those services, and what are the demographics of those served.


EVERYONE does development. Remember, it’s not just asking people for money. Rather, it’s developing relationships, which can be done in so many ways. Tell a compelling story. Take someone out to lunch. Shake hands and give an elevator speech. Listen and learn what matters to someone. Host a reception at your home.

Collaborate. Team up with another organization that when your efforts are combined, the results are greater than the sum of the parts. Fans/supporters of the other organization get to know your group, and vice versa. And corporate and foundation funders like to see collaborative efforts.