Author, coach, copy-writer, nonprofit marketing consultant and political junkie, Pamela is the author of â€œFive Days to FoundationÂ Grantsâ€Â andÂ the creator ofÂ Simple Development Systems, the only online coaching program created for the overwhelmed fundraiser in the one-person marketing and development shop.
Pam segued from six years working in programming and communications at a regional grantmaking foundation to the world of fundraising in 2001.Â In her first position as a 15-hour a week development director for an agency with a $3 million dollar budget, she increased individual giving by 25% â€“ while reducing costs by 31% â€“ and increased foundation funding by an astonishing 93%! Sheâ€™s raised over $10 million in funding since then and has been positioning small nonprofit organizations on the path to sustainable funding ever sinceÂ with her â€œSimple Development Systemsâ€ of donor-centric fundraising methods.
With an eclectic 20 year background in politics, sales, marketing and philanthropy, Pamelaâ€™s greatest satisfaction lies in teaching the small community-based nonprofits how to, in her words,Â â€œmarket like the big boysâ€ with limited time and resources.
How Simple Development Systems Will Create Sustainable Funding
In the past six months my daughter has lost 45 pounds. She watches her diet, runs several times a week (sheâ€™s surpassed me â€“ a runner or over 30 years â€“ in that department!) and looks and feels amazing.
The other day I suggested to her that her experience would be prime fodder for a book, even an e-book, to help others struggling with their weight. After all, she has been struggling with her weight for over ten years and seems to have hit upon the perfect solution!
â€œAre you kidding mom?â€ she responded. â€œI lost this weight through diet and exercise! It was hard work! No one wants to hear that! Everyone wants a quick fix or a pill â€¦â€
You know what?
Lately itâ€™s occurred to me that many of us in the field of nonprofit fundraising have the same mindset.
Whenever Iâ€™ve met with potential clients, I always hear the same questions or concerns:
â€œWhat about a signature event?â€
â€œHow do you get major donors?â€
â€œHow do we use social media to raise money?â€
â€œWe tried grants a few years ago and it didnâ€™t work â€¦â€
As Charlie Brown used to say: â€œArgh!â€
What I have found, in my 14 years working in the nonprofit arena, is that organizations who commit to their development in the same way that they commit to their mission, and who establish sound fundraising systems will always have the tools at their disposal for sustainable funding.
Great development is all about systems and relationship-building. There is no magic pill. There isnâ€™t one single technique or tactic or trick that will set your organization on the path to sustainability.
Nonprofit organizations need tried and true systems â€“ systems for:
- Grants management
- Individual giving
- Donor stewardship & communications
- Website creation & management
An organization doesnâ€™t â€œtryâ€ grants one year and decide it doesnâ€™t work! Youâ€™ve got to engage the foundations, reapply, research on a consistent basis and steward the grants that you have received well.
After all, you wouldnâ€™t go the gym once, decide exercise didnâ€™t â€œworkâ€ and never return would you?
Repeat my mantra: systems and relationships, systems and relationships, systems and relationships â€¦