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Donor Cultivation and the Donor Lifecycle Map: A New Framework for Fundraising

ISBN: 978-1-118-60378-9
240 pages
October 2013
Donor Cultivation and the Donor Lifecycle Map: A New Framework for Fundraising (1118603788) cover image


A fresh look at fundraising that depends upon the donor lifecycle, resulting in increased financial resources over time and a more stable bottom line for nonprofits

A guide to better and more strategic fundraising, Donor Cultivation and the Donor Life Cycle Map presents the donor lifecycle map, which is circular in form, revealing how the convergence of the two subject matters—cultivation and the lifecycle map—can lead to better and more strategic fundraising. Author Deborah Kaplan Polivy specifically addresses the topic of cultivation and how, when focused over the donor lifecycle, it can become a logical and focused activity for obtaining increasingly large gifts.

  • Step-by-step guidance and practical tools for understanding and making the most of the donor lifecycle
  • Coverage includes Introduction to Donor Cultivation, Defining Donor Cultivation, Donor Cultivation Tools and the Donor Lifecycle: How and Where They Intersect, and Impediments to the Implementation Process
  • Features a companion website with a variety of online tools to help readers implement key concepts
  • Part of the Wiley Nonprofit Authority Series

Donor Cultivation and the Donor Life Cycle Map seeks to change the perspective from transactional fundraising to recurring fundraising, beginning with the first donation and extending to the very last—an endowment that keeps on giving even after death.

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Table of Contents

Foreword v

Preface vii

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

And So This Book 3

1 Defining Donor Cultivation 5

The Donor Lifecycle Map 7

Why Focus on All Three Goals of Cultivation? 10

The Lifecycle Map as a Framework for Thinking about Donor Cultivation 13

Summary 16

2 Increasing Donor Diversity 17

Increasing Diversity Decreases Risk 17

Illustrating the Numbers 20

Summary 25

3 Building a Foundation 27

Highlight the Mission and How to Achieve It 28

Take Advantage of a Strategic Plan 33

Build a Top-Notch Back Room 35

Summary 40

4 Utilizing Personal Donor Cultivation Tools 43

Personal Donor Cultivation Tools 48

Summary 78

5 Applying Nonpersonal Donor Cultivation Tools 81

Nonpersonal Donor Cultivation Tools 81

Summary 113

6 The Intersection of Donor Cultivation Tools and the Donor Lifecycle Map 115

Cultivation Tools for Obtaining the First Gift 116

Cultivation Tools for Obtaining the Second Gift 120

Moving Second Gift to Second-Year Active 127

Multiyear Active 129

Major or Stretch Giving 133

Ultimate Giving 135

Summary 140

7 Determining Priorities among Donors 143

The Donor Pyramid 145

Age 148

Gender 155

Summary 160

8 Impediments to Change 163

The Culture of Philanthropy and the Role of the Executive Director 163

The Board as an Obstacle to Change 170

Summary 172

9 A Case Study in Effecting Change 175

A Little Background Information 176

The Interview 178

Summary 186

10 (Re)engaging Lapsed Donors 189

Drivers of Donor Loyalty 191

The Reasons Donors Stop Giving 194

How to Identify the Reason for Stopping Support 196

Classifying Lapsed Donors 197

Developing an Effective Reactivation Program 200

Applying the Proper Tools 201

Who Should Reactivate the Donor and How? 204

Identifying and Reactivating Ultimate-Giving Prospects 205

Summary 206

11 The Donor Lifecycle Map and Cultivation Tools 207

Feasibility of Effecting Change 210

Summary 215

About the Author 217

About the Companion Website 219

Index 221

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Author Information

Deborah Kaplan Polivy, PhD, Fundraising Consultant

"Thank you for what I thought was the best donor cultivation presentation that I've ever heard. It was very clear that you had real-life examples from the wealth of experience you shared with us," wrote one Jewish Federation president after listening to Deborah Kaplan Polivy.

Deborah began her professional career at Allied Jewish Community Services in Montreal, Quebec, and then helped establish two successful Jewish Federation foundations and also served as the Director of Total Financial Resource Development for the New Haven Federation. She was the Director of Development of Goodspeed Musicals, the originator of Annie. She has served as a research associate at Yale University's Program on Nonprofit Organizations where she conducted studies on the United Way and corporate charitable payroll deduction programs. She has taught at McGill University, Smith and Trinity (Hartford) colleges, and has published numerous articles on fundraising and the nonprofit sector.

As a consultant, she has participated in several successful solicitations and trained many fundraising professionals on how to succeed in their positions, and she has led numerous workshops on the Role of the Board, particularly as it relates to fundraising. While she addresses all kinds of resource development, her specialty is endowment, and one of her favorite articles is "Annual Gift, Endowment Gift, or Both?," which appeared in Planned Giving Today. She has consulted with numerous organizations representing various fields of service. Her doctoral degree is from The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, and her website is www.deborahpolivy.com.

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