Bingo is a game of chance in which players match the numbers called out by the game host with the numbers on their cards. Variations of the game are based on the patterns created on the card by the marked numbers.
Bingo is one of the few forms of legal gambling in the state of Texas. However, state law only allows for certain organizations to conduct bingo games and the proceeds are only to be used for charitable purposes. Also, local elections, either in the county, justice of the peace precinct or municipality, must be held to approve bingo games in the specific jurisdiction.
Bingo is a fun game and can be a fundraiser, but you don’t want your fundraising strategy to be a game of chance.
Successful fundraising is organized and strategic. As professional fundraisers we are guided by best practices around the donor cycle: identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
Identification: finding new donors
We all know that it’s cheaper to keep a donor than to find a new one. Start your identification step by analyzing your LYBNTs (Last Year Bun Not This year) and SYBNTs (Some Year But Not This year). Then try the following tactics to identify brand new donors.
Ask your board, volunteers, and donors you know to introduce their circle of friends to your organization.
Network. Attend events and other functions where you can meet new people.
Host cultivation events.
Do your new prospective donors have a propensity or track record of philanthropic giving? Do they have an affinity for your mission? Do they have the financial capacity to give? A lot of information can be gleaned from public records. Do your research.
This is where you and the prospective donor get to know each other. Face-to-face visits, tours of your facility, and small events are three of the best methods.
Solicitation: The Ask
Most of the people you cultivate will know you are going to eventually ask them for financial support. Don’t disappoint them.
Stewardship: see previous blog HERE for examples
The final phase of the donor cycle is stewardship. This is a process that begins when a donation is given and involves meeting the donor’s intentions before moving them into the cultivation phase. I feel stewardship is the most important part of fundraising.
Unlike bingo, fundraising is not a game of chance, but can be fun and meaningful for both the nonprofit and donors.
Michelle Crim, CFRE
Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching, grant writing, and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in small to mid-size organizations because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.