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‘Fundraising Campaign’ American expert, John Klocke, reveals secret behind management

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‘Fundraising Campaign’ American expert, John Klocke, reveals secret behind management

American professor and fundraising expert, Mr. John Klocke of St. John Paul II, North Dakota, USA, has said that it’s the fundraising campaign that is measured that gets managed. He made this known at the recent Jacksonites Professional Development series (JPDS) workshop on fundraising for higher institutions in Nigeria held virtually, recently.

Klocke who was one of the facilitators at the workshop drew from his 30 years of experience in fundraising for educational institutions and pointed out that measuring key fundraiser indicators before and after a campaign is vital in revealing to an organization the right audience to focus their campaign.

According to him, four questions that can be used to measure a campaign are: what’s the total number of donors for each year? What’s the total number of gifts? What’s the most popular fund or project donors gave to? What was the average gift size?

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He further explained that the answer to these questions reveals trends that should help a fundraising team channel their energy to the 20% of donors that gave 80% of the donation.

“Today’s donors are very selective about the charity they give to and when you identify the top 20 percent that gave the most of the donations, you should spend the most of your time with them appreciating their gift, communicating your vision, and the impact of their funds. Handwritten notes from a prominent member of your organization or community, honoring them at your special events, periodic newsletters, or a personal visit or two are ways to maintain your relationship with them. For 80% of the donors, you can use other mass media channels of reaching out to them.” Mr. Klocke said.

In his presentation, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Prof Bartho Okolo explained that the benefit of fundraising is not just securing money; but an avenue for an institution to clearly articulate its strategic plan, get advice from their benefactors, get visibility for the institutions, and positively impact the community.

Further, he stated that fundraising should be built on the foundation of research which helps articulate strategic needs and priorities for the institution, create designs and costs for projects, create different options for donors, justify the need for the project and its potential impact on the institution’s community and surrounding environs, clarify donors expectations and needs, develop reward mechanism for donors and form strong corporate partnerships.

In his words, Prof Okolo said, “Fundraising has become a science, it’s no longer simple philanthropy. Those people you want to donate to you, have their needs. Research their needs and see if there is any way that your institution can assist them in lessening their own burdens.”

Highlighting some of his successes in fundraising such as Olympic size Myrtha swimming pool N450 Million; 5 in 1 indoor squash court N120 Million; Ibeto Medical Diagnostic & Wellness Centre, UNEC N500 Million, he emphasised that when it comes to fundraising it “depends on the approach, justification of the needs, selection of the project and impact of the project.”

“You cannot believe how willing these men (members of the National Assembly) are ready to engage in this type of investment once they are convinced that it’s necessary, will impact the community and there won’t be an abuse of resources.” He added.

Ahmed Bello University, Zaria Professor of Broadcasting, Professor Ladi Sandra Adamu, who discussed cases of fundraising campaigns in Nigerian higher education and secondary school, identified weak alumni networks, lack of alumni database, incomplete funding, lack of community participation, disagreement among stakeholders, and weak after-fundraiser relationship management as the challenges facing fundraising campaign for higher institutions in Nigeria.

She recommended that schools and the federal government should develop a responsive national fundraiser policy and maintain a commitment to fundraising in Nigeria education as a means of ensuring adequate funds for education funding beyond federal allocation.

In a similar development, emeritus professor of Strategic communication, North Dakota State University, Prof Charles Okigbo stated that the capital campaign is very fundamental to solving Nigeria’s higher education problem. “We can’t continue to depend on the federal government; not even on the state government it’s about time we involve alumni, philanthropists, foundations, communities, and various other groups as it’s the case in the US.”

He further explained that the key to a successful fundraising campaign is that it must be strategic, not accidental and haphazardly executed.

He added that at the root of every fundraising campaign is the right assembly of the needed human resources that will get the work done, and the starting point of assembling the right human resources for a donor campaign is scanning the environment for potential donors. Further, he suggested that the snowball, which involves asking a donor to suggest other potential donors, the technique can be used to increase the number of donors.

Professor Kelly Sassy of the North Dakota State University, who is a grant proposal writing expert with 99% success rate, stated that proposal writers are not just fundraisers for their organization but are equally change makers.

She emphasised the place of research in grant proposal writing saying that research should not be limited to the problem you are trying to solve but should include the best technology and approach to solving the problem you are getting funds for and highlight how your vision aligns with the donor organization. “A strategic aspect of grant proposal writing is to highlight the intersection between your organization and the donors,” she added.

In her opening Remark, The chairperson of the Steering Committee, Professor Chinedu Mba of Algonquin College who said that the workshop was inspired by the request of the participants in the March edition of the seminar.

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