The Hershey’s Kisses Approach

February 11, 2013

hersheyIf you think your nonprofit can’t be successful in fundraising campaigns like the 36-Hour Giving Challenge because you don’t have “wealthy” donors in your database, let’s park that assumption.

This is a campaign for all causes (with profiles in The Giving Partner), all nonprofit budget sizes and all donors.

Allow me to share the love for one of my favorite treats, Hershey’s kisses.

We occasionally keep a bag of Hershey’s kisses on hand in our house, thinking just one of them will tide us over after dinner and be so much more healthy than a giant dessert.

Inevitably, that one kiss turns into several, and sometimes when we tally the pile of empty foil wrappers, we realize we have consumed significantly more calories than we would have by eating a full-sized candy bar (or two).  You’re with me on this one, right?

It’s my enthusiasm for Hershey’s kisses that keeps me going back to the bag…and keeps other family members wanting to share in the chocolate feast.

Yes, there are some “big boys” out there in the world of the Giving Challenge—organizations that have major donor commitments for separate matching dollars.  If your organization isn’t one of them, we hope you don’t feel discouraged.

A few tidbits to keep in mind:

  • We have proof from last year that organizations with small operating budgets as well as nonprofits new to the scene can do exceptionally well. We saw it happen with Sarasota In Defense of Animals, UnidosNow, and others.  These agencies followed a formula of strategy + enthusiasm + extended networks + engaged supporters + perseverance.
  • There are some pretty significant grant incentives available for the organizations to get the most individuals to give, regardless of the amount each individual gives.
  • The size of a gift isn’t as important as donor loyalty. With the right stewardship on your part, gifts both continue and grow over time. (The planned giving experts of the world tell us that someone who consistently gives $25 every year is a great planned giving prospect.)

Value the donors who contribute at all levels. It’s up to you to cultivate them, listen to them and keep them committed to your organization. Their gifts make a difference. Make sure the donors know how much they matter too.

Lots of Hershey’s kisses add up, and I can assure you from personal experience, they are every bit as tasty as a king-sized candy bar.

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County


2 Responses to “The Hershey’s Kisses Approach”

  1. Anny Says:

    Wonderful article Susie!

  2. A few Hershey kisses adds up to a whole lot of calories. I like that that strategy will work for us too. Thanks for sharing.

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