Question for stretched-thin fundraisers struggling to connect with donors and secure the major gifts your organizations expect from you to survive:
What if you could get the strategic support you need to get out the door and meet (or exceed!) your goals for 2023?
Would you be willing to climb off the transactional treadmill and go all-in on a connection-based approach to closing major gifts this year?
Here’s why I hope you’re sitting there, enthusiastically nodding your head:
Whether you’re aiming to:
→ Secure one $50,000 gift from an existing donor or 12 x $5,000 gifts from new donors
→ Raise $5 million by December 31, or
→ Double the donations you’ve received so far this year
The end of the year is THE most crucial season for fundraisers.
More than 40% of annual major gifts will be made in the next few months.
The question is:
Will they be made to you?
Because whether you’re running a small team of fundraisers or more of a solo shop...
Now is your chance to move existing donors up your ladder.
Now is your moment to invite your current prospects to give in a significant way.
Now is the time to start building both a plan and strategies to grow donor relationships for Fall 2023…
Unless you already know exactly how you’re going to approach this season with a strategic plan that actually gets you OUT the door of your office and in front of the right people at the right time…
I suggest you keep reading…
Because what follows could mean the difference between:
You, confidently calling to thank donors in late December, and you, missing your moment and spending the rest of the year wondering why no one will return your calls
There are only a few more months left in 2023 —
So if you’re struggling to connect with donors and close the gifts your organization needs…
The time to act is now!
In the current economic climate, fundraisers are facing more challenges than ever:
On top of the same-old organizational difficulties:
- Breaking away from the rest of your calendar-centric workload to spend time developing relationships with major donors
- Connecting with a portfolio of donors who won’t respond to anyone but your Executive Director
- Identifying the (true) capacity of your prospects
- A boss who doesn’t understand what motivates people to give
- Getting OUT the door of your office and then getting your foot IN the door with donors
You also need to recognize the fact that:
➔ People are Zoomed out — yet still less keen to take in-person meetings
➔ Donors’ portfolios might not be performing as well as they’d anticipated, and
➔ We have no freaking clue what the next few months might throw at us
One thing we do know for sure?
Donors are still giving.
Money is still flowing.
Nonprofits are still receiving meaningful - even transformational - major gifts from individuals who care about their cause.
If right now you’re thinking,
“They may be giving, but they’re not giving to me...”
Here are 3 reasons you might be right
(and how to fix them in time to smash your year-end goals):
1. You’re still treating your donors like walking ATMs
If the only time you’re reaching out to the people in your portfolio is when you need them to send a gift…
Don’t be surprised if they don’t drop everything to give you a meeting when you’re ready to ask about their end-of-year gift.
When it comes to major gifts, donors want to feel connected to the impact that their gifts made. And that means you need to nurture that connection with them at multiple points throughout the year.
How do you do this without being annoying (especially when you’ve got so much else on your plate)?
You orient all your activities around a connection-based approach and craft nurturing and stewardship strategies that help keep your mission top of mind.
2. You’re stuck playing catch-up instead of confidently leading the conversation
Closing major gifts may be your job, but donors have their own priorities. And when you procrastinate on getting in touch, following up, or keeping them informed about the impact of their gifts...
You’re missing out on valuable opportunities to continue the conversation.
I know it’s hard to figure out which activities are worth your time or where to focus your attention on any given day. Most fundraisers receive minimal real-world mentorship. Instead, you’re left on your own to piece together a plan that may or may not work.
So how do you dramatically change your day-to-day (without choosing a different career)?
You start by getting proactive and taking a strategic approach to your outreach. Not sure what that even looks like? You can take a shortcut to better days when you borrow the brain of an experienced pro who knows what works and what doesn’t.
3. Your team needs a reality check about what your job really is
Even though your #1 job is bringing in big gifts, you spend an awful lot of your time doing busy work and general admin. Your boss thinks you’re on-call for random requests, and the team members who are supposed to make your life easier seem to require a lot of time spent holding their hands.
Getting out the door and in front of donors is a bigger challenge than it should be.
Simply because you don’t have clear boundaries in place around what is and isn’t your job, or how you will and won’t spend your time.
What will solve everyone’s problems, even though right now it feels easier said than done?
You, standing up for your your priorities - fundraising!
You, clarifying your role and everyone else’s.
You, setting your team up for long-term success by implementing proven time-blocking strategies that support you reaching your goals and them reaching theirs.
The good news?
With the right mentorship and strategic support, YOU can be one of the fundraisers who closes out the year:
... confident that you’re in the right career and that you have a valuable skill set that makes you an asset to any team.
… celebrating the fact that you’ve exceeded even your own expectations about what was possible.
… and set up for success in 2023 thanks to the strategies you’ve already put in place and the relationships budding from seeds you’ve already sown.
When you take a connection-based approach to fundraising and…
Pair it with proactive strategies to get your Asks in ahead of the November-December rush, and…
Put firm boundaries in place around your priorities (securing gifts!) and your time, and…
Have a coach and accountability partner to ensure you nurture the prospects and also cultivate and steward current donors…
You can be one of the fundraisers who:
- Feels confident in any room, even when you’re there to make a direct Ask
- Knows how to push back against internal pressure to "hurry up" and “just do things the way they've always been done”
- Gets mid-level donors excited about moving up the giving ladder thanks to the bigger impact they can make
- Improves the structure, systems, and strategies in place within your organization (making your life easier while getting better results for your nonprofit)
- Forms the kind of genuine bonds with donors that get calls answered, meetings accepted, and major gifts closed
Before I dive in too deeply into how - have we met?
Hi, I'm Beth Ann Locke
I'm a major gift specialist and I help fundraisers develop customized, connection-based strategies to 10x their average gifts and catalyze impactful change.
With 30+ years of experience fundraising for nonprofits, I’ve mastered the art of creative, connection-based strategies that increase the ROI of all your fundraising efforts.
Now, I’m excited to introduce a brand new way for you to learn from my strategic know-how, actionable advice and uncanny ability to come up with creative solutions for any situation…
Beth Ann has a true gift for major gift fundraising
"Beth Ann is an exceptional leader in nonprofit fundraising with a true gift for helping organizations think through major gift fundraising. Her vast experience gives her the ability to quickly evaluate strategies and tactics for a range of donors. She gave practical steps and language for our small team. Her coaching was inspirational, supportive, and ultimately essential in our journey to connect more supporters with our mission to end human trafficking.
I'm mostly in a solo shop and we’re topping $1 million in revenue this year. So much of our recent growth and strategic focus has been supported through the wisdom and coaching of Beth Ann. I recently closed a gift for $437,000, one of the most substantial wins we’ve had with a funder I’ve been pursuing for several years. Beth Ann sees the big picture of an organization alongside the fundraising goals, and has incredibly positive energy balanced with being direct and practical in coaching. "
– Craig Nason
Development and Communications Director
Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking
Beth Ann is the most qualified coach I have ever worked with
“Beth Ann's insights during the Year-End Sprint were so valuable because she listens and hears things about the donor that fundraisers can't afford to miss.
Beth Ann speaks from decades of experience and her advice has helped me secure many estate gifts. The encouragement she has given me kept me in the arena. I always feel empowered after we have a conversation. I love learning new ways to be a better fundraiser.”
– Lorie Fees
Associate Director of Philanthropy
Children's Hope Alliance
As a fundraiser, your success has a far-reaching impact that makes the world a better place
Now, you can get the mentorship and strategic support you need to
reach your year-end goals
The Year-End Sprint
Brought to you by Beth Ann Locke, The Fundraiser Coach
A goal-oriented mentorship program for fundraisers on the rise and nonprofit leaders who want to close bigger gifts.
Learn the strategies and step-by-step processes of my connection-based approach to securing major gifts. So that you can go from feeling frazzled and overwhelmed to strategic and on the ball.
Now you can get the guidance of an experienced coach that you’ve been craving since Day 1.
Now you’ll have a clear month-by-month plan for what to do and when, in order to meet your goals (and an expert to help you troubleshoot when things go sideways).
Now you’ll finally have somewhere to go for ongoing support, whether you need a sounding board, fresh outreach ideas, or someone to coach you through how to approach a challenging ask.
You’ll learn sustainable fundraising
strategies that feels good AND will help you:
➔ Organize, plan, and prioritize your donor portfolio to make the most of your year-end efforts - with customized strategies we’ll co-create for the 15 best (or most challenging) donors on your list
➔ Start building strong relationships with your donors, for this year and beyond, so that you can get off the transactional treadmill and find the hidden gems of large gift givers already within your existing data
➔ Get donors’ attention, secure meetings, and know exactly what to say at any given time (with skills that will pay off through the giving season and beyond)
➔ Strategically manage all the other responsibilities on your plate, while still getting out the door to close major gifts.
➔ Become a catalyst for impact: Both within your organization and in terms of the major gifts you close.
Ultimately, this 4-month coaching program will give you everything you need to reach your fundraising goals, whether you want to close 25 major gifts, secure a handful of $50,000 donations, or raise another $1 million (or 10) before year-end.
The Year-End Sprint is a 4-month action and accountability-focused group coaching program that includes:
✔ A 1:1 Portfolio Assessment and Strategy Session for 60 minutes to kick things off, where we’ll create a plan for you to manage the donors and prospects in your portfolio
✔ A personal Accountability Tracker to keep you focused on donors and closing gifts
✔ Monthly Group Coaching Calls for 60 minutes where you can learn fresh skills, get the expert advice you need, and share your challenges
✔ Drop-in Monthly Office Hours – the Fundraiser Coach is in! Drop-in at your convenience for answers, support and accountability
✔ A 1:1 Private Coaching Call for 60 minutes to dig into the challenges that are coming up in your day-to-day
✔ Video trainings designed to hone your major gift fundraising skills – watch or listen at your convenience
✔ Email support for your questions
✔ “Word Tracks” aka scripts, personalized examples of exactly what you can say for every stage of your donor work
✔ A intimate community - no more than 10 per group - to share experiences, celebrations, and hear creative solutions to struggles that probably sound a lot like yours
✔ Plus, a curated selection of resources designed to help you stay focused on your goals and have the best possible chances of success
Unlike other fundraising programs that guide you through the theory but leave you to implement on your own…
The Year-End Sprint was designed to help you navigate the real-life
challenges you’ll face during this high-pressure, high-stakes time of
year — with potentially huge rewards
I know what it's like to feel like you're working off the side of your desk, letting lots of opportunities pass you by
That's why I've made sure The Year-End Sprint will offer you streamlined, responsive, strategic support as you navigate this busy giving season.
Here's how this 4-month mentorship program breaks down:
SEPTEMBER: Jumping In
This month, you and I will meet for the 1:1 Portfolio Assessment + Strategy Session create the strategy and begin to build by mapping out a month-by-month asking and thanking strategy for each of your donors.
We’ll look at your existing stewardship strategies and how they can be improved, plus keep a close eye on anything that might be preventing you from moving forward. Ask questions at our drop-in Office Hours.
Our Group Coaching Call will focus on starting nurture and cultivation activities and staying on track, plus you’ll receive a quick video training on effective stewardship strategies.
90% of your job comes down to the principles we’ll focus on this month: Connecting, Cultivating, Asking, and Staying on track. After this, you’ll find:
- You know what it means to work smarter, not harder, and you’re seeing results in the responses you’ve gotten so far
- Moving donor conversations forward feels much more natural
- You’re better able to balance all the things on your plate because you’ve set some key boundaries with your colleagues and are actually getting important tasks done
OCTOBER: Gaining Traction
By this point you’ll have meetings requested or set with approximately 50% of your portfolio, so we’ll focus on thanking those whose commitments you’ve received and alternative methods of following up with anyone who’s avoided your outreach so far. Pop by for Office Hours.
Getting ignored is par for the course! Only 1 in 3 donors will want to meet with you, as a rule of thumb. That’s why this month, on our Group Coaching Call you’ll learn creative donor engagement strategies that will benefit you for the rest of your career. We’ll look at what to do when you’re being ignored and how to get back on track if you feel like you’re falling behind.
As we transition into Q4, you’ll discover:
- Fresh ways of starting conversations, even when it feels like you’re talking to a closed door
- How to connect with donors through their HEARTS and VALUES
- What really works within my proven "word tracks" and tactics for new convo openers or moving donor conversations to close
NOVEMBER: Maximizing Momentum
With the holidays approaching, this is a tricky time of year! That’s why this month we’ll address how to manage stress and overwhelm at the same time as we establish clear next steps based on your progress so far.
On our Group Coaching Call, we’ll dig into what’s stopping you from closing gifts in conversation and you’ll get tips on how to recover when you haven’t heard back from regular givers. And we have 2 drop in Office House this month.
This month is always hard, but now you’re not alone. You’ll know:
- How to communicate with your boss about the progress you’ve made so far
- Whether to follow up (or leave it), check in, or move on when you haven’t heard from someone after multiple attempts
- The most impactful moves you can make right now to set yourself up for success in 2024
DECEMBER: Finishing Strong
As the year winds down, we’ll review your progress (celebrate!) and get clear on what’s left to be done and how you can do Future You a favor by reaching out to your Q1 donors now.
Our Group Coaching Call will focus on how to set yourself up for success, the monthly drop-in Office Hours and we’ll meet for a Wrap Up Call December 20, look back on big wins and look ahead to 2024.
Unlike any other December in your fundraising career, this year, you’ll see what it’s like to:
- Finish the year feeling like you did a great job and left it all on the field
- Get ahead of the game by creating a plan for Q1/Q2 before 2023’s even up
- Clink glasses with your boss, feeling like an absolute champ, because you’ve brought in the gifts you wanted and set your organization up for success
The Year-End Sprint will give you the experienced mentorship and strategic support you’ve been craving all along
But if you want to go even deeper, working more closely with me…
Upgrade your Year-End Sprint experience with 1:1 Coaching and
you’ll also get:
➔ 2 Additional 1:1 Private Coaching Calls with me for 60 minutes to give you the robust support you need to have your best year-end close ever
➔ Collaborate on detailed strategies for your Top 40 donors or most challenging prospects
➔ My expert eyes on your 1:1 Donor Comms – up to 5 items per month – so that your emails, short proposals, phone calls, and Asks has been curated for maximum effect
➔ Time management and managing up tips so you will smash the roadblocks and supercharge your fundraising
➔ Weekly check-ins from your coach – consider this your “Get-Out-of-Overwhelm-Fast" card
Your job is to ensure there’s money to meet the mission.
What would it mean for you to feel confident you’ll reach your goals?
How would it feel to know you don’t have to figure everything out on your own?
What if you could ask for - and receive - expert insight from an experienced fundraiser who’s closed over $75 million in gifts over the course of her fundraising career?
What if, as a result of all your work, your boss raised a glass and thanked you for everything you’ve done?
Today, that might seem like nothing but the daydream of a summer daze…
But tomorrow, you could be on your way to making that vision come true, thanks to…
The Year-End Sprint
Learn a connection-based approach to major gift fundraising, plus the stewardship and time management strategies that will transform your fundraising career.
Get a strategic month-by-month roadmap (and ongoing support as you put it into action) so that you can smash your end-of-year goals in 2023 and beyond:
Choose your Year-End Sprint experience:
Upgrade your group coaching experience with BONUS 1:1 coaching sessions and enjoy:Start your upgrade now for $725
Brought to you by The Fundraiser Coach, Beth Ann Locke.
30+ year fundraiser in the U.S. and Canada, she holds a certificate in Philanthropic Psychology with Distinction, is an AFP speaker and Certified Facilitator, as well as Dare to Lead trained.
Beth Ann is a specialist in major gifts and working with high net-worth donors and Director of the Academy at the Gail Perry Group.
Beth Ann's guidance gives me the confidence to succeed
"We made the transition to the Year-End Sprint coaching because we wanted to further our knowledge of fundraising and development on a personal level.
Beth Ann understands our needs on all levels. The Year-End Sprint isn't just about having it done for you - you work together to develop strategic plans.
Since the beginning of our coaching, we received one $1 million gift, a $250,000 donation, and $200,000 from a private foundation. We have requests in for $1.2 million from two other foundations as we embark on our largest project to date."
– Palmer Colson
Director of Development
As a result of everything that’s included in this goal-oriented mentorship program for career fundraisers with big dreams:
➔ You’ll have a wide variety of soft skills and aptitudes that will make you an asset to any team, wherever your career takes you
➔ You’ll know how to tell your team you need space to work in terms they understand — in fact, you’re now able to communicate how that’s a win for the whole team
➔ Your people will notice you seem happier at home because you no longer spend so much of your downtime worrying about how you’re going to get everything done
➔ Starting early and following a plan will start to feel like second nature — you never thought you’d be this prepared, but now that you’ve seen the results, you’re a convert to the proactive approach!
➔ You’ll recognize that some of the roadblocks standing in your way may be your own beliefs about “people with money” and we’ll talk through those feelings of imposter syndrome and build your confidence as a representative of your nonprofit
➔ When others tell you how you should “do your fundraising,” you’re able to stay calm, cool, collected, and confident in the plan we’ve developed
➔ At any given time, you’ll know how to identify the most productive steps you can take to bring in more money and close more gifts.
Ready to become the confident fundraiser who can make it rain major gifts?
"Yes, I want to smash my year-end goals and make meaningful change possible!"
The coaching sessions with Beth Ann help me close gifts or help me take the donor and their giving to the next level
"The coaching sessions with Beth Ann are so good because they help me close gifts. Or they help me move the needle to take the donor and their giving to the next level. I’m able to better connect with my donors – I have a lot of “skeptical” donors with high capacity. I’m moving many of those along
My first discovery call is always a thank you. I used to feel that donors were rejecting me; I’ve gotten over those feelings and it has helped me navigate the large volume of donors at the major gift and principal gift level. It’s also helped me become a better letter writer – I get to the point and let them know what they need (and lots of appreciation). I now write to keep it simplified and shortened. I have so much more confidence. Beth Ann, I want you to know you are fabulous. You helped me so much. You have so much knowledge and experience. I appreciate everything you guided me through."
– Barbara Mari
Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Principal Gifts
St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
Questions you might need answered before you say "YES!" to the Year-End Sprint
1. We're entering the absolute busiest time of year for our organization. How will I make time to get the most out of this mentorship program?
2. The challenges I’m facing are a lot bigger than me — how will this help me address structural issues within my organization?
3. Realistically, how much time will I need to commit to this each week?
4. I’ve been involved in major gift fundraising for a long time. Is there anything new you can teach me?
5. How can I be sure i’ll get the personalized support I need?
6. Should I choose group coaching only or upgrade to work with Beth Ann 1:1?
7. As a busy Executive Director, this is the type of support I don't have the time to give myself. Can I sign up my fundraising team?
8. I’m getting excited! Can you remind me one more time of what’s included when I sign up?
Is the Year-End Sprint right for me?
The Year-End Sprint is exactly what you need to meet (or exceed) your year-end goals IF:
- You’re new to fundraising and keen to start your career with a strong foundation in place, so that you can be an asset to your team and help shape your organization
- You’re an experienced fundraiser with some major campaigns under your belt, but you’ve noticed your old strategies aren’t working and you know you need to take a fresh approach if you want to continue to be successful in our ever-changing world
- You know that closing more major gifts is the #1 most effective way to reach your goals — and that relationship fundraising is the KEY to making that happen
- You recognize that you need to be working smarter, not harder, right now to get your organization across the finish line
- You’ve been handed a challenging portfolio of prospective and renewing donors and you’re not quite sure how to do outreach that actually gets a response
- You’re a high–performer — or you’d like to be— who’d love to have a space where you can connect with other fundraisers, talk through what you’re bumping up against, and troubleshoot your challenges
- You love the idea of having a step-by-step plan to follow for the coming months instead of spinning your wheels, struggling to identify your most high-impact tasks
If you’ve been in your job for over a year, you know how this year-end thing goes…
People get back to work in September, meetings get booked (or don’t), and faster than you can say “Happy Halloween!” the better part of fall will be over.
Before December, the die will be cast:
Donors will know who they’re meeting (or not), what they’re giving (or not), and who they’re interested in reconnecting with come Spring …
Here’s how I hope you’ll ring in the New Year:
Less stressed than you ever thought possible because you know you can rinse and repeat the strategic process you followed this Fall.
Immensely proud of the work you’ve done (and excited to follow it up with even more wins for your team), not to mention …
Confident you’ve gained some career-making skills that will transform your organization, and
Proud that you made this call, back in the Summer, when you chose strategic action over spinning your wheels and decided you would…