Lessons from South Africa

Greetings from Johannesburg! The Southern African Institute of Fundraising is underway and I am pleased to be among the featured presenters. This morning’s plenary on major donor discovery calls was well attended and I was honored to joined internationally known consultants Steven Pidgeon and Bernard Ross on the agenda. What struck me about the attendees is that they seemed very hungry for practical tips. My discussions with a few of those in attendance leads me to believe South Africans are very interested in major gift fundraising, and ravenously accept ideas that will help them get started. Many of the charities are small and rurally located, so they are often “one person” shops. They have to do the direct mail campaign, the special event and social media. They want to do major donor work, but finding the time to make personal visits can be challenging. Regretfully, it appears that the economy has kept attendance numbers down a bit, a real shame. In a perfect world, the worse the economy, the more that fundraisers should have opportunity for professional development. Attending Guy Mallabone’s session on major donor fundraising was a treat for the afternoon. A reality check in his list of “basic questions to know” (i.e., how many active donors does your charity have) was absolutely brilliant. Tomorrow, I present on approaching American foundations for funding and am anticipating a good turnout. Cheers to all from beautiful South Africa!

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Published in: on October 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

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