3 Questions Healthy Organizations Should Ask
Premier Donor Strategies Helps Ministries, Universities and Other Nonprofits Create Donor Experiences That Translate into Kingdom Impact
February 3, 2020
KANSAS CITY—Many nonprofit organizations exist in today’s crowded marketplace—and many are trying to do similar things. But before offering products and services to the world, research is crucial.
“A project that is important to you personally may not necessarily be important to others,” says Timothy Smith, a donor strategist with over 30 years of experience in non-profit administration, management and fund development.
Smith works with Premier Donor Strategies, which engages donors and organizations through major events, and is founder and CEO for Non-Profit DNA, a boutique firm committed to helping non-profits build their capacity through fundraising, leadership, team building, staff recruiting and coaching. His book, “What Have I Gotten Myself Into?” lists several keys to building healthy organizations.
“Building healthy organizations starts with building healthy leaders—people who know their purpose, are at peace with who they are and can inspire others to follow their ideas,” Smith says. “But beyond leadership and inspiring others, we must build a healthy culture within our organizations. The absence of these key elements will create a type of ‘grind culture’ where people show up to do great work for a great cause but have to grind all day every day to overcome the culture or environment in which they’re working.”
Smith adds that every organization should itself ask three questions before embarking on projects they plan to introduce to this “crowded marketplace.”
- Is it worth funding?
Smith points to an example of a pastor of a multiservice church who shared with his congregation the need to build new parking lots at the church. He made a great pitch, full of vision and plans for the future. But people in the earliest service saw no point in it all. The parking lots were full for all the other services but not theirs, so they knew there was plenty of space to park.
“The pastor had forgotten to paint a picture of need for them,” Smith says. “They only heard what the leadership wanted to do and how they were going to do it. These early service folks had a different picture. In their view, it wasn’t worth funding. Your constituents aren’t necessarily making value decisions as much as they are expressing their own points of passion and interest.”
- Does it make the world a better place?
In one non-profit where Smith worked, leaders came up with a key idea and every day examined the organization against that key idea.
“We decided that we were making the world a better place through our ability to help people connect with the vision and mission of the organization,” Smith says. “I’ve worked at a marketplace evangelism organization that created ‘conversation through relationships,’ a youth organization whose goal was ‘to bring youth into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ,’ a disaster relief and compassion based organization whose motto was that ‘all forms of human poverty ended worldwide’ and an antitrafficking organization whose goal was to ‘rescue and restore victims of sexual slavery through the love and power of Jesus Christ.’ These are all organizations that help their followers connect with how they make the world a better place.”
- How do we get moving?
Once these questions are answered, it’s all about putting the right people in the right jobs, Smith says.
“As an advisor to many charities over the years, I’ve noticed that as we’ve worked the charts, reports and numbers, we often get lost in the data and statistics and get away from the very thing that attracted us to this missional opportunity,” he adds. “Staying focused on your core product, funding the mission, and improving the world we live in needs our undivided attention every day as nonprofit leaders. As a leader, you are entrusted with these key concepts. We need to own these ideas and see them across the finish line.”
Premier Donor Strategies was born out of the world-class event marketing work performed by Premier Sports Management for professional sports leagues such as the NFL, NBA and MLS, in addition to collegiate governing bodies such as the NCAA, College Football Playoff and National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Premier Donor Strategies helps organizations expand their ministry and long-term growth by developing a strategy featuring highly effective destination events that generate significant giving and build deeper relationships with partners. For each organization, Premier delivers an unparalleled experience based on flexibility that adapts to ministry uniqueness through proven foundational concepts. The turnkey approach consists of upfront strategy, event execution and follow-up donor planning.
Many of today’s donors, says Premier’s CEO Gary Heise, want to do more than write a check. They want to engage in causes and see firsthand the impact ministries are making in people’s lives. By immersing donors in an all-encompassing weekend or multi-day event, ministries will build enduring emotional connections as well as generate a very significant return on investment.
To interview Gary Heise or Timothy Smith of Premier Donor Strategies, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.