It’s often easier to make money than give it away. We’ve found these four considerations most important for donors, with help from Howard Stevenson:
- Do we do important work? Our mission is well-articulated: To help kids think better by identifying and building grit. How important is our mission to you, the donor? Is our mission memorable, differentiable, credible, inspirational, aspirational, and simple? And most important, aligned with your giving goals?
- Are we well-managed? Is the economic model sustainable? Is there effective governance? Is our staff passionate and collaborative in carrying out a mutually understood service model? Our economic model is based on the very successful Educational Testing Service model: A per-student test fee, which allows us to create more content and enhance our data science.
- Will the gift make a difference? Your gift is essential to accomplishing our core mission. The impact of your gift is direct: It helps underserved students reach their full potential – and lets other people who can make a difference in their lives – college admissions directors – know about them. And if you’re a person that may want to get personally involved you may do so as a mentor.
- Will the experience be satisfying? “I don’t think of raising money as helping my institution,” Stevenson says. “I think of raising money as helping donors fulfill their philanthropic objectives. That’s very different from saying, ‘Won’t you help us accomplish our purpose?’” Of course we say “Thank you.” We also want to understand what makes a donor very proud of being involved with us – and that may be different for each donor. We understand that a relationship with a donor should be just as satisfying for the fundraiser and the institution. Gifts can be the beginning of an ongoing partnership. I hope that’s what we may develop with you.