October 26, 2010 | Nick Fellers

Do the math to simplify your funding story.

To me ‘doing the math’ means owning and internalizing an understanding of your numbers. It also means taking the time to simplify the numbers in a way that others (board, prospects, staff) can understand. Numbers tell stories.

DO THE MATH to determine:

  • Your gap. Sell your gap.

    Private schools have a simple gap between the tuition and the cost per student. Schools should ask funders to fund that gap. Example: $1016 per child. Sponsor one child for one year.

    We also do work with a lot of performing arts centers. For round numbers, let’s say box office support makes up 50% of the annual budget. This is a 50% gap. You can package any program and ask someone to fund the gap in that program 50%.

  • The true cost of programs.

    This is a big one. Organizations frequently under-estimate the true cost to deliver a program. Worse, many don’t know, they just pick a number out of the air. The cost to deliver the program (impact) is essential to your funding rationale. Knowing the real numbers boosts confidence in the ask and helps the funder buy into a funding rationale. You can ask someone to underwrite part or all of the program.

  • A funding rationale around impact.

    Along with the previous point, you can do the math to tie programming monies to impact. Clean and simple example to illustrate the concept: Let’s say you have a program that impacts 4th-6th graders at (80 classrooms @ 20 students per class) at 40 schools. You can do the math to create a simple funding rationale:

    • $80,000 to underwrite the program for one year
    • $2,000 per school
    • $1,000 per class
    • $50 per child

    Funders will appreciate your creative packaging to communicate the impact value so long as you’re simplifying (not changing) the math to tell your story.

  • A funding plan (this assumes you have a funding goal).

    I’m still amazed every time I walk into an organization and no one can agree on a funding goal. Without a goal how can you do the math to get to the goal?

    When you’re selling a vision you can also sell ‘the plan’. If it helps, think of a ‘mega-project’ that will require the participation and support of 32 funders. To get one funder on board you will need intelligent and believable math illustrating the funding plan for all 32 funders.

In practice:

For some organizations the math will be clean (like the examples above). Other times it takes a lot of work to make it simple. In writing this piece I quickly reviewed the math for 80 past clients – organizations of every shade and shape – sometimes the math took minutes and sometimes days. However, in EVERY case we were able to get some simple math around a gap, a program, the impact or a plan. It can be done.


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October 22, 2010 | Nick Fellers

For Impact Swag Store – get napkins, posters and motivational mugs

Had a lot of requests for For Impact Motivational Mugs when we handed out a few last month.

You can now order mugs, napkins and the social entrepreneur poster online.

We’ll add more cool stuff in the coming months.


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October 22, 2010 | Nick Fellers

Managing the Organization vs. Advancing the Mission

Steve posted a comment on Wednesday to Tom’s post on ‘ No More Boards‘. It’s worth pulling to the top for some Friday thinking

You [boards and staff[ both work for the MISSION. Both boards and staffs can get too focused on “managing” the organization vs. ADVANCING THE MISSION.

WOW. Get a cup of java and think.

Thanks, Steve.


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October 21, 2010 | Nick Fellers

Read Now: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.

Add this to the list of books I wish I wrote but didn’t: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs – How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.

This is a book about dead simple and inspiring communication… it’s messaging GOLD. Steve Jobs and Apple provide a lens through which to teach you frameworks.

The book reinforces so many For Impact Concepts: Selling at 30,000′, Altitude, Simplicity, Visual Engagement, Finding the Transformational Purpose.

If For Impact were a university this would be required reading for For Impact Communication 101. In class we would discuss how to apply these concepts to the 1:1 selling setting – mostly by setting them in a dialogue context.

From Gallo’s intro:

You will learn how Jobs does all of the following:

  • Craft messages
  • Presents ideas
  • Generates excitement for a product or feature
  • Delivers a memorable experience
  • Creates customer evangelists

To this I would add one superseding bullet: “Changes the world.”

“If you pay close attention to Jobs, you will see that he doesn’t “sell” products; he sells the dream of a better future.” (See Steve Jobs Close)

“The most inspiring communicators share this quality—the ability to create something meaningful out of esoteric or everyday products. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz does not sell coffee. He sells a “third place” between work and home. Financial guru Suze Orman does not sell trusts and mutual funds. She sells the dream of financial freedom. In the same way, Jobs does not sell computers. He sells tools to unleash human potential. Throughout this book, ask yourself, “What am I really selling?” Remember, your widget doesn’t inspire. Show me how your widget improves my life, and you’ve won me over. Do it in a way that entertains me, and you’ll have created a true evangelist. Along the way, you’ll also discover that Steve Jobs is motivated by a messianic zeal to change the world, to put a “dent in the universe.” In order for these techniques to work, you must cultivate a profound sense of mission.”

So… yeah… you can see why I like the book!


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October 20, 2010 | Kerry Suddes

For Impact in DC On Nov. 15: $100 Off Coupon Below

For Impact Experience Tour will hit the streets of Washington, DC, November 15 2010.

The For Impact Experience is 3.5 hours in length. Led by a For Impact Team Member, this “non-workshop” will challenge the traditional social sector paradigm offering tools from successful entrepreneurs, salesmen and visionaries. Most importantly, it will give attendees practical and field-tested ideas with ‘how-to’ instruction to make a quantum leap in funding. PDF Overview

Experience Overview

The Experience has proven to be a catalytic change event for attending organizations. It gives organizations a FRAMEWORK to address funding challenges at a higher level, generating near term and long term funding results. The Experience includes:

  • A refreshing look at fundraising
  • How to communicate your return-on-investment
  • Ways to leverage the board and champion support
  • How to simplify fundraising
  • Ideas to help you ask for $1M
  • How to generate more (qualified) prospect names
  • How to answer the three double questions of every major-investor
  • The most recent For Impact funding innovations
  • Bonus: A simple plan to generate $100K in 100 days

Who Should Attend?

We recommend attending as a team including representation from your development team, senior staff and volunteer leadership/board. Attending organizations are HIGHLY encouraged to attend with at least one board member.

Special Discount. Save $100! Blog readers can save $100 (normal price $145) if they register by this Friday, October 22 using code: dailynugget.

More Info & Registration

For questions contact Kerry Suddes kerry@forimpact.org | 614-554-7525.


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October 18, 2010 | Tom Suddes

Passionate Advocates & Champions

“I want PASSIONATE ADVOCATES.”

In preparing to facilitate and lead a Board eXperience for an absolutely amazing group of business and community leaders for Junior Achievement in Orlando, I was going over the goals for the day (it was an Annual ‘Retreat’ that was 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. held at Disney World.) The President (Gary B., an experienced and extremely talented For Impact leader) said it this way,

“It’s very simple. I’m looking to have the members of my Board be PASSIONATE ADVOCATES for what we do at Junior Achievement.”

I added the CHAMPIONS. If you think about these three BIG WORDS:

CHAMPIONS, PASSIONATE, ADVOCATES…

it certainly creates the ‘Perfect Profile‘ of a committed, (on) board member.


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October 18, 2010 | Nick Fellers

On Marathon Running: Update II

A quick post about running and the practice of following a CLEAR plan.

I’m trying to run 50 marathons in 50 states. See: Update I.

I ran in the Columbus Marathon this weekend. This brought my tally up to seven states. Just 43 more to go!

The weather and race conditions were perfect – making for my fastest and most enjoyable marathon yet. Growing up and living in Columbus, OH this was also a ‘home course’. It was motivating to see friends, family and familiar terrain.

Marathons represent one of the few areas of our life where progress toward the goal is VERY CLEAR. If you take a step, you’re closer to the finish… it’s that simple. Somewhere around mile 18 or 19 you repeat this mantra over-and-over… it’s the faith in this simplified plan that gets you to the goal.

Obviously, a lot of correlation between this insight and other areas of life. I think this is one of the reasons why many marathon runners are older (when compared to other sporting feats)… as life becomes more scattered with work and family a CLEAR goal and plan (from training to race-day) provides a release.

A marathon is a pretty clear goal: Go 26.2 miles. 16 weeks in advance of a marathon you commit to a CLEAR training plan. If the plan calls for six miles, you run six miles. No thinking. You have a CLEAR goal. This makes it easier to TRUST a CLEAR plan. You then put all your energy into executing.

For me, marathon running offers a way to PRACTICE the art of goal setting, planning and execution… followed by a the celebration!

—-

Special congrats to our For Impact Coach in the northeast, Mike Gemm, for completing his first marathon (Providence, RI) on Sunday

Any runners out there in the For Impact Community? Let’s run a marathon in your state! Let me know. Just can’t be OH, VA, MD, NC, MI, IN or CA :) I will be in the northeast on Nov 6 so thinking about running in the Manchester, NH race on Nov 7.


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October 18, 2010 | Tom Suddes

No More Boards

Last Thursday’s teleseminar and the release of our Guide: ON BOARD(S) triggered a lot of feedback!

Some of it funny. (“Our Board is not just afraid but TERRIFIED of heights. Couldn’t find their way to the top floor of our building even if they were in the elevator.”)

Some of it sad. (“The funding strategy of buying lottery tickets really hurt. It sounds exactly like something my Board would consider as a ‘great idea’ to raise money.”)

One of the best responses was from two superstars in Colorado, Christi-Marie and Rob. They actually challenged the very existence of Boards! (Rob even said I was too ‘soft’ in my presentation. That hurt.)

Here’s what we came up with:

WHAT IFthere weren’t any ‘BOARDS’?

WHAT IF… it was a TABULA RASA? How would we DESIGN the PERFECT, IDEAL BOARD???

Here’s my short answer:

    1. ‘EXECUTIVE BOARD’ GROUP. I would have a five-member Board (since it needs to be an odd number) responsible only for fiduciary matters and for meeting governmental regulations, etc. They would be smart. Have sector expertise in law, accounting and business. Not ‘yes men‘, but collaborative men and women who understood their role and responsibility for the organization.

Read more


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October 15, 2010 | Nick Fellers

Microsoft’s Language Problem

A short referral today. Read this post from Daring Fireball on message/language/simplicity.

Microsoft on releasing a new phone: 48 words running on.

Apple on the release of the iPhone: “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone. And here it is.”


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October 13, 2010 | Tom Suddes

FI Master Checklist

Another ’10′ for the week of 10/10/10.

Frank Sullivan, one of Tom’s earliest mentors, used the analogy of the airline pilot always going through his CHECKLIST before every flight, including walking around the plane!

And, as every great coach know, SUCCESS is always a result of executing on the FUNDAMENTALS.

This is the MASTER CHECKLIST we use for ourselves and with our For Impact Coaches… and encourage them to use with their partners/clients. It is a work in progress, but a great way to prepare for your Quantum Leap to a For Impact Organization.

    1. Simplify the MESSAGE. (On a Napkin)
    2. Create POWERFUL STORIES. (The Power of the Story)
    3. Do the MATH. (‘Blue’ + ‘Green’)
    4. Create an ENGAGEMENT TOOL. (Visual. Simple. Purpose/Priorities/Plan.)
    5. Get LEADERSHP ENGAGED. (Champion. Invite. Invest.)
    6. Build a MASTER PROSPECT LIST. (Including the IDEAL PROFILE).
    7. Define your FUNDING MODEL. (Today. Tomorrow. Forever.)
    8. Commit to SALES! (Sales Team. Sales Process. Sales Performance.)
    9. Make 10 VISITS/PRESENTATIONS. (JUST LISTEN! JUST ASK!)
    10. Use Presentation FRAMEWORK & FLOW. (From Authenticity to Present the Opportunity.)

We believe this MASTER CHECKLIST works for just about every For Impact Organization, from a ‘GAZELLE’ (start-up, ready to scale and grow) to a ‘GAZILLION’ (large orgs looking to make the next leap).

*If you need help or coaching on any of these 10 Actions, let us know. It’s what we do.


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