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Effective Nonprofits Attract (Strategic) Deep-Pocket Donors


Wednesday I had the pleasure of participating in a webinar with Sean Stannard-Stockton of Tactical Philanthropy Advisors (produced by my colleagues Karen Rayzor and Sharon Kirk). It was the third in our annual webinar series designed specifically for nonprofits. The webinar’s focus was to try to learn what motivates high-net worth donors: their interests, requirements, and motivations. Additionally, the audience of more than 800 contributed via Twitter, the chat and question function on the WebEx interface, and through the embedded polls in the webinar presentation. It was truly a multi-tiered discussion.

Below are a few of the questions that I (and the audience) asked Sean, along with his responses:

Bob: What is Tactical Philanthropy, what kind of clients do you have, and what makes your firm distinctive in the marketplace?

Sean Stannard-Stockton: At Tactical Philanthropy Advisors we help donors organize and structure their philanthropy using private foundations and donor-advised funds. Then we work alongside them as their private philanthropic concierge, helping connect them with the best people, organizations, tools, and research to make a difference. Our goal is to help donors engage in innovative, effective, and joyful philanthropy.

Bob: In your blog, you reference the “Schwabification” and “Googlization” of nonprofits—tell us what each of these terms means to nonprofits. Why does it matter? What should nonprofits be doing about this?

Sean Stannard-Stockton: Schwabification focused on automating and reducing the costs of transactions; Googlization focuses on enabling collaboration and participation by unbundling the process of creating information from its distribution. Philanthropy is improved exponentially as more information is shared about which social-benefit efforts work—and which ones fail. This is a big moment for philanthropy.

Bob: Are there recommendations that a nonprofit can follow to appeal to high-impact donors?

Sean Stannard-Stockton: An effective and transparent nonprofit:

  • bases programs on research about what works,
  • actively collects information about the results of programs
  • systematically analyzes this information
  • adjust activities in response to new information; and
  • operates with an absolute focus on producing results.

In summary, Sean helped us understand that his high net worth clients give with BOTH their heads and their hearts. High-impact donors are passionate about making a difference—that’s what makes them so powerful. It’s because of their passion, however, that they are looking for highly impactful, highly effective organizations that know how to get things done.

You can access the entire audio portion and the PowerPoint slides by clicking here. If you would like to attend future nonprofit webinars, you may sign up to receive webinar announcements and invitations.

Bob.jpgThe preceding is a guest post Bob Ottenhoff,  Chief Executive of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. With an entrepreneurial spirit, strong technology focus, and a quest to make an impact in the world, Bob has the ability to take an organization and lead it into strong performance, sustainability, and industry leadership.

Topics: Nonprofit Leadership and Practice Webinars