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 Post subject: Fundraising to multiple projects
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2023 4:50 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2750
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Have you more than one project seeking funds at the same time?

What is your experience? Do you try to prevent more than one project making public appeals at the same time? Does it matter?

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Steven Harrod
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 Post subject: Re: Fundraising to multiple projects
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2023 8:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
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Location: New Franklin, OH
Good question that I’d like to hear some comments on, too. Like everyone else, we have quite a few assets and projects that all need funding..

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Eric Schlentner
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 Post subject: Re: Fundraising to multiple projects
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2023 10:23 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 2318
Location: The Atlantic Coast Line
softwerkslex wrote:
Have you more than one project seeking funds at the same time?

What is your experience? Do you try to prevent more than one project making public appeals at the same time? Does it matter?

Steven,

At National Capital Trolley Museum we have historically focused on one public appeal at a time. The same was true in my non profit career and also at church.


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 Post subject: Re: Fundraising to multiple projects
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2023 6:05 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 593
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
A related question is establishing a Go Fund Me or similar when the organization also has an established fund raising presence. In my opinion, despite the extra work to administer and publicize the alternative solicitation you end up targeting the same donors so do more work for no increase in donations.


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 Post subject: Re: Fundraising to multiple projects
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2023 10:43 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:03 pm
Posts: 923
Different projects will appeal to different people, so its entirely feasible and acceptable...as long as you have a coherent message or strategic plan that can justify the multiple projects, a strong existing database or track record of fundraising, good internal record keeping, and a donor relationship committee; and ideally some birds in hand -- existing donor matches, grants, etc to seed your efforts -- it is entirely worthwhile.

Also important to set achievable milestones and "aim small, miss small." The advice for eating multiple elephants is the same for eating one: you can only do it one bite at a time.

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 Post subject: Re: Fundraising to multiple projects
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2023 8:12 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2750
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
No one replied with this example, but a visit to Illinois Railway Museum's site shows a whole catalog of alternate items to donate to.

I find a similar long list at Seashore Trolley Museum.

TVRM has eight "funds".

Colorado Railroad Museum lists at least three donation funds.

Western Railway Museum lists five funds.

Are there any regrets with this diversity?

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 Post subject: Re: Fundraising to multiple projects
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2023 9:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:27 pm
Posts: 8
IRM and the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society are great examples of multiple fundraising drives at once. They also carry a proven track record.

I've been tossing around a idea to fundraise for a Alco RSD1 I've sorta of adopted at my local organization. But I have a lack of people and members interest along with the organizations main goal of funding for our station and our railroad. Between those factors the only donor I got on board was PB blaster with a well thought out Instagram post.


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 Post subject: Re: Fundraising to multiple projects
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2023 10:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2022 12:59 am
Posts: 9
[quote="softwerkslex"]No one replied with this example, but a visit to Illinois Railway Museum's site shows a whole catalog of alternate items to donate to."

Look at their record and compare to other peers and you have your answer, no need for this fishing question.

IRM is not one project competing against another but multiple projects in their own right, a trolley bus isn't going against an Alco, a CTA car isn't going against a signal display.

The same department listings for example multiple Diesels help to guide project priority and have been highly successful.


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 Post subject: Re: Fundraising to multiple projects
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2023 7:03 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2750
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
CMDoc87 wrote:
softwerkslex wrote:
No one replied with this example, but a visit to Illinois Railway Museum's site shows a whole catalog of alternate items to donate to."

Look at their record and compare to other peers and you have your answer, no need for this fishing question.

IRM is not one project competing against another but multiple projects in their own right, a trolley bus isn't going against an Alco, a CTA car isn't going against a signal display.

The same department listings for example multiple Diesels help to guide project priority and have been highly successful.


Please do expand your answer. I have a sincere interest in exploring this. I do not know much about IRM from this distance. Is IRM a role model and a positive example? My thought is "yes", but that is why I am asking here.

This question of simultaneous projects is currently relevant for us in Denmark. There are some who believe we should rank projects and put other projects on hold while we fundraise for the first project on the list.

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 Post subject: Re: Fundraising to multiple projects
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2023 7:36 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:42 pm
Posts: 10
softwerkslex wrote:
CMDoc87 wrote:
softwerkslex wrote:
Is IRM a role model and a positive example? My thought is "yes", but that is why I am asking here.


The best way to describe IRM is "unique." IRM has separate departments for steam locomotives, diesel locomotives, electric cars, passenger cars, freight cars, and busses, as well as two libraries/archives, a track department, a signal department, a buildings & grounds department, a model railroad exhibit, stationary exhibits, etc. With such a framework, it makes sense that IRM's fundraising structure would allow each department to advance its priorities in parallel and give donors the broadest possible choices.

The smorgasbord of options that IRM provides can also be a detriment, because it presumably makes it difficult to get donors to coalesce around a single priority project when one exists. It can also divide up fundraising resources--it is worth noting that with the exception of a few core projects, IRM's fundraising efforts are seemingly passive in nature (i.e. they will gladly accept your donation, but they don't actively go out seeking it).

Another consideration is whether the projects can advance incrementally or not. If your project has to be fully funded before it can advance (e.g. constructing a new building), then fundraising in parallel would extend your timeline to achieve that goal. By contrast, if your projects can be funded in smaller portions (such as equipment restorations by volunteers), it might be worth extending each project's timeline if you can open up more workfront for volunteers.

Really, the answer to your question depends on your unique situation, the differences between the two projects you are considering, the urgency of the projects, and how your organization would want to approach the fundraising process. As much as the fundraising literature would beg to differ, there is no "one size fits all" solution.


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 Post subject: Re: Fundraising to multiple projects
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2023 4:10 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:44 pm
Posts: 196
IMO there is no "right" answer to this. It depends on the breadth and depth of your donor pool, your organizational culture, and what sort of things you are fundraising for.

Just as a general fundraising principle, it is very common for two types of fundraising to co-exist. "Annual Fund" type fundraising, which seeks a recurring and hopefully increasing gift year after year to support general operations, is often a large part of the operating budget. That doesn't preclude "capital campaign" type fundraising from happening in the same fiscal year. If it did, nobody would ever be able to do capital campaigns. The adage is that in annual fundraising, donors give from their disposable income, while in capital campaigns, donors give from their accumulated or appreciated assets.

You may also have a donor base that is segmented, with different donors being passionate about different things, and conversely, being indifferent about (or even hostile to) other things. Analyze your data, but more importantly, talk to your donors!


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 Post subject: Re: Fundraising to multiple projects
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2023 7:47 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 6386
Location: southeastern USA
JeffH wrote:
Analyze your data, but more importantly, talk to your donors!


And, even more importantly, talk to people you would like to be your donors.

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