Here’s how organizations Just Start their women’s philanthropy initiative
The desire to jump into action is absolutely understandable. However, I’ve found that the fastest way to gain significant and sustained tangible results is to take the first steps on a path that is grounded in foundational principles for success.
Here are different options to Just Start,
depending on how much support is in your organization.
3 Ways to Just Start
If you are one of the few champions in your organization for women’s philanthropy, you’ll benefit from building commitment with influencers.
What Just Start: Building Commitment looks like
Others like you have built commitment by compiling the Compelling Why (4 hours of my time).
This is a review to correlate your in-house data with national data, and other organizational history and information to map out early possibilities. You’ll find opportunities hidden in plain sight in your data and culture. You’ll have a clear sense of why the timing is right for you to focus on women and how they give. You’ll know with certainty that your organization can do this and can calculate that there will be significant results rapidly enough to make sense for the commitment.
This is not a 4-hour presentation, but rather 4 hours of consulting time to help you tackle the first principle of successful women’s philanthropy – uncovering and then quantifying the opportunities you may be missing. Several clients have done this analysis and have found that they were leaving millions on the table – today – by not working with women in ways that resonate with them. Their analysis led them to a “compelling why” – why women, why now, and the impact that is possible with all the ways women can support you.
If there are several of you in your organization, including senior leaders who are interested, you’ll benefit from cultivating external volunteer champions.
What Just Start: Building Volunteer Champions looks like
Others like you have Just Started by identifying and convening influential stakeholders (8 hours of my time).
I’ll help your organization build up strong external leadership champions, which is the second of the key principles to successful women’s philanthropy.
This day of consulting is necessarily customized for your organization and is not a canned presentation. We will design an inclusive task force or advisory group to help guide your work. Presenting the opportunities and the case for focusing on women to key stakeholders (such as members of your board, or loyal donors) will test your “compelling why.” Gaining the commitment and voice of passionate volunteers will accelerate your success. I often have seen that external input from a guiding group creates bolder suggestions and faster achievement of goals.
If you have key internal and external champions in your organization, but aren’t sure “What” your initiative will be, you’ll benefit from listening deeply to women donors and prospects.
What Just Start: Gathering Feedback looks like
Others like you have Just Started by asking for input (8 hours of my time).
This day of consulting will help you craft your unique way to listen deeply to YOUR women donors. Many clients hold focus groups, others create surveys or one-to-one interviews from women donors.
Believe me, women who are giving or interested in your work are paying attention to you. They are looking at the proportion of female images or tracking if their name is correct on thank you letters. They will tell you what resonates, what doesn’t, and where you are missing the mark by not focusing on women.
The input you gather will be rich with ideas and specific opportunities. Together, we will craft questions and a facilitation process that will help you gain input on your nascent initiative or potential strategy. All my clients who chose to really listen to women’s input were then able to design an initiative that was compelling and bold yet still tailored to their institution’s unique history and current strategies.
If you Just Start with one of the steps above...
… you will have begun focusing on women, which on its own will bring you a significant growth in energy, commitment, early support and new leaders that will support your institution. Once you’ve begun, then we can continue forward by creating an implementable plan of operation, complete with timelines, benchmarks, metrics and achievable goals.
Your plan will be grounded in knowledge, confidence, champions and bold input. It will be a blend of the strengths and values of your culture with all of the assets that philanthropic women can provide your institution for years to come – their time, talent, treasure, ties and testimony.
Tell me a little bit about your organization, what you’re wondering about, and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can!