Gathering at Moakley House, Cornell Country Club,  for program on fundraising (l. to r.): Riger’s Steve Johnson and Jamie Jacobs; Cornell’s Frank Carollo, long-time friend of the Riger agency

We recently attended an Ithaca program on fundraising, offered jointly by the Association of Fund Raising Professionals, Finger Lakes Region and the Public Relations Society of America, Finger Lakes Chapter. Some nuggets from our notebook for anyone seeking to  raise money in these most difficult economic times:

1. Make your lists smarter (remarks by Randy Hewitt – Corning-Elmira Community Foundation)

a. Your donor list should tell you not just WHO, but WHERE to find them (including seasonal contact info), WHY do they give, WHEN do they give, and WHO is the best person in the asking organization to
make the contact.

b. Your “connect-the-dots” list should include financial planners, trust and estate attorneys, and bank trust department personnel – these are often folks in the community who can connect you to donors.

c. Don’t forget your former board members – even those who’ve been off your board for a while. These folks were once your “inner circle.” They likely still have strong, positive feelings toward you, even though they may have rotated off the active board.

2. Match the medium to the generation (remarks by Mike McGreevey, Wells College)

True, much of the world has moved to online communication, and that’s the case with fund-raising asks, too. But, beware, the data shows that, in the age-65-and-under category, one out of every two givers will make the gift online. At 65-and-over, the ratio drops to one in three. “Don’t forget about the telephone” in fund-raising, especially the more senior your target audience is!

For more information relevant to all fund-raising professionals, visit AFP’s Web site:

And for one heck of a milkshake, try Richford’s Tasty Treat, a stop we just HAD to make on our way back to Binghamton 🙂


Peter Cronk, Managing Partner