Clarify and Connect: Key Insights from Global Philanthropic

It was wonderful to have Jeff Buchanan from Global Philanthropic share his top items that community organisations need to be aware of when seeking philanthropic support. As a senior consultant, Jeff works with a wide variety of non-profit clients to help them improve their fundraising practice.

Jeff Buchanan, Global Philanthropic
Jeff Buchanan, Global Philanthropic

NFP’s:  Here’s some things you need to know about Philanthropists:

  • No one cares how great your organisation is (They care, but for reasons that may be different to yours).
  • They will want to know how you will drive their dollars as far as you can – what positive impact are you having on the community by benefiting others?

Jeff’s key messages for small and medium organisations:


  • Don’t think of WHO you are going to raise funds from first, think of WHY people would support you:
  • Why would they give you any support?
  • What’s the most intriguing thing you do?
  • Can you put numbers, percentages and statistical information forward from your work?
  • What are the things that matter?  Is it the people you help or is it your volunteers?
  • What is your track record of achievements?

Build Relationships:

  • Create a strong network and a good reputation
  • Engage people well –  relationship building is not about asking for money but it is about getting potential supporters to fully understand what you are doing
  • Find a way to make them seem, hear, touch, smell and feel what it is your organisation does
  • BE PRECISE:  What is your most compelling issue or project? Pick and choose a key project – don’t try to get funding for all projects at one time

Highlight Your Achievements:

  • Put the results up front not buried in the back of your proposal
  • Use information and data to back up your claims

Be Prepared:

  • Practice telling your story well
  • When talking about your project think about FEATURES vs BENEFITS – Philanthropists want to know about the BENEFITS (the things your organisation does to make the world a better place for the people you serve)
  • Talk about the PEOPLE you serve and the IMPACT you make
  • What is it that you do and who do you help?  Break down the detail…
  • Show statistics
  • Highlight trends
  • What are the funding gaps?



We encourage our networks to share information and tips to help us all in these goals in the comments below or on our Facebook page.  We can support each other in learning  new skills.


The Coalition of Community Boards would like to thank Jeff for his time and sharing his expertise.  It’s time to get our organisations pitch ready and to work on building relationships.

Global Philanthropic is an international consultancy providing advisory services to philanthropic and fundraising sector.  Find out more about Global Philanthropic at