Expanded “Baker’s Dozen List” to Build Capacity and Organizational
. . . (also used for engagement assessment)

Robert J. (Bob) Vickers, Founder/President, www.ArtfulAskers.com


Don’t think of it as, “We are doing something wrong.”
Rather, “Are we missing opportunity or ‘leaving money on the table?’
Can we learn and do something better?” Then, gain the knowledge for yourself—don’t
be afraid to pay a “fair price.” A laborer is worthy of their hire!


Organizations should have/utilize the following 13 Items. . . (includes nonprofits, churches, schools, civic groups, etc.):
  1.  ○   Website and an internet presence.
  2.  ○   Facebook and social media presence.
  3.  ○   Support Letter to individuals.
  4.  ○   “Elevator Speech” 30- to 45-second verbal presentation of your organization.
  5.  ○   Verbal Presentation, 3- to 5-minutes.
  6.  ○   A “Vision” Document of 5- to 7-pages.
  7.  ○   Thank Yous (3 types) and Donor Education Letters—several variations.
  8.  ○   Year-End Support request or Year-Beginning Support Request.
  9.  ○   Special Program or Special Project Request.
10.  ○   Responding to R.F.P. or C.F.P. (Request/Call for Proposal) OR N.O.F.A. (Notice of Funding Availability).
11.  ○   Events: Banquet, Golf Tournaments, 5K, 10K, 26.3 Runs, etc. Especially for Registration.
12.  ○   Online Submissions into their form or template, drop off or electronically sending your document.
13.  ○   Poster to Raise Awareness and Educate!

More detailed explanation for EACH follow BY NUMBER. . .

1. Website—Donors expect you to have this. It is static and shows what you want to share but make it correct, consistent and don’t leave mistakes! Make your information and delivery system compatible with smart phone technology. Make it scannable for key words, phrases, ease of access, etc. Average look is less than 4 seconds unless they are “engaged.” Learn to do your own! Several options are available and we can suggest direction. Include relevant information AND don’t forget “Contact us” with your mailing address, email, etc.

2. Facebook—Donors expect you to have this. With coordinated, focused, intentional, consistent message. Shows organizational values and how you interact and communicate with your community. Your organization’s Facebook page should be separate from your “personal page” and you should be careful what you post and how you interact with people.

3. Support Support Letters and Individual Development—Donors expect this. Average of 72% of support is from individuals and local spheres of influence (geographic, Board, churches, etc.). Funders want you to have this! You must have individual support where possible. Special appeals, donor education, post-Covid-19 letter to individuals, churches, businesses, civic groups, etc. With this letter, utilize an easy-to-read, 1-Page Summary Page with an overview of the work of your organization that educates your Donor. Also utilize a Response Card.

4. “Elevator Speech” of main organizational information in 30- to 45-seconds. Who you are, what you do, with whom do you do it, where it is done, why you do it, how much does it cost, etc! Your Board, staff, receptionist answering the phone and other key players involved in your organization should know and be able to recite this. Write it out and post it!

5. Verbal Presentation, 3- to 5-minute what Donors need to know when you have a meeting with someone in person (summary or mirror of document and have in folder that you leave with them). If they ask questions and are engaged beyond that, great! Carry this folder with your written document and be prepared for this 3- to 5-minute presentation at all times!

6. A “Vision” Document of 5- to 7-pages your vision in writing—easy, inviting and engaging. Often called “Proposal.”
--In a folder when hand-delivered to drop off (ready with a resume, too, if you need one).
--Mailed in Priority Mail mailer hand addressed in blue ink if they ask you to mail something.
--Entered online—BUT cut and paste from your written document and follow their directions/instructions/guidance.
--In a single “contiguous file” if they ask for it to be emailed.
--Share Your Vision in an “other-oriented” manner—not just your need for money. Invite people to share your document.
--Show leverage and multiplying talent. Speak a common language with the Donor—NOT egocentric!

7. Thank Yous: “Sufficient Thank You,” “Thank You Anyway,” “Volunteer Thank You” Donor education letters:
--Thank You (IRS sufficient for cash or in-kind): Will also use 1-Page Summary with this letter, often Poster #13.
   Occasionally to In-Kind Donors and include second page with all types. To major financial Donors. Minimum of
   +-$100/$250 or greater within 3-5/10 days of donation!

--Thank You Anyway: Will also use 1-Page Summary with this.

--Thank You Volunteer: Will also use 1-Page Summary with this, often Poster #13. To Organizational Volunteers
    after their service BUT individual Volunteers only every 6th time or so.

--1-Page Summary of your organization’s initiatives or programs on a single page added to all letters for Donor Education.

8a. Year-End Support and Donor Education Appeal Request end November/first of December—of
     regular calendar year. Will also use 1-Page Summary Page with this letter.
     OR 8b. Year-Beginning Support and Education Request mid-January to mid-February—of regular
     calendar year. Will also use 1-Page Summary Page with this letter.

9. Special Program or Special Project Request. Similar to #6 Proposal only Program/Project Specific.
Other Samples:
--Post-Covid-19 Donor Education Appeal utilizing 1-Page Summary.
--Special Campaign Proposal (don't use, "Capital Campaign" words). 4- to 6-pages utilizing 1-Page Summary.
--1-Page Summary. Will use with numerous other documents. Use OFTEN for Donor Education!

10. Responding to an R.F.P. or C.F.P. (Request or Call for Proposal) OR a N.O.F.A. (Notice of Funding Availability).
These are not the easiest to find nor the options most people should start with.
If you seek and find an opportunity, follow their directives to a “t” when you submit!
If you have a specific “request” for your proposal.

11. Events: Banquets, Golf Tournaments, Walk-a-thons, 5K Runs, 10K Marathons, 26.3 Runs, Polar Plunges,
Virtual events, etc. There are many groups out there to help with variations of these options.

12. Online Submissions into their form or template. Cut-and-paste from your document or documents carefully and using “notepad” or “notes” into their online form. Create an account and username, enter, edit, critique BEFORE submitting. Carefully complete their online form being aware of how many “characters” you have. You may need to combine categories from your documents or modify sources but follow their requests. Electronically sending your document as an attachment in a single, contiguous electronic file—not splintered files.

13. Poster to Raise Awareness and Educate. Poster one-sided for posting at churches, schools, on bulletin boards, in windows and at facilities. 8.5 x 11 or 14 on cardstock, 110-lb paper at least. Liberally distribute this and ask people to post it as they can in their business or church.


Questions? Need help? Contact:

     Bob Vickers                        bob@ArtfulAskers.com(this is the preferred method of contact)
     Artful Askers                       (660) 580-0007, cell for brief texts/calls
     400 West Acorn St.            Zoom or Skype: Bob.vickers3
     Gardner, KS  66030            website: www.ArtfulAskers.com

Please remember: Bob is an educator NOT a consultant. He will help you gain the knowledge, learn what to do and how to get ready, help you with a written document, engage in the process and help you to help yourself. He will help you to be successful such that you can help yourself and others, too! You can “purchase blocks of time” for assistance from Bob through his website or by sending a check payable to “Bob Vickers” to receive focused assistance in creating or developing any of these items he offers. He bills out at a rate between $28 and $35 per hour. Or you may pay with a credit card or other options through the www.ArtfulAskers.comwebsite. Research and Writing time is scheduled a check or payment notice is received. Gain the knowledge from a Coach, Mentor, Trainer or Teacher. Never pay ANYONE more than $50 per hour!