Wed, February 04 2015
You have a plan for thanking and communicating impact to your donors, and you probably have a special program for training and recognizing your volunteers. But do you have a plan for celebrating peer-to-peer fundraisers who are spreading your message, attracting new donors, and inspiring donations for your cause?
Your peer fundraisers are some of your strongest advocates, and continue to be a gateway to the donors you have acquired through their efforts as well as potential donors they may reach in future campaigns. As you think about how to thank and retain your donors of all types, make sure you also have a strategy for nurturing those who are fundraising on your behalf. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Send a special thank you. Craft personalized messages for your fundraisers that will show your gratitude and grow the relationship. Since your peer fundraisers are key evangelists, they deserve a little something special—remember the cumulative impact of their efforts. Add them to your call list and treat them as you might treat a high dollar donor. (Need ideas? These examples would work equally well in your peer fundraising follow-up plan.)
Report on their impact. Just as you would report impact to an individual donor, regularly keep your peer fundraisers updated on what’s happened as a result of their campaigns. Show them how their efforts have allowed you to do even more and equip them with stories and copy-and-paste social media updates for them to share.
Put your fundraisers in the spotlight. Treat your fundraisers like the superstars they are. Celebrating their campaigns and achievements not only gives them a great feeling, but can be a strong piece of social proof that can inspire others to join in and create their own campaign. charity: water does this with their simple blog series called “Campaigns We Love”.
Offer something unique. Do you have an exclusive perk you can offer your fundraisers? This could be a hand-written note from one of your beneficiaries, a tour of your office, or even special access to your next event. A small token of appreciation may not seem like a big deal, but it can be a powerful reminder of their involvement.
Invite them in. Allow your fundraisers to continue to feel involved and appreciated by regularly asking for their feedback. Get their input on what seems to work to move their networks to act and invite them to share ideas for your next campaign. Set up regular conference calls, surveys, or Google Hangouts to form a unique advisory council. Building a two-way communication stream with these advocates will help you get smarter and gives them a sense of ownership—and pride—for your mission.
Ultimately, investing in your fundraisers will help you get the most out of your peer fundraising strategy. How are you reaching out and cultivating these advocates for your cause? Please share your ideas in the comments below and help us compile some great examples to share with your fellow readers!
Tue, February 03 2015
Last month’s post, 10 Thank Yous That Delight Donors, sparked many conversations about how to thank donors. Because this is such an important topic (and the first step in creating a positive long-term relationship with your donors), I wanted to offer even more ideas on how to thank your donors. That’s why I’m happy to share The Donor Thank You Mini-Guide.
But, don't stop there!
Thanking donors is just one part of your donor relations and retention strategy. Be sure to focus some of your efforts on creating an overall plan to keep the donor love alive. Here are some resources to help you go beyond the thank you:
I highly recommend bookmarking Donor Love Part One and Two from Nancy Schwartz. Nancy explains why it's important to R-E-S-P-E-C-T your donors. Her suggestions include creating a donor advisory board and listening to donors' wants even when they aren't what you want.
If you aren’t a Donor Relations Guru Blog subscriber, you should be. Lynne Wester gives specific examples of missteps in donor relations and ideas on how to avoid going down a wrong path. All her work is grounded in her four pillars of donor relations (which she just wrote a book about!).
Have you ever considered "upgrading" donors into a monthly giving program? Our own Caryn Stein is presenting a Nonprofit911 webinar on Tuesday, February 10th and will discuss recurring giving best practices and how donor retention rates can be greatly improved with a monthly giving program.
And since showing gratitude is just a great practice in general: THANK YOU for reading The Nonprofit Marketing Blog!
Mon, February 02 2015
Filed under: Fundraising essentials •
In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray’s character famously wakes up each day only to realize he is living the same day over and over. The same encounters, the same groundhog, the same Sonny and Cher on the same clock radio singing the same “I Got You Babe”. The hijinks that ensue have made this movie an all-time favorite for many.
But what if your nonprofit could have its own amazing fundraising version of Groundhog Day—one with less groundhog and more donations.
Wouldn’t it be great if you woke up to a repeated stream of donations from the same loyal donors again and again?
Investing in an effective recurring giving program can be a smart strategy for small shops looking to increase their stream of funds and boost donor retention. Here’s why:
- Recurring donors are loyal donors. Monthly giving programs typically see retention rates of over 80% after the donor’s first year and over 90% after five years.
- Recurring donors give more over time. Compared to those who give one-time gifts, monthly donors give 42% more over the course of one year. Could you use 42% more donations from your donors? That’s what I thought.
- Recurring donors are more engaged. Your sustainers are typically more involved, and are likely to be your advocates, fundraisers, and volunteers. These are committed supporters!
- Recurring donors make the most of your acquisition investment. Since recurring donors will give more over time and have a higher retention rate, it’s worth spending your your acquisition and stewardship dollars on identifying and converting one-time givers into monthly donors.
Important things for all nonprofits…but how do you make it happen?
Introducing Network for Good’s Recurring Giving Challenge.
Because it’s so important, we’re challenging all nonprofits to spend more time on creating and developing their recurring giving programs and to turn one-time annual donors into monthly givers. When you take the challenge, we’ll provide the step-by-step guidance, support, and resources to help you build a better monthly giving program. Whether you are just getting started or you have a monthly giving program you’d like to grow, sign up to receive weekly updates from our free e-course on setting up your recurring giving program and launching a monthly giving campaign.
You’ll lay the foundation for a solid monthly giving program and we’ll be there with everything you need to succeed (including moral support)!
BONUS: Network for Good clients are eligible for Challenge Rewards for top campaigns. That’s right—cash rewards for building your recurring donor base. Plus, we have exclusive client-only coaching, templates, and more—all focused on helping you grow your community of monthly donors. (Not a Network for Good client yet? Join our demo this week to find out more.)
Fri, January 30 2015
Filed under: Social Media •
Clicks. Likes. Shares.
Image: Cone Communications
It’s easy to write off the small online actions of “slacktivists” as passive behavior that won’t make much of a difference, but digital activists can turn into donors, advocates, and major supporters over time. Late last year, Cone Communications released their Digital Activism Study which reveals insights on digital consumer behavior when it comes to supporting causes online. A few nuggets:
- 58% of Americans believe sharing information about a cause online is an effective form of advocacy.
- 52% use social media to discuss issues they care about and believe their online activity makes a meaningful difference.
- Of those surveyed who made a donation in the last 12 months, more people gave online (27%) than regular mail (23%).
- Americans are most willing to take online actions that have a direct impact on an issue – such as voting (71%), signing petitions (70%) and learning about changes they can make in their everyday lives (70%).
But do all of these micro-actions really add up to anything meaningful for your cause or do they simply replace more significant contributions?
Change.org founder Ben Rattray recently challenged organizations to look to results before dismissing online activity as slacktivism.
“I think the measure of the effectiveness of online action isn’t whether it’s easy to do, it’s whether it actually accomplishes a specific goal,” Rattray observed.
Cone’s study revealed that 63% of Americans they are more inclined to donate or support a cause in other ways after learning about the issue online. While these initial online gifts may not be large ones, consider that small dollar serial sharers are often able to influence others to contribute a cumulative total that goes well beyond the individual act. This multiplier effect is why peer-to-peer fundraising can be so powerful.
So, how do you make the most of these digital do-gooders?
Open the door.
Embrace and enable these so-called slacktivists by lowering the barrier of entry to participate in your cause. This means making actions easy to understand, easy to do, and easy to afford. Remember: these supporters are not likely to be your high-dollar donors—yet. Offer ubiquitous opportunities to get involved and make it easy by giving your fans prepared tweets, Facebook updates, and email copy to use.
Hoist your billboard.
Cone’s research did find that there can be a gap between intent and action when it comes to supporting causes online. Organizations need to adapt their calls to action to match digital expectations. To do this, make your ask bold, concrete, and compelling. Your messages should clearly underscore a sense of urgency and illustrate the impact a donor can have. You’ll have better luck capitalizing on the desire to help when you script the actions you want people to take.
Clear a path.
Supporters who take a small action are more likely to take additional, larger actions over time—but it’s up to you to clear a path for them to do so. This means organizations should have a plan to build relationships with these digital activist and encourage them to take the next step to more involvement with your cause. Remember: depending on how they came to your organization, these donors, petition signers, or social media warriors may need an additional introduction to your work and why their support matters.
Fri, January 30 2015
Filed under: Fun stuff •
Another week has come and gone, and hopefully it’s been a good one for you. Here are the stories and resources that caught our eye in the world of nonprofit marketing and fundraising this week:
- Please tell us you’re not sending meaningless jargon to your donors. We agree with Lynne Wester: it’s so easy to do better. via Donor Relations Guru blog
- Coming up with fresh blog ideas that will resonate with supporters isn’t always easy. Luckily your Google Analytics data can help. (Is there anything it can’t do?!) via Unbounce
- So you’ve built a nice collection of stories. How do you keep everything straight? Vanessa Chase shares some options for organizing your organization’s best stuff. via The Storytelling Nonprofit
- Let’s face it, running a nonprofit can be stressful. Luckily, Natasha Golinsky has collected 10 ways to ward off burnout from some very smart Executive Directors. via Next Level Nonprofits
- Is your nonprofit eligible for a Nonprofits Google Grant? There’s an infographic for that. via Marketing Mojo
- Smile, it’s Friday! Also, smiling more can rewire your brain for positivity. Via Fast Company
- And finally, the big game is this weekend. But who wins the Super Generosity Bowl? The folks at the Chronicle tackle this very question. via Chronicle of Philanthropy