I bet your favorite brand makes you feel great every time you interact with them. Brands like Tiffany’s and the Ritz Carlton cater to our needs, but we don’t always treat our donors this way. In this episode, Rachel Muir shares stewardship techniques that will dramatically increase your individual donor loyalty and revenue.
Rachel Muir, author of Makeover my Board and founder of Girlstart, discusses how to enhance your donor cultivation by acknowledging all gifts, remembering donaversaries, making thank you calls, and getting to know donors as more than just a credit card or checkbook.
Rachel’s website: www.rachaelmuir.com
Rachel’s upcoming course, Makeover my Fundraising: http://makeovermyfundraising.com/
Rachel’s Guides: http://www.rachelmuir.com/guides/
Handouts from Keynotes: http://www.rachelmuir.com/handouts/
Rachael’s Blog: http://www.rachelmuir.com/handouts/
(5:45) Incentivize loyalty
(7:37) Amplify your donors’ experience using surveys
(10:00) Acknowledge donors’ gifts
(13:00) Inspire your donors to give again
(14:00) Send a message: how a thank you letter for a $3 gift encouraged a $100,000 donation
(15:45) The negative effects of “stewardship minimums”
(17:25) Thank you calls before board meetings
(19:30) For online gifts, use an email acknowledgement that sounds like a human wrote it
(20:45) Trees Atlanta goes above and beyond to thank Dolph for a small gift
(23:00) Everyone loved an Ontario nonprofit’s “thank you letter from a bird”
(26:00) How to approach your donors that “downgrade” their giving
(28:00) Low-hanging fruit: meaningful phone calls with donors
(31:25) Embody the core value of gratitude
(33:45) Dolph’s life lesson on responding to donors and supporters
(36:20) Rachel shares her experience on the being on the receiving end of donor cultivation
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About the Host:
Nonprofits all over the country are in the middle of a very busy special event season. In fact, many fundraisers and event planners are putting those final touches on their October and November events, and this is the perfect time to prepare your board to be enthusiastic ambassadors and fundraisers at the event.
To help make your board members effective ambassadors and fundraisers at your next event, we invited special event guru and auctioneer Abra Annes back on the podcast. She shared several fresh and innovative ideas for board involvement that will be fun for your board members, while also generating significantly more revenue for your organization.
Generosity Auction’s Website: www.auctionsgenerosity.com
Generosity Auction’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/generosityauctions/
Generosity Auction’s YouTube Channel:
***** Time Stamp Highlights: *****
About Successful Nonprofits Podcast Host Dolph Goldenburg
Dolph is recognized as a high performance leader in the nonprofit sector who served as a nonprofit CEO for a dozen years and a fundraiser for an additional ten years. Author of the book Successful Nonprofits Build Supercharged Boards, Goldenburg also founded a boutique consulting firm based in Atlanta.
His multi-state consulting practice provides interim executive transition, strategic planning, and organizational development services. The Goldenburg Group's clients have annual operating budgets ranging from $25,000 to over $25 million deployed in the areas of housing, education, civil rights, arts and culture, workforce development, health services, and community-based services.
Connect with Dolph:
After the hit featured conversation with Ellen Bristol about her book The Leaky Bucket on Episode 20 of the Successful Nonprofits Podcast, I knew we would have her on to discuss her next book: Fundraising the SMART WayTM. In this book she brings the principles of Total Quality Management to identification, qualification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors.
Some of the highlights from our conversation include:
About Successful Nonprofits Podcast Host Dolph Ward Goldenburg
Imaging a fundraising event in a hotel ballroom that was as much fun and as profitable as a vacation cruise! Imagine your donors feeling excited to buy a ticket, telling all their friends they were going, posting about the event on Facebook and getting even more pleasure from bidding competitively at the auction and giving generously to the solicitation.
Today’s guest, Abra Annes, came to fundraising through the cruise-line industry. As an assistant cruise director for Carnival Cruises, she learned the art of keeping guests entertained and happy about spending money for additional services and products once on the ship.
When her last cruise docked and she ended the hospitality phase of her career, Abra transitioned to professional fundraising – eventually running a $17 million annual campaign for a prominent Jewish organization.
But squeezing the most money from special events - without guests feeling squeezed - remained her passion. Consequently, she has learned the most effective techniques for generating big money through special event fundraising during her very successful fundraising career.
If you’re tired of spending way too much time and effort to produce an event that nets too little money, you need to hear this episode with Abra Annes. During our featured conversations, she shared many proven and effective techniques for helping your event guests feel happy about giving your organization even more money.
In this episode, we discuss:
With Christmas and New Year right around the corner, you are hopefully being flooded with year-end individual donations. In fact, the final three months of the year is especially critical for organizations that rely on individual donors for 30%, 60%, or in some rare cases even 90% of their budget.
Regardless of where your organization falls on this spectrum, wouldn’t you love to get data about individual donors at a broad range of other organizations? Would it be helpful to know the average percentage of individual donors who give online, or the average ratio between major donor and everyday donor? Would it be helpful if you could predict the return on investment in fundraising planning, development staff, or CRM?
Back in 2010, Heather Yandow saw a need for this kind of data and used her math degree and decade of development experience to launch the Individual Donor Benchmark Project. The project consists of an annual survey of nonprofits to learn more about their individual donor strategies and achievements. Each year, her consulting firm Third Space Studio, produces a well-designed and easily understand Individual Donor Benchmark Report.
This self-described data nerd has developed an incredibly useful body of data that you can use to evaluate your current fundraising program, inform your planning process, and advocate for additional resources with boards and funders.
We explored some of the high points from the past five Individual Donor Benchmark reports, including:
Heather Yandow’s Contact Information:
Register to take the 2017 Individual Donor Benchmark Survey here:
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This week on the Successful Nonprofits Podcast, we speak with author and fundraising consultant Ellen Bristol.
Bristol’s effective fundraising counsel is the result of 4 decades of experience and data from over 1,000 nonprofits that completed the Leaky Bucket Assessment. This innovative online assessment measures nine key practices that contribute to or detract from your fundraising efforts, which are summarized in her book "The Leaky Bucket: What's wrong with your fundraising and how you can fix it".
Those taking the survey included very small organizations to those with multi-million dollar budgets. Shockingly, the median organizational score on the Leaky Bucket Assessment was a C-minus.
To find out how organizations be more effective at fundraising, our conversation focused on three important factors for fundraising:
Hiring and supporting dedicated fundraising staff is one of the key indicators for fundraising success. Bristol notes that organizations with no dedicated fundraising staff only meet their fundraising objectives 39% of the time. For this reason, we discussed:
In addition to using paid staff, the organizations that are most successful at fundraising also utilize volunteers. In our conversation, Bristol recommended providing volunteers:
We finished the conversation with a summary of the four laws of performance management, and you’ll have to listen to the podcast to get these golden gems!
Ellen Bristol reminded listeners that their organization can take the Leaky Bucket Assessment by visiting http://www.bristolstrategygroup.com/resources/the-leaky-bucket-for-nonprofit-fundraising. When taking the Leaky Bucket Assessment, your organization will be able to compare your fundraising to global averages and get an hour of private review with Bristol or another facilitator.
Links for Bristol Strategy Group:
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BristolStrategyGroup
LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellenbristol
Phone number: 305-935-6676
Buy the “The Leaky Bucket: What’s wrong with your fundraising and how you can fix it” on Amazon.
We had an amazing conversation with extraordinary development professional Chris Haley! Chris’ impressive fundraising bio includes significant major donor cultivation and solicitation in several large U.S. cities.
In the 40-minute interview, Chris guides us through the major gift process of:
In explaining each of these steps of the major gift process, he also offers helpful hints and tips such as, The “Three A’s” of qualifying a prospective major donor. The number of prospects you need for every major gift you receive. The impact that Dunbar’s Number has on building relationships with donors. Substitutional ways a major donor can give.
Want to know more? You’ll have to listen to our Featured Conversation with Chris Haley.
Article of the Week Denise Spivak
In her role as its Senior Director of Programs and Outreach with CenterLink, Denise Spivak is constantly on the lookout for ideas and resources for the more than 150 LGBT centers across the country that CenterLink serves. We were fortunate to have her share one of these articles with us: The Seven Tips to Create an Amazing Donor Cultivation Tour. Denise shared some of the ways their member organizations have used donor cultivation tours, and Dolph talked about an incredible donor cultivation tour he participated in while in Dehli, India (at an organization called Salaam Balaak Trust).
Gail Perry Article: The Seven Tips to Create an Amazing Donor Cultivation Tour:
Information on the Salaam Baalak Trust tour:
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