What if we said “Give Where Most Moved” instead? No one likes to be scolded. Yet most nonprofits make a practice of regularly admonishing supporters to give “where most needed.” You probably think this is a good thing. After all, it gives you the greatest flexibility. Right? Wrong. Think again. You’ll have a lot …Details
The 2015 Millennial Impact Report was released last week, and lots of folks are weighing in on what this means for nonprofits. Why is everyone all agog? These folks, born between 1980 and 2000, represent huge buying (aka donating) power and influence. As the lead researcher and president of Achieve, a lead researcher in the study, notes:
“The Millennial generation is influential. From their buying power to their handle on the limitless potential of social media, Millennials can address issues and be a voice for a cause like no other generation before them.”
I was particularly interested in how they gave:
- 30% online
- 28% check or cash
- 22% solicited through their company
- 11% payroll deduction
In other words, they’re just as multi-channel as the Boomers and Gen X, with a skewing toward more online activity. There’s plenty of food for thought in the articles that follow, with some great suggestions for how you might consider reworking your fundraising and marketing strategies to engage greater numbers of this emerging generation.
BTW: I’ve thrown in a couple of articles that apply to all generations. The plain and simple fact is that marketing is changing for everyone.Details
As a fundraising professional, relationship building with donors is an ongoing process and communication is an important part of that process. Stories are a great communications tool that you can use to tell donors about their impact in a tangible and easy to understand manner.
Storytelling seems to be everywhere these days. Non-profits are actively trying to use stories to engage their current and new donors. Is your non-profit trying to tap into the power of stories? Perhaps it’s been a positive experience for your organization. But maybe you have faced some challenges.
One of the biggest challenges with storytelling is being able to tell a great story. A story that really stands out from the pack and resonates with your donor audience. A story that, ultimately, compels action.
Today I want to share with you 7 rules for telling a better non-profit story.Details
Donor needs vary and evolve, depending on where they are in their own life cycle and their life cycle with your nonprofit. Do you ever wonder how you might help them meet their needs? How you might reward them for giving? You should — if you want to keep them as donors.
You may be familiar with Maslow’s “Theory of Human Motivation” where he breaks needs for human development and contentment down into steps that form a pyramid. Maslow suggests the basic human needs such as food, shelter, and sleep are required before you can pursue higher needs such as security, love and belonging, esteem and the need for self-actualization.
Sadly, just giving to charity doesn’t necessarily meet these higher-level needs. Donors may give out of guilt, fear, peer pressure (which doesn’t feel so good). Some give to be praised (meets esteem need, but only if you praise them). Some give to be accepted by peers (meets love & belonging need, but only if you offer opportunities to connect and feel loved)… and so forth. You see, giving is not always it’s own reward.
To create life-long donors imposes on your charity the obligation to do something proactive to fulfill your donor’s highest level needs.
Donors, like all human beings, are on a continual quest for meaning. It’s the existential search to be all that one can be. To feel self-actualized.
In non-psychological or theoretical terms, at the self-actualization pinnacle donors just feel darn good. They carry around a warm glow, representing the realization of their potential and inner peace.
This feeling is very powerful – and we human beings naturally seek it out. It’s one of reasons why even very poor give outsized proportions of their income to charity.
Another way to describe this is the search for meaning in life. For most people, meaning is deeply intertwined with community connections. Victor Frankl in his famous chronicle on the search for meaning wrote: love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Humans want to feel a sense of connection and a sense of purpose to life. Giving (time, money, and energy) is a central way that we strive to find meaning.
If your nonprofit doesn’t complete the exchange circuit for donors, their search for meaning gets cut short.Details
Clairity Click-it: Social Content Marketing for Fundraising; Giving Psychology; Donor Metrics; Boards
To all my friends in the U.S., Happy Independence Day and I hope you get to enjoy a long, lovely refreshing week-end. To everyone else, why not pretend it’s a holiday and do something just for you?!. Because it’s summer, I’m giving you a light reading load this week. If you get a chance, let me know if any of these articles resonate with you. Have a good one!
P.S. Registration for the Donor Retention Master Class closes Monday at noon. If you meant to register, now is your last chance (you can read more about it below).Details
I know this may sound silly, but I sometimes like to think of my donors as clothing.
Well, shopping is one of my favorite activities so I think about clothing a lot. I think about the many ways I can use it, repurpose it, mix and match it, show it off and even share it with friends and family. I treasure my clothing, and have a great deal of difficulty letting go of any of it (yes, my closet is stuffed to the gills)!
So, how are donors like clothing?
- They cover a lot of basic needs.
- They keep you (aka your nonprofit) warm and cozy.
- They enable you to get through different seasons.
- They help you look good.
- They help you show off your brand and strut your stuff.
- They attract others to you.
- They are a big part of the story of your life.
- And you should have a lot of trouble letting go of them.
Unfortunately, most nonprofits are much too cavalier about letting go. It’s expensive. It’s a waste of time. It’s completely irresponsible if you care about your nonprofit’s future – so I want you to STOP IT!
4 Ways to Cherish and Hold on to Donors
- Stop Discarding Donors; Treasure Them
- Meaningfully Thank Donors; Do it a Lot
- Show Impact with Stories and Compelling Images
- Build the Relationship
In Part 1 of this article I’ll discuss the first two ways. The second two ways will be covered in Part 2.Details
This week is all about your donors: keeping them; communicating with them, taking care of them and meeting them where they are. I’ve got several really useful articles for you. Not too many. It’s summer, after all! Plus, as always, some terrific upcoming learning opportunities for you.
Fundraisers report that money is the number one reason they leave their jobs [See Part I of this two-part series here]. While I do believe too many fundraisers are underpaid relative to their skill sets and performance, I’ve a hunch it’s not the real chief culprit for fundraiser dissatisfaction. What is?
Guess what? The reason is very similar to why donors leave you. If you read through this article, you’ll learn both (1) how to keep more fundraisers, and (2) how to satisfy, inspire and retain more donors.
I gave you a hint in the title. Yup. It’s what Aretha Franklin famously sang about:
It’s not just respect for fundraisers as individuals that’s lacking. It’s respect for their profession. For what it takes to succeed with development in a nonprofit organization. For what it means to be a part of a team — all working together towards the same goal — and why it’s impossible to succeed without a supportive infrastructure and culture.
And by the way, donors won’t thrive absent a supportive culture and infrastructure either. They’re looking to be a part of your community, your family, your way of life. If you won’t give them this warm, fuzzy, connected feeling — they’ll find someone else who will.
So what pre-conditions must be in place for fundraising staff, and donors, to want to stay?Details
If you’re a fundraiser, does this sound like you?
Show me my money!!!
According to five years of research by Penelope Burk (culminating in her book, Donor-Centered Leadership) as well as a much-talked-about study by CompassPoint and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, half of chief development officers plan to leave their jobs in two years or less and 40% plan to leave fundraising entirely.
The number one reason fundraisers give for leaving is to earn more money.
What’s going on, and how can you fix it?
Is it about money, or something else?Details
Avoid becoming irrelevant in the digital age. It’s revolutionized fundraising and nonprofit marketing.
There are so many different ways to communicate today that it can be dizzying!
Ground yourself by remembering that though technology has changed, people have not. We have the same drives… needs… yearnings as prehistoric tribes. We long for connection and meaning. We want to find where we “fit.”
Philanthropy provides that “fit opportunity” in spades (or, more aptly, in hearts). You’ve got the goods; you just need to tinker with your delivery system.
Here’s how to embrace the change.
1. Let’s begin with your gift of content marketing.
“Content marketing” is buzz-worthy because without it, you’ve got nothing. You’re just a box with nothing inside. Kids like to play with boxes; most folks — when they grow up — are looking for something of value inside the box.
That’s your content. What you’re all about. The gift you offer the world and your donors.Details