Ever since humans first gathered together under a tree, we’ve told stories to one another. Stories that move us, scare us, illuminate our minds and inspire us to see the world anew. So why, when it comes to moving and inspiring people to give to a charitable cause, do so many in our industry resist the power of the story?
Giving is an emotional response. A visceral reaction to the drama we’ve been presented with. Someone doesn’t give £10 to help an emaciated donkey because the charity has a particular strategic objective. They give because they feel anguish in their gut, injustice in their heart, and the glorious possibility of redemption. Which is pretty much the DNA of every movie made and every novel written.
Giving is emotional and people can be inspired through stories, so the art of storytelling is an essential craft for fundraisers to master. Matt Finlayson at Campfire Marketing shares his reasons why humans just can’t do without stories…
In recent years, more attention has been paid to the value of mid-level donors. But many mid-level programs still underperform, with fundraisers uncertain about how to engage with these donors.
Lawrence Henze, principal consultant at Blackbaud Target Analytics, has over 38 years of development and marketing experience in the nonprofit sector. In his latest white paper, Finding Value in the Middle: An Examination of Mid-Level Giving, Lawrence offers a fascinating analysis of mid-level donors and their characteristics before diving in to some best practices to promote mid-level fundraising success.
Each year, approximately 10% of your non-profit donor base will attrition naturally through death, moving, or just not giving any longer. Then you add lapsed donors on top of that natural attrition, and you are looking at an eroding donor list. Sound familiar?
Here, Robin Cabral shares some simple steps that you can take to combat this natural attrition and to begin adding new names to your donor list. These are the actual suggestions that she uses with her very own clients.
It’s time to stop wasting money trying to interrupt your target prospects and instead reap the benefits of attracting your prospects to you. And that’s what inbound marketing services are all about – creating and sharing content that appeals to your audience so they build trust in your brand. It works on the principle of attract, convert, close and delight; turning strangers into visitors, leads to customers, and finally promoters.
35% say closing a deal is getting harder, whilst only 22% are happy with their current conversion rates. And that’s exactly where inbound marketing technology comes in.
Abby Mitchinson writes how inbound can give you the opportunity to think smarter, grow faster, and deliver powerful results.
Everybody wants to run a successful nonprofit, but there are far too many that do not realize the importance of good business practices when doing so.
Take, for example, branding. When you set out to save the world, or at least make it a better place, it’s easy to just assume that the worthiness of your cause will be enough to convince people to contribute. What’s not immediately obvious is the sheer depth of other causes competing for attention—not to mention other nonprofits in same or similar niches.
This results in the same problem that every for-profit business has—how can you differentiate in a crowded marketplace? Nobody wants their nonprofit to be blasted for spending more on promotions than actually helping others, but a little bit of expert branding can be a force multiplier that guarantees that a mission is accomplished correctly.
Raissa Frenkel from the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation explains how improving your brand strategy can actually bolster a nonprofit, too.
There’s no question that customer experience (CX) is a data-driven discipline. After all, at the foundation of most CX programs are close-ended surveys designed to capture and analyze customer feedback.
Yes, metrics are a crucial element of every successful CX program. With metrics, you can establish a clear performance baseline and track trends based on actions you take over time.
But how do you know in advance if the actions you take will be the right ones? Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball that lets you know exactly what to do to have the biggest impact on your anchor metrics?
Here’s some good news: You don’t need to have psychic powers to excel at CX. Instead, you need to use predictive analytics to clarify expected returns before you take every step—and to ensure you have clean data to power your CX metrics program. Only then can you take meaningful action based on your customer data.
In this blog, Richard Boehmcke shares how predictive analytics can benefit your business and therefore fundraising successes.
Picture this: a wealthy donor opens up the daily newspaper at her kitchen table and sees a heart-warming story about a school-age child benefiting from your nonprofit’s services.
On her drive to work, she hears your executive director interviewed on morning news radio.
Before an afternoon meeting, the same donor scans her Instagram and Facebook feeds and sees your story being shared.
Later, she gets an email from your nonprofit, featuring the story and a direct request for a gift. In one click, a donation is made.
What steps did it take to turn one story into a donation? Maura F. Farrell provides the details.
At some level, every fundraiser knows that alumni engagement is an important driver of alumni giving. At the same time, the advancement profession seems perpetually perplexed by how to measure engagement and apply those measures to increase philanthropy. Why is that?
Generally speaking, advancement offices have access to a pretty accurate picture of who alumni were as students, but very little information on who they are now.
As a result, advancement professionals are primed to treat alumni as former students instead of getting to know them as mature adults. This leads to false assumptions about current alumni needs and the relevant steps a school might take to increase engagement by addressing those needs.
Different from alumni affinity, Dr. Jay Le Roux Dillon describes “Alumni Role Identity” in this series of blogs – a measure of a graduate’s level of connection to their alma mater and an indicator of their inclination to donate to same.
Part 1: https://www.salesforce.org/alumni-engagement-weve-gotten-wrong-fix/
Part 2: https://www.salesforce.org/higher-education-fundraising-culture-sameness-busting-3-massive-myths/
Part 3: https://www.salesforce.org/alumni-role-identity-new-way-alumni-donor-psyche/
Part 4: https://www.salesforce.org/past-webinars/alumni-engagement-scoring-science-tell-us-webinar/
Unsuccessful fundraisers don’t understand qualification. They don’t recognize its power. They wait for the next wealth screened list. They fiddle with it in Excel or in some other database. They make a few calls. They don’t get any appointments. They give up. Then they say the list was no good.
Unsuccessful fundraisers don’t use the qualification process effectively. They don’t recognize the fact that understanding qualified supporters in-depth is crucial. When they call, write or visit them, they ignore their interests, passions, desires, and needs. And, too often, they ignore them entirely. They don’t call, write or visit them at all.
Here, Greg Warner provides seven easy to follow steps to help you qualify your prospects.
The California Consumer Protection Act requires businesses and charities to make disclosures in their public-facing privacy policies and to update annually such disclosures, starting January 1, 2020.
The California Consumer Privacy Act will effectively be the US national data privacy standard for consumer business and brands when it takes effect on January 1, 2020. (Although enforcement by the California attorney general has been delayed until June 2020, individual and class-action law suits may begin immediately.)
As of this writing, that’s precisely 12 weeks, or no more than 55 working days, allowing for the holidays. Given how many companies were radically unprepared for the GDPR given two years for preparation, this implies that lots of companies need to do lots of work lots of fast.
There are three interrelated and inescapable reasons why CCPA-compliant data practices will quickly become the standard across the US, even for companies that don’t do business in California. Here, Tim Walters, Ph.D. explains more.
The California Consumer Privacy Act could have more repercussions on U.S. companies than the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect in 2018. The California law doesn’t have some of GDPR’s most onerous requirements, such as the narrow 72-hour window in which a company must report a breach. In other respects, however, it goes even farther.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) takes a broader view than the GDPR of what constitutes private data. The challenge for security, then, is to locate and secure that private data.
CSO, which serves enterprise security decision-makers and users with the critical information they need to stay ahead of evolving threats and defend against criminal cyberattacks, shares an excellent guide on what CCPA means to you.
On January 1 2020, a landmark new data law comes into effect, subjecting U.S. businesses to a sea change of privacy regulations. After that date, Americans will be able to demand that charities disclose what personal data they have collected about them, and also ask them to delete that data. The California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) will severely impact tech giants like Google and Facebook, as well as retailers like Macy’s and Walmart.
This heralds the end of an era in which the U.S. defied a shift in global privacy norms, and allowed American companies to commodify consumer data.
There remains, however, considerable confusion over how the law will be enforced, and how much of a burden it will be to U.S. companies. What follows is Forbes’ plain English explanation of the law, the politics surrounding it, and how it will affect businesses and consumers.
Jeff Brooks takes guidance produced on customer experience and reviews it through the lens of a fundraiser because it’s a look at how people think and decide.
Here are the “6 components of human beings” with what each might mean for fundraisers to give you a powerful advantage.
The fine art of donor communications is a constant topic of study and analysis. But while nonprofits don’t always know what type of communications donors want, common sense would dictate that donors are looking for some kind of feedback about how their money is used. But what kind of contact do they want and how does this contact improve giving?
This data on evidence, updates and thanks seems aimed at nonprofit communicators who are afraid of bothering their constituents, which is a normal response to donor fatigue. Yet, donors also complain about the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am approach, in which nonprofits drag their heels with a timely thanks. So what’s a nonprofit to do?
Amy Butcher shares her thoughts in this blog.
Shaun Horan starts this thought piece with: “Nothing splits a room like asking this question: should you ask for a gift from a prospective donor on the first meeting?”
So, what are his reasons? Click below to find out.
For a long time, philanthropy has been defined as “the giving of money to nonprofit organizations.” However, this definition is quickly becoming obsolete.
It’s evolving towards a meaning that is more appropriate to today’s giving paradigm and less industry-driven: that philanthropy is “the action of transforming the social wellbeing of others through generosity.”
The fundraising pyramid has long been the gold standard in the nonprofit industry to “group” donors. But it’s an odd way to represent a community of philanthropists — it’s a misrepresentation of what’s actually taking place through the process. The evolution of philanthropy forces us to re-imagine this structure.
Community Funded explains more.
Stephanie Harvey, fundraising manager from Little Village, shares her thoughts on this year’s Status of UK Fundraising 2019 Benchmark Report.
One outcome is the decreased confidence in charities. Stephanie elaborates: “We have all seen the negative news with various stories being uncovered of late, and like others we were disappointed and angry about what was shared in the press. Just because we work in the sector, doesn’t mean that we are immune to the bad press – and perhaps it’s also shaken our trust in the sector.
“However, I also believe that we reflect the wider public view that whilst we might not like the current public face of charities, we still like the ones we know and support.
“So, what advice would I give to anyone who doesn’t feel confident, or feels their non-profit needs to do more?”
Read Stephanie’s advise below.
Brain science is commonly taken into consideration when developing marketing and communication strategies, particularly concerning visual content. After all, the best way to influence behavior is to understand its drivers. And behavior is driven by our psychological brains. At the same time, basing a strategy on invalid data can quickly waste time and resources.
Unfortunately, when it comes to understanding our visual brains, plenty of myths clutter the published universe. To save everyone a lot of wasted effort, Samantha Lile at Visme
has debunked 10 common myths about our brains and their visual abilities.
How to deal with rich people? John Baguley writes in this blog:
“I have worked on many highly successful capital appeals and a few that didn’t quite reach their target. Time and again that failure was due to the inability of the team to engage with wealthy people as human beings and not as representatives of all that is wrong with society. The feeling was often that they ought to give because they were rich, with no thought about real engagement over time with their kindness and goodwill.
“Crucially, this sometimes manifested itself in the act of asking, which I have seen done almost as an act of bravado to show the person asking was not afraid of the task but, unfortunately, that resulted in a slightly offensive demand lacking any humility.”
Read this blog for John’s tips on dealing with the rich.