6 assumptions you should make about donors

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.

https://www.futurefundraisingnow.com/future-fundraising/2018/03/6-assumptions-you-should-make-about-donors.html

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What Donors Want When It Comes to Communication

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.

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/what-donors-want-when-it-comes-to-communication/

Direct Mail – Dead or Alive

These are dark times for direct mail fundraising. Response rates are down (and have been trending lower for more than a decade). At the same time, costs of paper, printing, and postage keep going up, usually faster than inflation.

So direct mail is dead, right? The sooner you stop using it for fundraising, the better. Right?

Not so fast.

Jeff Brooks takes a sober and non-panicked look tells at direct mail to see that it isn’t dead. It’s not even sick. But it’s changing, like everything else.

https://www.moceanic.com/2019/direct-mail-dead-or-alive/

The Evolution of Philanthropy and the Fall of the Fundraising Pyramid

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.

https://www.communityfunded.com/blog/evolution-philanthropy-fundraising-pyramid/

Three steps for Boosting your Fundraising Confidence

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.

https://hub.blackbaud.co.uk/blackbaud-europe/status-of-uk-fundraising-2019-three-steps-to-boosting-your-fundraising-confidence

Creating and leading a Great Fundraising Organisation

Do you work for a Great Fundraising Organisation? Not any great fundraising organisation… but a Great Fundraising Organisation.

For the purpose of the academic study, “The Great Fundraising Report,” Profs. Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang from the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at the University of Plymouth, defined Great Fundraising Organisations as those charities, NGOs and non-profits that:

  • Achieved significant growth in voluntary income, typically 200 percent to 400 percent over the middle term, being five to ten years.
  • Sustained the increased levels of income.
  • Drove this income from a database of donors who were mission driven.

The object of the study was to identify behavioural factors that created a Great Fundraising Organisation. The project is supported by ongoing, informal action research on over 300 case studies worldwide. We particularly studied organisations that outperformed organisations with similar markets, missions and projects.

Alan Clayton found three key areas in which the Great Fundraising Organisations out-perform their competitors.

Find out what they were in the blog below.

https://101fundraising.org/2017/08/creating-leading-great-fundraising-organisation/

10 Common Myths About Our Visual Brains

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.

https://visme.co/blog/common-myths-visual-brain/

Don’t fear the Rich List

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.

https://www.charitychoice.co.uk/the-fundraiser/dont-fear-the-rich-list/726

25 Facts and Stats about NGOs Worldwide

Raising money is hard work, and sometimes, just sometimes, we need some great facts to help remind ourselves that we are doing great work to help society and the world improve.

#NGOFACTS is an ongoing online campaign that highlights important data about non-governmental organizations (NGOs), nonprofits, and charities worldwide.

You can join the campaign by sharing facts and stats about the NGO sector in your country using the #NGOFACTS hashtag on social media.

Facts include:
Nearly one in three (31.5%) people worldwide donated to charity in 2015 and one in four (24%) volunteered.

Click the link below to read 24 more and feel inspires.

http://techreport.ngo/previous/2017/facts-and-stats-about-ngos-worldwide.html

Radical Transparency

What does Jennifer Coleman-Peers mean by ‘radical transparency’?

It’s about pushing beyond the norms of honest and open practice to be open to the extreme, to share all the most important aspects – both the good and the bad – and in doing so to build trust in who we are and what we do because everything is there to see.

It tells your supporter that you have confidence in the commitment, vision and expertise of your organisation, and that despite its inevitable failings (because we’re all only human) it is working in the best way it knows how to make the biggest possible difference to your cause.

For more information on how radical transparency can make your charity and your leadership become more authentic, please read Jennifer’s blog below:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/radical-transparency-jennifer-coleman-peers

How to Build a Major Donor Program from the Ground Up

Most organizations have plenty of donor prospects, without having to go outside and look for prospects who aren’t connected to you.

Claire from Clairification Fundraising Coach suggests you don’t start with the most out-of-reach prospects. You can be a major donor prospect rainmaker without having to go outside or reach too far.

Even small current donors may be juicier prospects than “whale” donors with no connection to you or your cause.

It’s as easy as ABC: Access. Belief. Capacity.

It all boils down to this:

  • Who you know you can get to.
  • Who believes in your mission.
  • Who has capacity to give.

These are the folks with whom you’ve already got a foot in the door. They are your best prospects for upgraded giving, presuming you’ve treated them well.

For more details, visit:

https://clairification.com/2017/01/12/build-major-donor-program-ground/

Giving Day – The Ultimate Guide to Success

A Giving Day is a 24 hour digitally driven fundraising and engagement campaign with the goal of rallying a university’s or nonprofit’s community behind a particular cause.

The original and most famous Giving Day is #GivingTuesday and has since been embraced by universites and nonprofits across the globe looking to run their own campaigns.

In this plan from Hubbub, you will gain a clear idea of the steps required to launch a successful Giving Day campaign. Much of this is targeted at universities, schools and colleges, but is applicable to the whole nonprofit sector.

https://www.hubbub.net/giving-day

An interview with Justin Coghlan, co-founder of the Movember Foundation

Good fundraising ideas don’t come around that often, but every now and again an idea comes around that transforms the sector. Here is the story of how the Movember Foundation started in 2003 and turned into a major event raising over £400m.

Be inspired and perhaps try that idea in the back of your head (or under your nose…).

https://www.nursinginpractice.com/article/interview-justin-coghlan-co-founder-movember-foundation

Free Stuff! 51 Stunning Presentation Slides You Can Customize [Plus Templates]

Creating a presentation powerful enough to stay in your audience’s mind is key whether you’re presenting to potential prospects, showing off your incredible KPIs at your board meeting or sharing best practise with other fundraisers at the next CASE conference!

Visme has put together an incredible selection of free presentation templates that will ensure you stand out.

https://visme.co/blog/creative-presentation-ideas/

Free Stuff! Really Good Emails

More free stuff and this time we focus on email templates. Emails are a key method for non-profits to communicate with your supporters and getting the design right is key in getting your message read.

Really Good Emails is an amazing resource with over 4000 real email campaigns to inspire you PLUS if you sign up for free, the code behind the email for you to tailor to your needs.

https://reallygoodemails.com/

Long Read: Head to Head – A Conversation on Behavioral Science and Ethics

An exploration of the intersection of compliance and ethics programmes and behavioural science may not immediately strike you as a top candidate for your summer reading list – especially a fundraising reading list – but it would be a mistake to miss out on this review of a research paper by Meredith Niles. She considers how the learnings could be applied to fundraising to provide us with some well considered new perspectives.

https://criticalfundraising.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/review-head-to-head-a-conversation-on-behavioural-science-and-ethics/

Long Read: What does it take to deliver an outstanding donor experience?

Hundreds of development professionals shared their views in the sector’s first professional study into what it takes to deliver an outstanding donor experience.

Holly Palmer, Lee Durbin and their team on volunteers crunched and analysed the results to produce a pretty unique report, chock-a-block full of insight. This is an essential read for everyone involved in HE fundraising.

https://hedonorexperience.com/research-report-fundraising-in-higher-education-the-donor-experience/

Long Read: The philosophical dispute between fundraising and data protection

At the end of 2016, when the ICO fined several charities for breaching the Data Protection Act 1998, Ian MacQuillin, wrote a fascinating philosophical piece on how charities are perceived by different types of people.

Even though this feels like a long time ago, it’s still as relevant today as it was back then. Whenever you feel that GDPR and data protection are not your friend, have a read of this.

https://criticalfundraising.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/opinion-the-philosophical-dispute-between-fundraising-and-data-protection/amp/

Long Read: 2020 Vision in Fundraising

This long read by John Baguley from International Fundraising Consultancy is split into several parts and what the team has learnt as they gear up to the firms 20th anniversary. focus on their top 20 tips to help us fundraise more effectively.

These 20 key facts every fundraiser should know: some are basic and some are outside any box we have ever found. None should be forgotten as we seek to grow our income and influence.

Part 1: https://groupifc.com/blog/2020-vision-in-fundraising/

Part 2: https://groupifc.com/blog/2020-vision-in-fundraising-part-ii/

Part 3: https://groupifc.com/blog/2020-vision-in-fundraising-part-iii/

Part 4: https://groupifc.com/blog/2020-vision-in-fundraising-part-iv/

Long Read: Good asking

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) recently launched Good Asking – a report on why charities research and process supporter information. They worked with leading academic Dr Beth Breeze from the University of Kent, to survey over 300 fundraisers to understand why they process and research information about their supporters, and what the benefits are for donors, charities and the wider public.

The purpose of this report is to shed light on the importance of fundraisers and their work. If they are to be successful, fundraisers need to conduct research to facilitate the efficient and accurate matching of donors and the causes they might wish to support, and to do so in a way that makes the experience as pleasurable as possible for the generous donor.

THE REPORT FINDINGS INCLUDE:

  • 90% of fundraisers believe that conducting research enables fundraisers to better communicate and tailor their work to the interests and priorities of donors
  • Most (88%) fundraisers believe that conducting research reduces the levels of unwanted or irrelevant mail sent out
  • A representative survey of the general UK population found that almost two-thirds (60%) of those who prefer charities to communicate in a tailored way with them, think that charities should be able to use information that is publicly available, for example doing Google searches or drawing on newspaper articles, in order to tailor their approach to their supporters.

The report also highlights that:

  • Two-thirds of major donors believe that a ‘more professional approach’ by fundraisers has been a key factor in the development of philanthropy in the UK

https://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/library/good-asking-report-2017/