Fundraising is focussed on the bottom line. Hard, tangible cash. Facts and figures. Brand is about perception. The heart and mind of the audience. Intangible feelings.
OK, so I’m being purposefully black and white. But everyone of my friends in the sector feels that brand and fundraising teams need to work better together. And with the sector still suffering reputational damage and a new drop in voluntary income, it needs to be all hands to the pump.
And I’ve seen where this happens in perfect harmony. The case for support. I’ve worked on lots of cases for support for very different charities, and they always show me how close communication, brand and fundraising teams actually are, and how well they can work together.
Alexander Scott explains how the case for support is the core story that weaves together brand narrative with need, and the action you want your audience to take.
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.
Survey respondents for the 2018 Global NGO Technology Report were asked to rate the effectiveness of the most commonly used communication and fundraising tools. Their answers provide valuable insight into which tools NPOs, NGOs, and charities should prioritize in their communications and fundraising strategy.
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.
The formula for getting work done is simple: Show up and sit there. Think. Stare out the window. Write.
There’s no muse, no need for a perfect storm of artistic conditions to come together before you can rack up the pages. You just do the work. The work gets done.
But simple formulas don’t always produce good results. Let Rachel Toor guide you through tips to of what to do when you get stuck.
One of the greatest challenges of being a development professional is dealing with rejection. The fact is, you are going to hear the word “No” a lot.
But the best fundraisers know not to take it personally and get right back on that fundraising horse. They also learn that sometimes a No can help you find your way to a Yes.
Here, Allison Gauss, defines the 9 types of fundraising nos and what to do with them.
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/
It’s important to be aware of data protection legislation across the globe so that non-profits are familiar with requirements. If nothing else, these requirements tend to become the norm and therefore shape the expectations of your donors and supporters.
The CCPA applies to “businesses.” The Act defines that term to include any legal entity (e.g., corporations, associations, partnerships, etc.) that is “organized or operated for the profit or financial benefit of its shareholders or other owners.”1 This accords with the fact that non-profits are exempt from many of the data privacy and security regulations within the United States – in particular, they are largely exempt from enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission, and, therefore, are exempt from compliance with the rules, regulations, and guidance of the Federal Trade Commission to the extent that such rules, regulations, or guidance are not incorporated in state laws that do apply to the non-profit.
In comparison, the European GDPR does not contain any exemptions for non-profit organizations.
So, unless your non-profit has a commercial branch or deals in selling data lists, CCPA does not apply. GDPR, however, does – if you are dealing with citizens of the European Union.
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.
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.
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.
The cost of acquiring a pound of charitable income has grown swiftly since the start of the century.
The latest edition of the UK Civil Society almanac contains a section on the cost of generating funds, which shows that in the year to March 2001, adjusted for inflation, the charity sector spent a total of £3.1bn on generating funds. Now it’s £5.9bn. That’s an increase of 90 per cent.
The sector’s income, meanwhile, has grown by 50 per cent. So the cost of raising money has grown by around 33 per cent in real terms.
Each pound spent on raising income now yields around £4.16, down from somewhere around £5.50 per pound at the start of the century.
David Ainsworth examines the causes of the change.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’ve covered tips on how to write successful appeal letters before, but this list by Marc Pitman really breaks it down into eight easy-to-implement steps. This blog simply can’t be ignored.