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.
Award-winning fundraiser Emily Casson shares nine brilliant tips to start your journey on social media fundraising advertising. Facebook advertising is a great tool to start, or grow, your digital fundraising. Emily started using Facebook advertising nearly three years ago and now recruits over 10,000 new regular giving donors a year at a positive ROI, plus many more event participants, legacy pledgers and other supporters. Follow the link for some top tips that apply whatever your budget or cause.
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…).
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.
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.
Every week, Mary Cahalane provides expert fundraising advice in her blog – I could easily reshare her blog here every week (hint – sign up to the Hands on Fundraising blog).
Anyway, Mary’s post at the beginning of the month really stood out for offering links to loads of free content to help fundraisers get creative. There are sites listed which offer free photos, photo editing, graphic design, office tools but what really stands out is the list of writing tools!
Miss it, miss out!
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.
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.
The Guidance prepared by the Data Protection Network is a practical tool aimed at helping commercial and not-for-profit organisations to assess whether or not they can rely on Legitimate Interests as a lawful basis for processing personal data under the GDPR.
The Guidance covers:
- Understanding what Legitimate Interests are
- Identifying areas of processing where Legitimate Interests may apply
- The Legitimate Interests Assessment (LIA) – the 3 stage test
- Transparency and the consumer
Adrian Beney is back with an update on CASE’s work on providing guidance for charities for adopting GDPR best practise.
This document lays out in detail and with great clarity the circumstances under which these activities, regarded in recent years by some at the Information Commissioner’s Office as very controversial, can be carried out lawfully.
Follow the link below for full details.
While organizations focus on their development goal and raising money through major gifts, events, direct mail, grants and online, it is often stewardship and retention that fall by the wayside.
According to Adrian Sargeant and Elaine Jay, a 10% increase in donor retention can enhance the lifetime value of your donor base by up to 200%.
Those are sobering statistics and make it pretty clear what we should be focusing on. Here, Danielle J Vermenton provides 10 tips on how to embrace donor retention.
Retention is one of the Big 5 KPIs to measure, but why is it so important?
A 10 percent improvement in attrition can yield up to a 200 percent increase in projected value, as with lower attrition significantly more donors upgrade their giving, give in multiple ways, recommend others, and, ultimately, perhaps, pledge a planned gift to the organization.
In this sense the behavior of “customers” and the value they generate appear to mirror that reported in the for-profit consumer sector, where similar patterns of value and behavior emerge. Indeed, the marketing literature is replete with references to the benefits that a focus on customer retention can bring.
Adrian Sargeant explains more in this article.