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/

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

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/

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/

Retention is the New Acquisition

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.

https://npengage.com/nonprofit-fundraising/retention-is-the-new-acquisition/

Donor Retention: What Do We Know & What Can Nonprofits Do about It?

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.

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/donor-retention-nonprofit-donors/

Charity fundraising: how do you ask for, and get, a million pounds?

Raising mega-gifts may be the fastest way for charities to achieve a step-change, but securing such large donations is easier said than done.

Matthew Ferguson and Gemma Peters provide invaluable insight into how major gift fundraising from those who have a net wealth of at least £50m is very different to other types of fundraising.

https://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2016/jun/17/charity-fundraising-ask-for-a-million-pounds

7 key considerations before you embark on major donor fundraising

Major donor fundraising is not about quick wins. Instead, careful and considered relationship building between key stakeholders can support the process in much more effective terms.

How can this be achieved and institutional expectations met? UKFundraising comes to the rescue with 7 key considerations to make.

https://fundraising.co.uk/2016/02/03/7-key-considerations-before-you-embark-on-major-donor-fundraising/