Strategies to help you win new donors, lift the performance of current donors and keep active donors longer

Building Trust

This is the third guest post in a blog series by Steven Screen of The Better Fundraising Company. You can find links here to Part I and Part II. Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat In the last post we noted that the organizations that take their donors through the circle of “Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat” multiple times tend to build relationships and revenue over time. Because by building trust you increase your chances of getting another gift. But when most organizations zoom out to 40,000 feet to look at their communications, they find that they do this: Ask, Ask, Ask, Ask, e-news, Ask, Ask, Annual Report, Ask Or this: Ask, Ask, Brag, Ask, Ask Many smaller organizations just see this: Ask, Event Prescriptive for Majors, Approximate for Mass For your mass donor communications, it’s too expensive to take each donor exactly through each step, in order. That’s why successful fundraising organizations almost always develop an ongoing stream of communications that hit all of the notes often enough. Maybe that’s 6 appeals and 3 newsletters, and customized Thank You/Receipt packages. But maybe it’s 12 appeals and 12 newsletters. Or maybe it’s 4 appeals and 2 newsletters. The numbers are dependent on your file size and its responsiveness (and a few other things). They key is to hit the notes that need to be hit to build trust and relationship. But for major donors, you can and should take your donor through each step. The Major Gifts Officers who take each donor through the Ask, Thank, Report system have great success. For instance, they make damn sure their donors have been well...

Success Stories

The story your donors are telling is mostly a response to the story that your organization is telling. The better your story, the more money you raise.

Response Rate Testing and Statistical Significance

What is ‘Statistical Significance’
Statistical significance means that a result from testing or experimenting is not likely to occur randomly or by chance, but is instead likely to be attributable to a specific cause. Read more to learn how to measure statistical significance in your direct mail testing.

Sustainer Donor Value

If donors join the sustainer program, that’s an additional $260 over five years for every donor that joins the monthly giving program.

The Medium and the Message

A recent study found that participants spent more time with direct mail and print ads than with digital ads and they also remembered the messages more quickly and confidently.

The Power of Anonymity

I have a daughter graduating from high school this month. Her class is heading for a mission trip to serve an orphanage in the Dominican Republic for a week. For her to go on this trip, she had to raise her own support of $1,500, or pay for it out of her savings. Honestly, I was hoping that she could raise half of the money, and then we’d kick in the other half. So, she started her own GoFundMe campaign, and to my utter shock, in the first day she hit her fundraising goal. Apparently, there were a couple of anonymous donors who made some big gifts. I don’t know who these people are, but I am grateful to them. And because I don’t know who these people are (they might even be reading this blog) I am motivated to be grateful to everyone I talk to. Because, I just don’t know. That got me thinking. In my line of work, we go to great lengths to segment donors based on their past or potential giving. And while I have oodles of data that show this is an effective utilitarian approach, I wonder if this approach does cause us to curtail our gratitude? I take these kinds of questions seriously. It’s one of the reasons I love fundraising. We are always struggling to optimize fundraising with a balance of art and science. And while we at Analytical Ones always think your decision should be anchored in the data, they must also be anchored in...

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