Volunteers Bring Magic to the Mission

By Mary Moss, Founding Partner. April is National Volunteer Month, and we are celebrating the strengths and talents of volunteers with our clients and in our social media. Volunteers are not supplemental, or nice to have; they are essential and foundational to a nonprofit’s mission delivery. In 1981, my first fundraising job was to recruit student volunteers at Duke University to fill 18 slots a night throughout the year for the first Dialing for Duke telethons. Duke’s Annual Fund grew exponentially from this personal touch from students to alumni. Four decades later, I can report that every effort I have led as a staff member or volunteer, or guided as a consultant, has found its success through committed volunteers. The real magic happens when you build a strong staff-volunteer partnership with shared goals resulting in a cadre [...]

To Keep Your Donors, Keep It Clean!

By LisaCaitlin Perri. Database clean-up will help retain your nonprofit’s donors by equipping you with the tools to get those second- and third-time donations through the door. 1. Identify the top 25-50-100 individual donors and prospects, and make sure you have accurate email addresses and phone numbers on their records. 2. Generate the following lists for your development staff, executive director, and board to review. Then, make notes in the database about who is connected to whom so you can improve solicitation assignments for large gifts and maximize stewardship actions like appeal follow-up and thank yous. a.      New donors above a certain giving amount b.     Top donors from the previous year (LYBUNT, or Last Year But Unfortunately Not This Year) c.      Top, lapsed donors going back no further than 3-5 years, considering that the average “recapture” rate of lapsed donors [...]

2020-09-09T18:45:07-04:00September 9th, 2020|All Posts, Fundraising Counsel, Team Expertise|

It’s Fourth Quarter, Now What?

By Mary Moss. You have been working all year long to keep your head above water, to strengthen the relationships you have, and to identify new ones along the way.  You have learned how to operate remotely, and even ask for money remotely. While filled with gratitude for what you have been able to accomplish due to the generosity of so many, you are still telling us that you are worried about your donors not giving as much or at all this year. Even with powerful relationships, you are worried about money. So now, here you are, headed into the fourth quarter. What is your next best play when the times are so uncertain? Your next best play is to concentrate on donor retention of your individual prospects. As you enter the last quarter of the year, [...]

2020-09-09T18:46:41-04:00September 9th, 2020|All Posts, From The Partners, Fundraising Counsel|

Treat your donors like family … and they will keep coming back.

By Susan Ross. I had 20 at my house for Christmas dinner.  As always, the family meal marked the passage of time, with a core group of regulars bookended by loved ones missing and by promising new relationships.Why do we value these celebrations so much?  It’s not my food, my decorations, or my presents.  I’d say it is because people find joy in spending their time where they are welcome and where they would be missed if they didn’t show up.Perhaps our donors feel the same way.<strong>Donor retention is a hot button in fundraising these days,</strong> because new studies have shown that we are losing donors in far greater numbers than in the past. Has our preoccupation with major gifts led to a falloff in our rank-and-file donor feeling valued and needed? If so, how can development professionals stem [...]

2020-02-28T18:33:18-05:00December 15th, 2017|All Posts, From The Partners, Team Updates|

Nonprofit Communications and Marketing Trends in 2015 by Denise Tolley

Curious about what the other guys are doing? How they are communicating with their supporters? What is most important to them? A recent report on nonprofit trends notes that, of the Communications Goals nonprofit companies set for each year, Donor Retention has jumped from 4th to 2nd place, while Acquiring New Donors fell from 1st place to 4th. Community Engagement came in as the most important goal. This shift in priorities shows a subtle emphasis on a more personal touch with donors and getting to know your donor base more intimately to increase effective communication. The Kivi 2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, a survey of more than 1,500 nonprofit participants across North America, offers this information and much more, and is available to download through this link. You will see some interesting results and comparisons, some of which are highlighted [...]

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