The last couple of days at the AFP conference have been incredible. It’s great to see so many fundraising professionals getting rejuvenated, invigorated, excited and hearing all of the great ideas that are coming from the different speakers and sessions. We’ve had so many wonderful conversations at the WealthEngine booth and are really looking forward to following up and being a part of some great stories happening in the fundraising world.
What I’ve loved most are those moments that begin when someone walks up and says, “OK, WealthEngine, what do you do?” We give the brief synopsis and then ask, “What do you need?” Everyone has a unique, and wonderful, opportunity – some of have small donor lists and need more information and others have large lists and don’t know where to start.
Which Is the Better Investment?
We all know that acquisition is something we must do. In fact, according to AFP’s 2011 Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) Report, 59% of donors do not renew their gifts to the average charity. In order to raise the same amount as last year, then, each charity must acquire new donors to make up for those no longer donating.
Full disclosure – I haven’t been to an AFP conference in maybe 15 years or more, so I’m kind of kid-in-a-candy-store excited about San Diego. I love the energy and camaraderie from conferences, the exchange of ideas, the ad hoc hallway conversations and the rejuvenation that come from being with fundraisers from all areas.
In putting together the recent Data Driven Annual Fund webinar I did a lot of research and reading into what’s going on in the industry. I shared that we’re really living and working in the era of Big Data and by that I mean we have access, now, to so much more information about our donors and prospects and stronger tools that can help us use it. But I also think that we’re entering the age of the Big Idea in fundraising.
It is a lot easier, now, to test responses, try out new things, engage in different approaches and use data, screening information and results to challenge the way we’ve been thinking or approaching our craft. And certainly things like Dan Pallotta’s TED talk have made us all sit up, take notice and challenge ourselves.
The following is a guest post by our good friend Carolyn M. Appleton, CFRE. Carolyn is a fundraising and nonprofit management consultant with over 20 years’ experience helping nonprofits attain fundraising and public relations goals. Carolyn’s outstanding blog, Fundraising Advice and Observations hosts excellent content and is recommended reading.
My professional experiences in the nonprofit sector have taught me first-hand the powerful link between volunteering and charitable giving. In my blog article, Volunteering and Charitable Giving, I share not only heartwarming personal stories, but also a variety of studies and resources for follow-up.
While the concept of volunteering is discussed generally online today, I hope to see more stories published that include real life examples like mine, to help underscore the importance of nurturing volunteer relationships and developing and fostering meaningful volunteer programs in partnership with nonprofit development activities. In fact, volunteering makes sense from every angle.
Forty-six percent of affluent men with a household income of more than $250,000 are optimistic or very optimistic about the U.S. economy, while 21 percent of women express the same sentiments, according to a new report from the Shullman Research Center.
The Shullman Luxury and Affluence Monthly Pulse uncovered significant differences in the mindset of high-earning male and female consumers. Luxury marketers that work to sharply target consumers by gender should tap each group’s emotional state to effectively showcase products and services.
According to Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive officer, the world creates 5 exabytes of data every two days. That is roughly the same amount created between the dawn of civilization and 2003 (www.sas.com). This is evidence that we are living in the world of Big Data, according to Clay Buck, speaking on WealthEngine’s recent webinar, The Data-Driven Annual Fund.
How do you harness that data for the support of your charitable mission?
Everyone struggles to fully update their donor database. Databases become disorganized for a multitude of reasons – time constraints, lack of understanding, inconsistent data entry, staff turnover; the list goes on and on. Whatever your reason, a clean, accurate database is essential to meeting your fundraising goals.
How is your database?
If your data is overrun with duplicates, bad addresses and old contacts, it’s time to clean-up. Not only will you increase your revenue, you’ll save time and money in the long run. To start, evaluate your goals. What do you want to do with your data? What are your annual fund ambitions?
If you have claimed your LinkedIn page, mastered the 140 character Tweet and set up your Facebook page, you’re probably wondering where to go from here. How do you take your social media to the next level?
"…social media isn't just another channel. It's a full-fledged platform for audience engagement that facilitates increasing levels of participation over a period of time—that is, if organizations can move beyond the paradigm of "like," "follow" "share" and "tweet," and begin building a brand experience that creates a deeper connection that allows nonprofits to innovate around their audience."
After Collect and Communicate, Connect is the third of the “3 Cs” we discuss in the More Money for More Good nonprofit guidebook. For the finale of our three-part series expanding on these topics, we are interviewing Katya Andresen, the COO and Chief Strategy Officer at Network for Good. Katya blogs (daily!) about nonprofit marketing and fundraising, and is the author of the book, Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes.
In our guidebook, More Money for More Good, we discuss what information donors want, and how nonprofits can communicate that effectively. But in addition, we also recognize the importance of connecting with donors. Ultimately, information and messaging won’t get you far in the world of philanthropy if you can’t create a personal association.
Water changes everything. That’s why charity: water is mission driven to provide clean, potable water to the developing world. Online, the organization grabs visitors’ attention with colorful multimedia and multiple ways to get involved. Drawing donors like water from wells comes naturally to charity: water. Contributors can easily discover through the website how much good has been done through the last quarter (6,611 projects funded supplying water to 2,500,000 people in 20 countries) and each donation is tracked to a specific initiative through “Dollars to Projects,” which is uniquely possible because 100% of all public contributions go directly into project costs.
In the More Money for More Good nonprofit guidebook, we talk about the three C’s of Collect, Communicate, and Connect. This is the second of a three-part series where we talk to different nonprofits that have put these ideas into practice. Joining us is Paull Young, the director of digital engagement for charity: water, to talk about how he communicates information on impact, and how that engages current and potential donors.