We're just 9 days away from the start of bbcon! I already told you what to expect on the advocacy front, so now it's time for a little self-promotion. Yours truly will be co-presenting a session on Sustainers, called Leave No Recurring Revenue on the Table along with David Glass from World Wildlife Fund.
Sustaining giving is the most valuable investment your organization can make - it's cost-effective and encourages retention and engagement. In Europe, it's all about monthly bank drafts for supporting charities. But in the USA, the emphasis is still on acquisition of one-time gifts, and first-time donors churn all too often. This makes the cost of fundraising too high. A sustaining giving program, if it exists at all, is promoted weakly as a special thing off to the side.
David and I think that USA-based nonprofit organizations need to turn this paradigm on its head. We should make sustaining giving the norm. In addition to World Wildlife Fund, there are other nonprofits who are doing just that. We'll take a look at some examples of how, and David will show us a program that WWF invested in and promoted that has yielded great results. We'll also discuss some trends in recurring giving and take a peek at segments.
That's all the spoilers you're going to get from me, so make sure to attend our session at bbcon. It's on Sunday, September 30 at 4:15pm. Our session is in the "Interactive" track, so we'll also focus heavily on online sustainers and we'll take a look at some configurations in Luminate Online that you should make to maximize the ROI.
There are other awesome sustainer sessions too in addition to ours:
Attracting Loyal Donors through Sustainer Giving Programs presented by Carol Rhine, Principal Consultant at Target Analytics, a Blackbaud Company - this session is also on September 30 at 4:15pm. Carol's session approaches sustainers from the analytics side - why you want to have them, how to find them in your file and how to effectively solicit them. If you're conflicted about whether to attend my session or Carol's, I say go to both - send your online person to ours, and your direct mail manager to Carol's.
Same Time Next Month: Building a Multi−Channel Sustainer Program presented by Steve Kehrli from PETA, Amy Day from Dumb Friends League, and Chas Offut from Blackbaud - on October 2 at 11:00am. Steve, Amy and Chas are going to look at sustainers through the lens of a multichannel approach, and will focus on both online and offline programs.
And if you tell me that you're not yet registered, then I'll shake my head in disbelief, and point you to www.bbconference.com to register today. See you there!
Yesterday, I reviewed some of the reasons why engaging your event’s participants and donors in year end giving is a smart idea. Today, I’m going to give you some practical tips and tricks to help you get started on planning your event’s end-of-year campaign.
What’s typically included in a basic end of year campaign?
A basic end of year campaign includes a series of fundraising solicitations starting on the day after Thanksgiving and run through New Year’s Eve. For events, I’d recommend you use your event branding to guide the look and feel of your year end communications and that you focus on your online communication channels - Email, Website and Social Media.
Steps to Kick Start your event’s Year End Campaign:
What are your event's plans for the end of year soliciations? We'd love to hear what has worked for you or see some of your appeals, tell me about them in the comment area below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last weekend Houston experienced our first “cold front” of the fall. I use parathesis here because “cold” for SE Texas in early September means the high temperatures were only in the lower 90’s, which I'll admit is not really cold. While it’s still hot here, the cooling weather is a nice reminder that fall is hear and the holidays are quickly approaching. For nonprofit orgs and higher ed institutions, cooling temps of early fall are also a reminder that year end giving is about to kick into high gear.
As an event fundraiser, I mistakenly viewed year end giving as an isolated campaign ran by our traditional giving development staff that didn’t really have anything to do with my events. Since I was leading fall event campaigns, the holidays in November & December were a nice down time immediately following the busy event season devoted to planning and a couple weeks of well-deserved vacation time. This was a huge missed opportunity for my events, like rejecting a stack of cash that was handed to me with pretty red bow. My siloed thinking blinded me to the fundraising opportunity that could have bolstered my event fundraising during the last 6 weeks of the calendar year.
End-of-year giving is critical for fundraising events for two primary reasons:
To further drive home the point that there is a tremendous amount of charitable giving that is taking place during this small window of time from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, I've pulled together a couple stats:
Bottom line… lots of people are donating lots of money during the last six weeks of the year. As an event fundraiser, you want that money to be supporting your event and your organization's mission. You are providing a unique and interesting opportunity for your donors through the P2P giving model that is different than your traditional giving peers. Additionally, by taking a proactive approach to managing year end giving communications, you can help avoid situations where your event participants and event donors feel thier contributions to your event are underappreciated.
Now that you are sold on why incorporating year end giving into your event's fundraising strategy is a smart idea, it's time to come up with a game plan to make your event the attractive option for this pool of donors. Tomorrow, I’ll be highlighting some tips & strategies to take the standard end of year giving model and flip it around to support P2P Fundraising Campaigns in a way that doesn’t compete with your participant’s fundraising efforts and also compliments the efforts of your traditional giving peers.
Today, we have many things to worry about, watch for, measure, monitor and just deal with in general. With the increased social landscape, it seems like there is just so much to think about, but how do you identify what to prioritize
Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, should be quick, easily understood, and comprehensive. A tall order I know. There are several that should be standard like gross revenue year-to-date, year-over-year, number of donors, average giving, total number of unique contacts, and I would stick my neck out there and say, net revenue year-to-date (a tricky one for sure).
However, there are several KPIs that we all monitor and measure in our daily lives that translate well into additional KPIs that I would recommend. Do you know what portion of your revenue year-over-year is coming from each channel?
Do you know what portion of contacts come from each channel? Do you know the value, conversion rate, frequency of action or giving each of those contact groups account for?
As you can see from the chart above, 50% of the revenue to the organization is stemming from 38% of the donor base. With this knowledge, you can start to think about the next drill down to make sure that this group is doing well and its portfolio is healthy. The KPIs to monitor this group should include portion of acquisition source, retention rate, value-to-date, average gift, and frequency of giving. If we are to see that this group stems mostly from a channel that is not performing well today, it would have a higher sense of importance to fix it or provide it more focus? Understanding its value and relative importance to the bottom line of today will help us make better decisions tomorrow.
Think about what channel gives you the biggest bang for your short and long-term dollar. By highlighting these new KPIs, it is a point-of-view allowing you to manage and diversify your donor portfolio.
Freshly sharpened pencils. Check.
Scientific Calculator. Check.
45 pound backpack filled to zipper ripping capacity. Check.
The kids are back in school. Which means that fall is upon us and end of year fundraising is right around the corner. Are you ready? Do you have your end of year fundraising checklist? Well if not, then put on those new school shoes and get ready!
September: Clear the Decks
October: Plan for Year End Greatness
Next month in our quarterly magazine, npENGAGE, we’ll have November and December specific tips and action items for a successful end of year campaign. And if you are coming to bbcon (Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in DC), lucky you – you’ll get a first look!
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