As I mentioned in last month's podcast interview with Judi Sohn, following Blackbaud's acquisition of Convio, I'm super excited about the increased pool of talented coworkers that I now have to interview for the Connection Cafe. This being the first interview that I scheduled after the acquisition was completed, I wanted to do something that represents how our teams have come together over the last two months. I thought one neat way to do that would be to do my first joint interview on the Connection Cafe with more than one subject in the conversation.
Today's conversation is with Watt Hamlett and Troy Walker. Both are Solution Engineers on the Enterprise Presales Team with me. In fact, Watt and I were hired at just about the same time. While I've only gotten to know Troy recently, I'm just as impressed with him and proud to be working with him. In today's podcast you'll hear more of their thoughts about the role of a presales consultant, how our teams have come together over the course of the acquisition, and what we have learned so far.
Connection Cafe Podcast 9 - Watt and Troy
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The better you steward and recognize donors, the more they will give over time - as advocates, volunteers, and through giving. So how are you weaving donor recognition into your communications?
Take a fresh look at your stewardship and cultivation strategy. Think ahead and be proactive in your recognition, are you utilizing interactive tactics to thank and recognize donors?
When was the last time you interviewed a corporation or individual about why they gave to your organization? Write up an article for your eNews, but don’t focus so much on who the company is, but instead why they believe your mission is worth wild and how their investment will make a difference. Looking for people to interview? Look beyond the board or a major donor. What about the couple who has been giving you $250 for the last 10 years? There is a story and it’s more relatable to your base than the person who gives $250,000.
Your website is prime real estate; think beyond a donor profile. What about an interactive donor wall that you update quarterly or monthly? Don’t just list names; what’s the point really? Make it interactive and engaging. Link some of the names to a picture, a quote, a video, a media release or a website. While you’re giving visitors a reason to read the list you’re also recognizing the people that support your mission.
Do you list your donors in the annual report, post it on your website and announce the publication via email. If you’re worried about other people searching for names, convert the PDF into images, which makes the content unsearchable.
What about social media? Instead of posting a donor story, ask the donor to post a story about why they gave to your mission. Utilize their circle of friends and influence by asking them to engage with you on your social media assets. Be even more timely, while you’re at the playground renovation with the local beverage company, tweet updates and post pictures from the event – show the impact in action.
And don’t forget to keep the focus on the mission, your supporters and investors should be thanked appropriately, but it’s even more important to link their gifts to impact so people can see philanthropy at work.
Blackbaud CEO Marc Chardon and Outcome Guide Hal Williams have joined forces on a Huffington Post series "The Imperfect Storm" to examine the current nonprofit environment. Varying circumstances and key shifts in the sector are coming together to create the potential for continued rough times.
The first shift Marc and Hal identified was nonprofits needing to engage donors. As their article says "Donors don't just want to give money. They want what we call 'personal discovery' that involves a give and take of information, shared by both the donor and the organization. They want to advocate, volunteer, test things out and be a part of the cause. They want, through all of their gifts, to find meaning."
The second shift "nonprofits need to define themselves by their results" is the cornerstone of today's article. Marc and Hal argue that "moving to a clear report card of results, published annually, puts nonprofits in the outcome business, which is where they should be."
In thinking about your organization, how are you addressing these two shifts? Are you consciously engaging all, most, some or any of your donors? How are you reporting back on your successes? What outcomes are you tracking and how?
Read today's full article and share your experiences, ideas and quuestions in the comments below.
Rather than immediately including new constituents in all your regular online communications and appeals, using an email welcome series gives you additional control over your constituent communications. Below are a few items related to timing that you will need to keep in mind when planning your email welcome series.
After the constituent has received all of the emails in the welcome series, they can be added to your larger list and receive the regular communications sent by your organization.
Read "Creating an Email Welcome Series" for more tips on greeting your new constituents with style.
In recent weeks, I’ve been hearing more and more interest from event fundraisers on providing online tools to support their third-party or Independent Fundraising Events (IFE.) This topic came up earlier this month at the Run Walk Ride Roundtable discussions in Chicago. You can read more about that discussion along with some tips on how to get your own IFE brand started from my friend Nancy Palo on the Friends Asking Amy blog.
Traditionally, most orgs have only provided support to these types of events using offline channels alone. Typically, the fundraising group signs an agreement, gets permission to use the org’s name/logo in promotional materials and maybe if the event is large enough, maybe a staffer would show up to accept the large check.
As online fundraising has grown in popularity and as traditional run walk ride events have adopted sophisticated online fundraising tools like TeamRaiser or Friends Asking Friends, we’ve seen a trend where third-party fundraisers are now requesting (or demanding) access to similar online fundraising tools to support their independent fundraising event campaigns. When done right, these types of online campaigns can provide a nice complement (and a revenue stream) to your overall peer-to-peer fundraising strategy by providing individuals who are not interested in your traditional staff-driven events with alternative ways to support your organization by hosting their own style of fundraiser.
WaterCan is a Canadian organization committed to fighting global poverty by providing access to clean water, basic sanitation and hygene education. They worked with Cathexis Partners to develop an extremely visually compelling website that promotes several types of IFEs; highlights include a 25th Anniversary Campaign (pictured), Kilimanjaro Climbing Event, Donate Your Special Day and (my personal favorite) the Board Challenge. If publically displaying a photo of your board members next to their fundraising totals doesn’t motivate them to fundraise, I’m not sure what will.
There are so many things I love about this website that it’s hard to only pick 2-3 to share with you... so I limited myself to 4.
Interested in learning more about third-party fundraising / Independent Fundraising Events? Check out our whitepaper on How to Raise More Money with IFEs.
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