Does your moves management program look something like this line up from The Usual Suspects? We go to the well yet again, and ask the same donors we just asked to support our most recent campaign. Our donors may even call us on the carpet and tell us we need to widen our circle of friends. We nod and agree, but do we follow up to meaningfully engage them in actually helping us build our network?
Here’s the million dollar question: when was the last time you spent time with your donor without the intent of asking them for a gift? How well do you really know them? Do you know what program you have that they are most passionate about? Are they getting prompt meaningful acknowledgement for their gifts? If you are properly (and promptly) receipting and acknowledging your gifts you are performing better than your peers but before you pat yourself on the back, are you personally contacting the donor to let them know how their gift had an impact? When was the last time one of your program managers contacted them to update them on their pet project?
We don’t want donors to feel like an ATM for the nonprofits they support. Want to learn what your major giving program might be doing wrong and how to change it? No one makes the case better than Jeff Schreifels, senior partner at the Veritas Group and veteran fundraiser, in his post 10 reasons why major giving programs suck.
If you are hanging your head in shame you aren’t alone. You can’t have a methodical moves management program without the right tools. That’s like trying to fish with your hands. No tool is more important to a robust moves management program than a Constituent Relationship Management System, or CRM. If fundraising is part art and part science, CRM is the science. Let’s face it; you can’t track or strategize how to cultivate a prospect using sticky notes. And spreadsheets will only get you so far. You need a system that gives you a 360 degree view of your constituents so you can deepen your relationship with them and connect with their networks to widen your circle of friends. A strong CRM system like Common Ground allows you to streamline the process to pinpoint the donors who can have the greatest affinity and capacity to give and create step by step replicable moves to cultivate them to make a major gift to your cause. (To learn more about how Common Ground helps you implement moves management read our whitepaper.)
Having the right system in place to manage your relationships is the first part of the equation. The real art of fundraising is creating meaningful touches to move a prospect closer to a gift. To inspire you with a meaningful touch I challenge you to surprise a major donor today by doing something nice for them they don’t expect.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks with the debt ceiling negotiations dominating the media and negative public sentiment at an all time high. So, I want to call attention to a little gem of a report that was released this week which may lift your spirits.
In their #SocialCongress report, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) shared some really great research about how quickly our elected officials have adopted Social Media as a channel for communicating with and listening to their constituents. Considering that the word “luddite” could accurately be used to describe Congress’s pace in adopting technologies like websites and email communication, this is remarkable news.
A lot of the report’s findings are not terribly surprising, such as the fact that younger staffers and early adopters are much more likely to see value from social network communications. But, since Convio sponsored the report, I had a chance to participate in a Q&A session with CMF and there are several great takeaways from this report that grassroots advocacy organizations can put to good use as they start (or expand) the way that they engage with elected officials via social networks.
On the other hand, Twitter’s retweet functionality better supports this kind of campaign, so I’d argue that it’s not a terrible idea to pursue that approach there. Families USA’s recent campaign is a great example of how an org might go about doing that.
I’d be remiss in my duties as an advocacy product manager if I didn’t point out that Convio Advocacy has recently added new tools to help you run grassroots campaigns on social networks. Our Representative Lookup tool includes links to officials’ pages on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. And, in the release coming out in August, you’ll also be able to personalize emails and webpages with this content. To get the most out of your next action alert, you might consider personalizing the thank you page with links to where the activist can go to “amplify” their message on their Rep’s Facebook wall.
At the end of the day, all this new technology is bringing greater opportunity to grassroots organizations who are ready to think outside the box about how they conduct campaigns. For those of you who are still having trouble convincing luddite organizational leaders to invest resources in social networks, I’ll arm you with one final piece of information. A report released recently by the Pew Internet and American Life Project tells us that Facebook users are more politically engaged than the average American. In particular, compared with other internet users a Facebook user who visits the site multiple times per day is two and a half times more likely to have attended a political rally or meeting, 57% more likely to have tried to convince someone to vote for a specific candidate, and 43% more likely to have said they voted or intended to vote (compared with non-internet users: 5.89 times more likely to have attended a meeting, 2.79 times more likely to talk to someone about their vote, and 2.19 times more likely to report voting). So, get out there and fish where the fish are!
The following post originally appeared on YNPN Detroit's blog on June 11.
I’d like to start by saying I really like Outlook. It does really cool things.
But…have you ever tried to access your Outlook via webmail? It’s kinda ugly and clunky. That’s because Outlook is software that lives on your specific computer and is best utilized from that computer.
Take Gmail or Yahoo mail on the other hand. It’s web-based...also known as “in the cloud.” It looks pretty great from just about any computer.
Now think about your donor/member database. If it is software that lives on your computer or your organization’s server, it probably looks great when you are at the office. It functions as it was meant to. Have you ever tried to access it from another computer? Can you even do that?
If your database (or other technology) is in the cloud, you can access it from everywhere (just like you can access your Gmail everywhere) and no matter where you are, it continues to function exactly how it does at the office, exactly how it was meant to function.
Think about that. That means you can work from anywhere you like. It means that leash to the office that is your technology resources no longer exists. Cool right?
This opens up a world of opportunity; for IT, for finance, for fundraising and for human resources.
Let’s look at those last two with a couple examples for your consideration.
Scenario 1: Fundraising Gold
Your development director is seated at a Chamber luncheon with a major donor prospect and holy cow, she cannot remember the name of his new start-up. If your donor database is tied to the office, she’s texting you asking for you to look him up and send her the details. But if your donor database is in the cloud, she’s nonchalantly opening it up on her smartphone, scoping out not only his company name but his wife’s name and how they got connected to your organization in the first place. And now she’s asking all the right questions, dropping the right names and building his relationship with the organization.
Scenario 2: HR Victory
Your HR director is stressed because finance just told him this will have to be year three without staff raises. He’s ready to watch all that talent walk right out the front door if he can’t come up with a new, enticing benefit soon. Since you’ve moved to cloud-based technology, he’s able to wheel and deal with organizational leadership to allow everyone one work-from-home day each week. Now commuting costs are lowered, work-life balance is improved and employee retention is rockin’.
Technology that ties you to a desk is so last millennium. It costs more than just a line item in the IT budget; it costs you opportunities. You need technology that is versatile, accessible and flexible.
The cloud can help.
We all know that multi-channel marketing isn’t new, but data on what exactly organizations are doing with it isn’t necessarily well documented. Some organizations may be tracking their results, but many aren’t utilizing the information in their findings. We wanted to look closely at the best practices organizations are taking within the world of multi-channel marketing. Where are the nonprofit organizations today and what are are their key success factors moving forward?
Commissioned by Convio, Edge Research conducted an online survey for nine weeks gathering responses from 123 nonprofit practitioners and conducted 15 in-depth interviews, resulting in the Integrated Multi-Channel Marketing Study.
The principal finding was that adding online communications to a direct mail-only treatment improved donor retention rates, increasing frequency and consequently lifetime value. Other key findings include:
The whitepaper is chock-full of valuable metrics, current best practices used by nonprofits, new media channel activity levels, organizational strategies, and more. Take some time to look over what 123 nonprofit organizations are doing today with integrated multi-channel marketing and discover best practices that may be the key to your organization’s multi-channel success!
Engaging constituents is a challenging proposition. Constituents want to be engaged on terms they care about with messages that are tailored to them. To do that organizations have to employ a multi-channel strategy. That’s why Convio is introducing Luminate, a constituent engagement solution for enterprise nonprofits.
The video below explains how constituent engagement and Luminate can help you build stronger, longer-lasting relationships with all your constituents.
I look forward to hearing your ideas on Luminate and working together to fulfill your mission.
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