Donor Relationship Management

Integration is Key to Communicating With Constituents
September 11, 2007

At one time, having a static Web site was all a nonprofit organization needed to communicate with its supporters and the public. Times have changed. Sure, there are still plenty of static Web sites out there, but we’re also seeing more nonprofits with dynamic, interactive sites with plenty of compelling content. In fact, organizations are generating an increasing volume of electronic content — information pertinent to donors, advocates, program recipients, volunteers, staff and other constituents. So how are these organizations managing and updating these content-rich Web sites, usually on a daily basis? If you answered, “By keeping our webmaster busy 24-7,” think

Fans of a Good Cause
September 1, 2007

Who do you picture when you think of a sports fan? A big, shirtless guy beating his painted chest with his fists? Sure, sports fans are a passionate bunch. But if your nonprofit strategizes properly, you might get that guy — and his passion — on your side.

An Exercise in Transformation
August 1, 2007

Airplanes and on-ramps. Talk to Atul Tandon about fundraising, and you get a lot of metaphors about movement. Whether it’s drawing a picture of specific programming as on-ramps to the highway of donor engagement, or comparing the development of an overall donor-centric attitude within an organization while also keeping a variety of strategies robust to repairing an airplane while it’s still in the air, the senior vice president of donor engagement at World Vision U.S. is clear about his point: Fundraising is far from a static endeavor and, to keep up, an organization — even one as venerable and stalwart as the 57-year-old World Vision — has to keep moving.

After the Acquisition
August 1, 2007

For some months now, I’ve been collecting samples — giving small donations to a number of charities (in addition to those I usually support), so that I can get an idea of who’s doing what with their “post-gift” donor communications.

Tips to Retaining Different Kinds of Donors
July 31, 2007

Donor retention is a huge issue for every nonprofit organization. Given the cost of acquisition of individual donors — not to mention major donors — it’s important that organizations properly steward current donors so that they’ll feel compelled to continue giving. This is the focus of the book “Building Donor Loyalty: The Fundraiser’s Guide to Increasing Lifetime Value,” by Adrian Sargeant and Elaine Jay. In order to succeed in retaining donors, Sargeant and Jay advise that organizations proactively plan their retention strategies, which “involves far more than simply devising the communications that donors will receive” (Page 171). What kind of relationship will your organization

Seeing Is Believing
July 31, 2007

Authenticity and transparency are key factors when it comes to retaining donors. These days, donors want to see clearly that their donation had an impact before giving again. Michael Hoffman, CEO of visual media and Internet marketing firm See3 Communications, co-presented a session at the Bridge Conference a few weeks ago on using video and the Internet to attract and retain donors and members. Hoffman says videos can connect supporters to the work that organizations are doing in remote places in a way that direct mail, brochures and even static Web sites can’t. “People respond to stories and respond to real lives that

5 Successful Strategies for Member Retention
July 31, 2007

To solve the deepest problems related to membership recruitment, renewal and retention, you need to take an integrated look at your membership program. The five major touch points that I use in discussing the life cycle for an association member are awareness, recruitment, engagement, interdependence and renewal. Here’s a look at the role each plays. 1. Awareness. Membership development starts with one very important question: Do prospective members know who you are? Awareness is the measure of how successful your branding efforts have been to gain share of mind in your target audience. Until people know your organization, they’re not likely to become members or

Create and Keep Continuity Givers
July 31, 2007

“Credit card relationships open up a world of data-driven possibilities for your cause, including: multichannel relationship building; demographic overlays; donor mapping; and donor upgrading.” So wrote Jim Killion, chief e-strategist for is7, in a June 19 post on the DMA Nonprofit Federation’s blog, The Integrator, in which he extolled the virtues of credit cards in regards to philanthropy, noting that credit cards offer nonprofits a golden opportunity to turn donors into monthly givers. “The greatest power of the card in an online environment is the ability to turn a one-time donor into a monthly donor (or a one-time buyer into a continuity

Ewwww! What’s That Smell?
June 1, 2007

I have never outgrown eighth grade. I still enjoy slapstick comedy — watching “Scrubs” and “Home Alone” makes me laugh out loud. Any bodily function that makes noise — whether it be burps or farts (or any armpit re-creation of them) — is an opportunity for a competition. And sexual innuendos will always bring a smile to my face.