Key Points From the Conference
“It’s all about the donor,” Meyer said, quoting Schultz.
Weinstein agreed, remarking that nonprofits need to learn to “put the donor first, over your own organization’s pushes and pulls.”
Richard Murdock, president of Murdock Associates, said he was impressed by a session titled “How to Get Information From Program/Field Staff.”
A crucial lesson there, he said, was that there needs to be “a two-way street” in nonprofits between development officers and field staff.
Murdock said that one major barrier nonprofits face is the turnover rate of workers in the field; “those best at getting information.”
Nonprofits need to learn to “improve communications between field people and development people,” he said, adding that this will help them learn how to tell a more compelling story about their work and the people being served.
Furthermore, Murdock said, nonprofits ought to “recognize and incentivize people who do give you good feedback.”
He added that an organization would benefit greatly from having a full-time employee whose only job is to collect stories from field workers.
Weinstein said she enjoyed a jam-packed session Thursday morning concerning multichannel fundraising. Nonprofits should be advised, Weinstein said, that almost one-third of major donors — in this case, those who give gifts of $1,000 and more — are online donors.
In a similar vein, Murdock said that an important lesson gleaned from one session he attended was that nonprofits need to “put e-mail addresses in everything” they send out. He added that organizations need to “stress privacy” and make it very clear to donors that they are not going to rent out their names to other organizations.
Organizations could benefit from explaining to donors why they’re interested in acquiring e-mail addresses and possibly institute an age threshold on communicating electronically with constituents, Murdock said, suggesting 13 as a good place to draw the line.