Donor Relationship Management

Donor Focus: Generation Y
June 1, 2005

Generation Y is one of the first population segments that knows the true meaning of instant gratification, according to Kelly Mahoney, president of marketing agency Newport Creative Communications. A three-week fulfillment window as a standard response is not going to help you cultivate a long-term relationship, she explains. Here, Mahoney discusses what Generation Y’ers mean for fundraising.

Cover Story: Faith-based Fundraising
May 1, 2005

Nonprofits with missions based on religious foundations face special challenges, and the fact that they answer to the Higher Power can work both for an against them.

Closing the Culture Gap
May 1, 2005

Fostering philanthropy within any specific donor demographic has its challenges — but perhaps none more so than in the Asian community. Cultural and historical differences between Asian countries and the United States are stark and, according to Michelle Tong, donor relations director for the Asian American Federation of New York, they explain why it’s innately difficult to get its members to give. Asian immigrants just don’t understand the philanthropic nature of this country, she explains. And, in tandem, development personnel used to courting largely American donors don’t understand the disconnect. Here, Tong discusses these issues.

How, When and Why to Thank Donors
May 1, 2005

Sending a timely, relevant thank-you letter in return for a gift is the prudent and polite thing to do — both in our private lives and in fundraising. It’s all about preserving a relationship, communicating appropriately, and establishing and maintaining a personal style.

Ms. Manners taught us the rules of etiquette when writing personal thank-you notes, but what about a donor program with thousands of people to thank? What are the rules? And who gets to write them?

Advocacy and Action
March 1, 2005

Organization: International Women’s Health Coalition, New York City, founded in 1984 by Joan Dunlop and Adrienne Germain to generate health and population policies, programs and funding that promote and protect the rights and health of girls and women worldwide. 

At Long Last, I'm Now the Target Audience
March 1, 2005

This might turn out to be a rant. But you see, I’m getting a lot of fundraising appeals I can’t read because the type is too small, the paragraphs are too long, and the copy is too intensive and technical.

I’m eligible to critique this mail, not because I’ve been in the business for 42 years but because I’m now the target audience.

Go EZ on RFM
February 15, 2005

As the modeling-versus-RFM debate goes on, proponents of each donor-management approach continue to champion their preferred method. Weighing in recently on the Recency-Frequency-Monetary Analysis side was Arthur Middleton Hughes, vice president of KnowledgeBase Marketing. In his session at the 2005 Annual Washington Nonprofit Conference earlier this month, Hughes was exuberant in his support, calling RFM “the most powerful segmentation method for predicting response,” adding that it’s “better than any segmentation model.” But despite his accolades -- some of which might be considered fightin’ words in modeling country -- Hughes also warned that RFM isn’t something organizations should use all the time. Warning session attendees

Spinning Date Into Donor Gold
January 1, 2005

With a languishing donor-acquisition program and shrinking applicable-list universes, Catholic Relief Services prudently mined its own data in search of answers.

And for good reason.

The 61-year-old international-relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community relies heavily on the private sector for donations; in 2003, CRS netted $484 million, 20 percent of which came from private-cash contributions. What’s more, the organization’s direct-response fundraising program accounts for roughly 50 percent of all donations from private contributors.

Generation X
January 1, 2005

Popularly defined as those individuals born between the mid-1960s and late 1970s, Generation X is the most maligned and enigmatic generational cohort of the 20th century. Often characterized as aloof, cynical and fiercely independent, Gen-Xers have been largely overlooked by charitable organizations as an active philanthropic-giving group.

Even now, as the generation enters its prime employment and household-formation years, targeted appeals tend to place more emphasis on Generation Y, or the “echo boomers” — those technologically savvy individuals born after 1980 — and the baby boomers themselves, for their obvious size and spending power.

The Fundraising Landscape, Circa 2005
January 1, 2005

You might be thinking that the new year will just bring more of the usual fundraising grind, slogging forward step by step, scratching for every dollar.Well, I have good news: It doesn’t have to be that way.

In fact, the smartest fundraisers are paying attention to what promises to be next in breakthrough fundraising trends, strategies and tactics that will revolutionize the way funds are raised in the years ahead. So get on board if you want to ride the coming surge of fundraising effectiveness.