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Welcome to Fundraising Day New York. This is one of the largest gatherings of fundraisers in the country. There must be at least 100 different workshops being offered. It is always hard to figure out which ones to attend. This year I am going to try and focus on two types of sessions technology and major gifts - but, well, anything is possible.  So let's get started.

Smarter Fundraising Using Analytics

Heather Campbell, Director, Analytics & Data Management, Princeton University;

Jennifer MacCormack, Director, Advancement Analytics, University of Washington 

We are off to a great start - packed room on a session on analytics.  

The greatest benefit is it optimizes processes and outcomes.  Remember the better your data the better your analysis can be.  You probably have more data available than you think you do.  You don't need a lot of money many of the products you need are free.  

Survey Analysis

Event Analysis


Affinity Scoring

Digital Marketing

Census Data/Wealth Cluster


Fundraiser Performance Analysis 

A good place to start is when you are in post campaign mood.  Figure out who gave and why and then build a model to find more people like those.

But, you have to know what information you want as you build your models.

Who is most likely to renew?

Who is most likely to increase their gift?

Where are your new Donors located?

Are you prospects pools saturated?  Why are some good prospects not being called?  But first, you need to work to be prepared before you start the campaign.  Figure out who are the best prospects and then focus on those.  Try to use some of the "personal stories" to figure out who not only has a good wealth score but has the personal attributes to make a good prospect. 

Use the data to combine your best Models with personal insight. One of the first models they built was a Bequest Model.  This is not intuitively the best model to start with but if you say survey your donors and the fold them into the model you can see who will be most likely to join your PG program.  You can you the same technique with Major Gifts and Annual Support.  

Building a model is time-consuming but worth the effort.  If you don't have the staff or knowledge as you get started, use a consultant.

Working with analytics both individually and with research/prospect vendors.  

RFM (Recently, Frequently, Amount) - Summarizes Giving History 

Engagement Score - How are people connecting with your organization.  This is a great score that people don't think about. It combines giving along with things like volunteer activity, event participation.

Again, don't be put off by the prospect of doing analytics there is a lot of information online and vendors who can help you. Take the plunge everything you do will only help you be a better fundraiser and bring in more support to your organization.  

The Case for Good Stewardship

Susan Sink, Vice President of Development and External Relations, American Farmland Trust;

Theresa Rizzo, Director, Supporter Services, International Rescue Committee;

Moderator, Valerie Vierengel, Director of Donor Stewardship, ASPCA

A good stewardship program has many different pieces. Including 


Obviously, every donor should get a Thank you letter for their gift. You should divide these by some criteria like giving level or frequency.  The first gift a donor gives should be a special letter. Also, think about who ought to sign the letter. The higher the gift the more important the person signing it ought to be.

Direct Mail Newsletter

This should be on a regular basis - say 3 times a year.

Monthly E-Newsletter

This can take many forms. It could be a pull of articles from the last Newsletter. Or it could be new material like a letter from the head of your organization that talks about programs.

 Annual Report

This goes to high-end donors yearly and should include the names of donors over a certain level.

Online Welcome Letter to new donors

There should be a special letter that is emailed to every new online donor. Don't skimp sending out thank you letters and notices to your online donors.

Personalized thank you card for Executive Director, Board Chair or President

The importance of a personal note can not be over emphasized. It can make all the difference. Many times it can begin a conversation between the donor and the agency.  

Special invitations to exclusive events

No matter what Special Events you might be doing it is important to create events or to utilize events that you are doing for major donors. It doesn't mean people will take you up on the invite but they appreciate the opportunity.

Personal outreach from the fundraising team

This last one is vital and it should be a donor phone call. Studies have shown a direct correlation between calls and increased second gift.

You cannot connect with people too often.  No matter what people might say.

Work Smarter, Not Harder 

Carson Tate, Managing Partner, Working Simply, Inc.

Moderator: Patrick O’Connell, Faculty, Columbia University Masters in Nonprofit Management 

25 Tips in 60 Minutes - I'll try to keep up! I am not promising I'll get all 25 but I will do my best.

  1. Become an advocate for your technology. If you do keep bringing it up to the powers that be who will?  Make sure your website is responsive to Mobile.
  2. Web, tech and Social = Intertwined.  Think about how your tech creates an ecosystem.  Think of each channel as interconnected.
  3. Develop KPI's for your Leads.  If you do something you need to know if it is working.  Look at all the signals, not just donations. Key Predictive Indicator
  4. Frictionless Transactions Are Growing. The "Amazon Syndrome" people expect to do as few clicks as possible.  Figure out which payment options work for you? 
  5. Use attribution modeling to get a fuller picture of your donor journey.  What were are all of the ways that people touched your website after they come to it?  Proves display and banner ads efficiency. 
  6. Remember it is not all about you.  Listen-Create-Engage-Measure impact and back to Listen. How do we build relationships with the prospect?
  7. Consistently test email and web layout/format. No standard but what will result in more clicks.  The beauty of digital is it is flexible. 
  8. Use Facebook as a tool to test ad concepts.  It is cheap to test in Facebook what you might use in headlines or visuals.  Then use those in Direct Mail or Email Campaign.
  9. Know the overlap of your multichannel donors and adjust messages accordingly. Compliment offline and online.  Segment people who you know got your Direct Mail.
  10. Share data with you advertising partners.  If you don't trust your pattern enough to share then get a new partner.
  11. Understanding the content Lifespan.  Your content is not GOLDEN it ends sooner than you think.  You need some evergreen content.  If the same questions keep coming up you should do content just for that issue.
  12. Look at Ad Creative performance by segment.  Look at how different people reacted to different ads. 
  13. Leverage the Segmentation Facebook Provides. Use the Facebook segment as well as loading in your own email addresses to target those people. Easy to use and be a big shift.
  14. Find where People's Lives insect with Your Topic. Keep it real. Make it universal when possible. Common experiences build community and community will support you.
  15. Rapid Response is a Necessary Reality. You have to grab the moment. You can't always spend lots of time thinking about the answer you just to get in there and answer people comments. Showing heart and acknowledging what the person says. 
  16. Managing your Digital Assets.  If your assets are free to use you need to manage it or Just so you can find what you need.
  17. Cultivate your most influential supporters on Social Media.  No matter how informal the relationship is you should try to know who these people are and get be as personal with the as possible.
  18. If you aren't doing SEM for your organization SOMEONE ELSE IS.   Enough said.
  19. Use Social Media to inform content.  If something is trending and you can dip into to the pool do so. 
  20. Looking at landing pages by segment. Test your Landing page does it dry people into your site. Try to make richer content
  21. Utilize Trigger Marketing. Following the trigger, not just the calendar.  
  22. Measure your Efforts. Understanding your reports Distribution, Interaction, Influence, Action and Internal Reporting

OOPS, they ran out of time!! But I kept up.

It was another great FRDNY. I can't wait to see what they come up with next year.

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