Looking back at last year's AFP International Conference while looking forward to this year's conference next month in New Orleans.


Live Blogging for AFP International Conference in San Francisco 

Here we go. The crowd at the Moscone Center is primed and ready to go.


Five Donor Love Languages: The Secret to Lasting Donor Retention

Tammy Zonker - Lead Speaker 
Major Gift Strategist, Trainer & Keynote Speaker - Fundraising Transformed

Here we go. It is all starting out well we got thank you letter and a cookie. Can't get better than that. Tammy

46% retention rate on average for nonprofits. What do they want / What do they say-
54% No longer afford to give
36% Other's more deserving 
15% Bad Communications
13% No Thank you
9% Don't remember making a gift
8% received no information on how their gift was used.
9% Charity doesn't need me

Knowing what donors want we could keep them and raise more money.

With that in mind, Tammy recommends looking to the self-help book 5 Languages of Love by Gary Chapman. In it, he gives five categories for doing things that show love.
1. Acts of Service
2. Words of Affirmation
3. Gifts of Appreciation
4. Physical Touch
5. Quality Time

Donor "love" is the cake, not the icing. LOVE is the Currency of lasting love.

She takes us through each of these but from a non-profit donor perspective. (She promised her slides would be posted soon, and then I'll attach them here.)

She takes us through each of the categories and show us how they would correlate to non-profits. She gives examples like:

"Acts of Love" include all forms of volunteering. This includes any hands-on opportunity to see the organization's mission in action.

"Words of Affirmation" include personalization on thank yous, handwritten notes, phone calls & board interaction. These include using sincere compliments, "Your" impact, non-monetary calls to action, and gratitude calls. Again, you can do this with handwritten notes, holiday cards, special moment cards, copies of meaningful articles with a note.

"Token of Appreciation" this one can be tricky it doesn't mean sending a set of address labels or some other premium that people may not want or need. These are tokens that are usually one-of-a-kind items created specifically for donors. It could be cards made by clients/participants or photo cards of a program that you know interest the donor.

"Quality Time" simply equals engagement. It must leave donors feels appreciated, create a better understanding of the mission, understand the "need," site visits, give them "inside" information.

You want all of your communications to be personal and show proof of impact.

These ideas can revolutionize the way you interact with donors.

Direct Response vs. Major Gifts: Overcoming the Culture Clash

Vicky Barrett-Putnam

Rachael Muir, CFRE

Mark Rovner, MBE

I can't wait to get into this subject. In my pre-session experience, these two functions have to work together. In fact, I have always felt that these are arbitrary categories that in most case mean more to us than they do to the donor.

This session turned you to be more about interpersonal relationships between staff than about specific techniques to increase Direct Response or Major Gift. Now in all honesty, if there is a better relationship between these departments you will make more donors happy and leave less money on the table.

It all comes down to creating an environment that is not competitive, but that prompts mutual success. That means looking at evaluations and cross-department education. As the head of your department if you treat Direct Response as a second class citizen then your staff will too. In an ideal situation, a donor can pass seamlessly through your giving processes without the donor is aware of the shifting.

The donor gives to the best of their ability or at the level they think you expect them to based on your mission and your ability to share that mission. They don't give by the department. As leaders, we have to stop pitting these areas against each other and support them equally.

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