What Counts and What You Should Count
I love counting things especially donations. But there are lots of other great things to count. First, you should count the number of gifts, the number of donors, average gift, the frequency of giving, CPDR, and ROI. But you can also count things like acquisition source, Package type, Personalization level, and stamp/indicia type. Zipcodes, age estimates, and rate of return by date.
If you have a robust, mature acquisition program, zip codes can be a great resource. At one organization after four years of running a traditional acquisition program, I started diving into my zipcodes. First I ran a report that counted how many gifts I had gotten in the last three years by zip code. Then I look at just the top 20 zip codes. These were the ones with the most gifts in them. I was very surprised by what I found.
Now a couple of things were not surprising. The area around the organization's headquarters and the area around our biggest program had lots of gifts. No surprise there.
But, I could have hardly expected that in a single neighborhood nowhere near our programs I had a very large number of gifts. Not only were there lots of gifts but when I looked at gift history and frequency, these donors were really coming through for the organization.
I used a census tracking program that I found online to see who lived in that zip code area. What I found were single-family homes, not a lot of kids and older adults. BINGO.
To test my theory that there were more people like the ones were already giving we did a carrier route presort acquisition mailing with personalization. What that means is that we mailed to 100k people who lived in the zip code area simply because they lived near other donors. We used are basic acquisition letter and made sure that the letter didn't just say "CURRENT OCCUPANT" but had the residents name on it. This cost a few cents more, but we thought it would be worth it. We could have tested and randomly sent some each way, but we preferred to err on the side on personalization.
How well did we do? When compared to our regular acquisition program the carrier route mailing did significantly better. Now should you just do carrier route and not use a more thoughtful acquisition program - nope you sure don't. This should just be one tool that you can use to maximize your acquisition program.
If we hadn't counted zip codes, we would never have known about a pool of great prospects waiting to hear from us.
EXTRA THOUGHTFUL IDEA
You should count people with old-looking handwriting. Planned Giving prospects have to come from somewhere.
Some Thoughtful Books You Might Like.
So what are you reading? Here are some of the books I keep close at hand. Check them out I think you will get a lot out of them.
Blogging Live from
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.
Live Blogging for AFP International Conference in San Francisco
Here we go. The crowd at the Moscone Center is primed and ready to go. This should be a great three days!
Sunday, April 30, 2017
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.
It Occurs To Me
Do you have a personal brand, or is your image tied to your job? Well, you need one, and here is video that can help'
Please leave a comment, thoughtfully.
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