Posted by & filed under Congress, Diversity, Marketing/Communications, Speakers, Stewardship/Donor Relations.

Judith Nichols, Ph.D., CFRE

Author, Consultant, New Directions in Philanthropy

Looking for new donors? Trying to hold on to the donors you have? Understanding who’s in your donor pool – or who should be – is the first step to growing a larger, more loyal group of supporters. 

Fundraisers are beginning to recognize the need to market differently to audiences with different backgrounds using demographics and psychographics to uncover similarities and differences among potential donors:

–  Demographics: Demographics are sets of characteristics about people that relate to their behavior as consumers. Age, sex, race, marital status, education and income are used most frequently.

–  Psychographics: These are measures of attitudes, values or lifestyles. They are the entire constellation of a person’s attitudes, beliefs, opinions, hopes, fears, prejudices, needs, desires and aspirations that, taken together, govern how he/she behaves. This, in turn, finds holistic expression in a lifestyle. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Leadership/Management, Marketing/Communications, Stewardship/Donor Relations.

Jennifer Auten, Resource Development Communications Amnesty International

I’m the first to admit that fundraising often doesn’t make sense to me. As a professed perfectionist with a Communications background, I tend to get excited about slick-looking, brief creative. In other words, it’s a good thing I’m not responsible for our Direct Mail program.

Fundraising laughs in the face of our assumptions. Here we are in this so-called paperless digital age, attached to smart phones that we rarely use as phones, and yet, where do we find our new donors? On the street, at their doors, in their mailboxes and (gasp!) on the phone. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Marketing/Communications, Stewardship/Donor Relations.

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KAREN OSBORNE, President, The Osborne Group

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You’re really busy. You’re making final calls, visits and appeals as you try to bring in as many end-of-the-year gifts as possible.  Of course, you sent out holiday cards. There are often office parties to go to as well. Whew. I know it’s a lot but I have one more “must do” to add to your list.

Provide meaningful, personal, WOW stewardship to donors, volunteers and internal partners.

Stewardship is more than well wishes. It’s more than thank you. It is sharing the impact of ALL of the gifts of time, talent, treasure, and introductions your peers, volunteers and donors provided. It is connecting them directly to the mission in personal ways. And for those special people who gave so much of themselves, it is making them say, “Wow, I truly feel appreciated and valued above and beyond anything I expected.”

  1. Take a colleague out for coffee to let her know how much she contributed to the year’s outstanding results even though she is not a direct fundraiser.
  2. Give your CEO and chair of the board a list of donors to call to say, “Thank you again for (fill in specifics and tie it to outcomes and impact).”
  3. Interview a beneficiary and film it using your smartphone. Email it to a donor with a note that says, “You helped make this happen. Thank you again for all you do for the people we serve.”

Make a list of all of the “personal capital” (human, intellectual, expertise, networks and financial) a volunteer contributed down one side of a piece of paper, and then the difference that was made as a result on the other side. Drop by or call and share the wonderful list.

Remember to make your stewardship:

~ Personal
~ Meaningful to the donor, colleague or volunteer
~ Specific
~ And focused on IMPACT

Everyone feels good when they know that (a) they made and difference and (b) someone noticed.

Karen is the President of The Osborne Group, Inc., an international management and training consultancy focused on NGO capacity building; all aspects of fund development including campaign planning and implementation; opinion research including donor satisfaction surveys and feasibility studies; and organizational management including board development and strategic planning. Follow Karen on Twitter @kareneosborne. Visit www.theosbornegroup.com for free podcasts, blog posts, webinars, videos and tools.

Posted by & filed under Congress, Marketing/Communications, Speakers, Stewardship/Donor Relations.

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TOM AHERN

Chief Mind, Ahern Communications Ink.

Elevator Speech? Ride to Nowhere. It’s the wrong answer to a great question.

You know the premise. You’re on an elevator with someone else. And in the course of a short ride, you explain your nonprofit’s work so well that you convince your listener to embrace your cause.

To steal a line from Aaron Sorkin, “What could possibly go wrong?”

Well, for one thing, the conceit suggests an attentive audience. I.e., the other person shuts up and listens. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress, Direct Mail, Marketing/Communications, Social Media, Speakers, Stewardship/Donor Relations.

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BEATE SØRUM

Consultant, Fundraising & Digital Communication, Norwegian Cancer Society

So, I keep hearing people speak about digital fundraising with a bit of fear in their voice. It’s this new thing, a thing that we don’t really know how to deal with. And we keep expecting it to raise loads of money, and yet it really doesn’t, and we can’t quite figure out why, and then everyone get’s frustrated. I think we’re overcomplicating things. In my opinion, digital fundraising is the exact same thing that we have been doing forever, just adapted to new channels.

If you look at it, what are the elements of classical fundraising?

Telling a story
Making an ask
Using emotions
Being the solution to a defined problem
A well crafted response channel Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress, Leadership/Management, Marketing/Communications.

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MARK HARRISON

President and CEO, TrojanOne Ltd.

Many of the organizations I work with have a beautiful bar of invaluable gold deep inside.

Most of them don’t know where it is. Some know, but they have hidden it away. Others don’t understand its value. Very few do a great job of displaying it.

What is this bar of gold? It’s the equity your organization has to offer to stakeholders. Not just to sponsors, but to volunteers, media, influencers, government officials, foundations, etc., etc.

Equity? Do I mean share price? Stock value? Yes, but not literally. Your equity is the value proposition that you have to offer. What does your organization stand for? How does it contribute to society? How are you making the world a better place? What value can you offer me as a donor, participant, sponsor, or staff person? Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress, Leadership/Management, Marketing/Communications.

 

LAURA FREDRICKS, JD

President, Laura Fredricks, LLC

Collaboration… it sounds so simple but as we get so entrenched in our daily lives to focus on rising trends, raising money, managing our leadership, volunteers, committees and staff, we often want to “just do it ourselves.” But we all know the results if that happens, we dig deeper in our silos and when we surface we don’t feel much satisfaction and in fact if feels pretty empty.

This is why I created the Congress session How to Successfully Involve the Leadership and Volunteers with the ASK. It would be far easier to do the ASK by yourself or with your staff then take the time to work with people who may or may not want to ask for money. I have found a way to “streamline your time and efforts so that you will WANT to involve, no more importantly INSPIRE them to help you. I have tested my simple and fun ways to engage them and I hope you will join me as we share these new concepts together. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Marketing/Communications, Social Media, Speakers.

Leah Eustace, CFRE
Principal and Managing Partner, Good Works

Here are my top eight tips for getting the most out of your Congress experience…using twitter!

  1. You don’t have to be on Twitter to follow the conversation. Congress has its own hashtag (#afpcongress) and the conversation is already heating up. What’s a hashtag? It’s basically a way of labeling tweets so that they can be easily found. Starting now, add Monitter as a tab on your web browser. Type “afpcongress” in the search bar and, voila, you’re monitoring the conversation. For those twitter pros out there, you can also add #afpcongress as a separate column in Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.
  2. See an #afpcongress tweet that begs a question? Does someone have a point of view that you disagree with? Don’t be shy, just jump in and join the conversation. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress, Diversity, Marketing/Communications, Speakers, Stewardship/Donor Relations.

Alice L. Ferris, MBA, ACFRE
Founding Partner, GoalBusters LLC

Many well intentioned fundraisers have made a cultural misstep: you schedule a major event on a religious holiday, pick a menu that features food that is culturally taboo, or you make an assumption about someone’s beliefs only to find out the hard way that you are very, very wrong. So how can you navigate cultural traditions, norms and unwritten rules when you are not a member of a certain group, yet you need to work with the group for fundraising?

  1. Think about things you have in common with individuals within the community.
    When we meet someone new, if you’re good at getting to know people, you immediately start to try to find things that you have in common. But isn’t it interesting, that when you consider groups of people, suddenly it becomes easier to find things you don’t share? Try to find common values and interests with that person. Not only will this help with building respect for a potential donor’s values, but also works to develop relationships that are critical to the fundraising process. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Congress, Marketing/Communications, Speakers, Stewardship/Donor Relations.

Bob Penner
President & CEO
Strategic Communications Inc. (Stratcom)

By now many of you have heard about or even participated in a Telephone Town Hall. Stratcom has been pleased to bring this to the Canadian marketplace, although, even for us, it took some persuading.

We do a fair bit of work in the United States and are a member of various American industry associations. For many years, some of my colleagues in the political arena have been telling me that we should use Telephone Town Halls. They are a great communications tool and clients love them, they said. 

But for whatever reason, I didn’t immediately pick up on this suggestion. It was a different sort of tool for us, we were already busy and I didn’t immediately see the value. But they persevered and when an opportunity with a new vendor with superior technology was presented to us, we decided to give it a try.   

But it wasn’t until our own first Telephone Town Hall that I fully got it, and became a believer. This event was for a candidate for mayor of a major Canadian city. There were more than 10 candidates in this mayoral race and our candidate, although an experienced politician, was not particularly well known and was in the middle of the pack. So, we conducted a Telephone Town Hall and invited most of the city to participate. We were amazed to have him speaking to an audience of more than 18,000 people, and at one point 4,000 were on the line. What else could I do cost-effectively or in fact in any way to find our relatively unknown client an audience of this size? Many of the people asking questions during the Telephone Town Hall were saying how they’d never heard him speak before and how impressive he was to hear and also that they liked to be asked to participate in this way. So clearly, the Telephone Town Hall was, as my American colleagues had said, a strong campaign communication tool. Our client didn’t win, but he ran a strong campaign. 

However, while we do have political clients, most of our business is in the non-profit sector. So, we starting to think, in the same way, about how many of our clients’ donors have never heard that organization’s leader speak. The non-profit market is also a crowded field and the same fundamental premise exists. If you call a public meeting, you might attract a few hundred local people or fewer. But, with Telephone Town Hall technology, you can reach thousands of people across the whole country to listen to your message from the comfort of their own home. It’s easy to set up and provides great communication, great interaction, great feedback and, in my experience, the audience is always enthusiastic about them.  

It’s not rocket science, it’s just basic communication that’s made easier because of advances in technology. And, it’s now affordable because of the significant way costs have been reduced in the telecom system, and how the Telephone Town Hall can make use of this opportunity. 

Although we’ve done a lot of Telephone Town Halls by now, we’ve only just begun to experiment with it and its endless possibilities. Watch this space to learn more. And, at our presentation at AFP Congress, I will discuss some of the more interesting Telephone Town Halls we’ve done so far. We’d also like to hear from you – if you had an experience with a Telephone Town Hall or if you have an idea for how it might be utilized to meet the objectives of your organization, let us know and we’ll discuss it in our blog and at our session. Looking forward to seeing you at AFP Congress. 

Bob will be presenting “Telephone Town Halls: A New Way to Engage Supporters and Donors” at AFP Congress 2011.