RETENTION MATTERS

By Sharon Danosky

If I were to give two words of advice to nonprofits and their fundraising teams it would be this: RETENTION MATTERS!

After GIVING USA 2018’s report forecasted a long, hard road ahead for fundraisers, Non Profit Quarterly analyzed the data from last year’s Fundraising Effectiveness Project and noted “The study found that the number of people who gave in 2018 fell by 4.5 percent while the acquisition of new donors fell by 7.3 percent. For smaller nonprofits without connections to wealth, this trend should be considered a warning, especially within the context of slow or flat growth in individual giving overall.”

Further, the interim Giving USA report is showing more donor decline in 2019. What this means is that new donors are hard to come by and current donors can quickly go somewhere else. There are some things that every fundraiser needs to do:

  1. Thank donors quickly, personally and often.
  2. Understand how the money you are raising is being used and communicate that to your donors.
  3. Find ways to engage with your donors. Not in a one-size-fits-all way. Rather, offer opportunities for donors to gather in fun and meaningful ways. That may mean volunteering, attending events, or something else.
  4. Help your donors to find ways that they can give. The once a year, send-in-your-check no longer works for most donors. Recurring gifts and giving through an IRA are two largely untapped means – which are at different ends of the giving spectrum. Use them both, along with other creative ideas you hear that work.
  5. Use peer-to-peer opportunities. Promote your donors – even (or especially) those who give on the lower end.

All of this requires a significant amount of investment, I know. But not to do it will mean a gradual and escalating decline of your development program – which no one can afford.

There are trends on the horizons. There are analyses and studies about how fundraising is changing. We should all be aware and learn how to innovate to remain vital.

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Professional Development and Support: Oxygen for the Nonprofit Leader

Oxygen

Anyone who has taken a commercial flight is familiar with the routine that flight staff runs through just before takeoff: here are the emergency exits; flotation devices, and in the event of emergency, an oxygen mask will drop down in front of you… If you’re traveling with someone who may depend on you for help, you’re instructed to first apply the mask to yourself – then help the person that’s in your charge – in that order.

It’s pretty obvious why you should take care of yourself first. You’ll need oxygen in order to see your dependent through what could be a life-threatening event. But if you can’t breathe, well…

[Read more…]

Data-Driven Philanthropy Drives Donor Relationships

index

By Sharon Danosky

Most people think of fundraising as an “art”, — the skill of communication, crafting the right story, convincing donors to give to you.  While that may be true – there is a lot more to the story.

Good fundraising begins with data – good data.  To build a solid fundraising plan you need to be firing on all gears – and that cannot be left to the luck of the draw – or some heart-wrenching story.  You need to know who to ask; how much to ask for; what their interests are; what they have given in the past; what they are likely to give in the future and how they respond to different requests.  In short – you need DATA. [Read more…]

Budgeting: Is there a way to make it less painful?

Budgeting 2

By Susan Rosati

I recently learned that the financial consulting I wanted to offer a group of savvy Executive Directors wasn’t exactly what they looking for.  My idea was to come to them with cool tools and colorful fresh ideas that would really impress a board. However, what they really wanted was more simple tangible guidance. In general, my ideas were good but they took a little time to implement. I was painfully reminded that Executive Directors have no time to waste and are pulled in a million different directions on a daily basis. That’s why I keep my approach simple and more practical especially when it came to the budget. [Read more…]

3 Key Considerations for Crisis Management

crisismanagemetBy David Deschenes

There are all kinds of issues and crises that can arise on any given day for a nonprofit. Ask an executive director if they’ve recently dealt with an issue that had a potential negative impact on their organization’s standing and they’ll most likely reply, “What? Of course!” There is no shortage.

Yet many nonprofits find themselves unprepared when it comes to communicating through a crisis. Following are three essential steps that all nonprofit organizations should take to be prepared for the next crisis or urgent issue that challenges their good reputation. [Read more…]