A Tribute to Kathy Kingston

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Behind the microphone or behind the scenes, Kathy Kingston created magic. On January 30, 2020 Kathy peacefully passed away after conducting a two-day training program in Florida. It doesn’t seem possible that she is no longer with us. She was an incredible champion of fundraising professionals across the world. And she was my friend.

I first met Kathy 15 years ago, when I hired her to turn-around a fundraising event where I worked. From the moment I met Kathy, I knew I had met a friend. Her energy was boundless, her commitment to helping nonprofits sincere, and her ability to bring people together was inspirational.

When I started my own business, Kathy became both a trusted advisor and continued to be a dear friend. We started doing workshops together, and had a lot of fun creating ways to engage people in the fundraising process. I remember so many evenings having long conversations by phone. Kathy was always interested in transforming the fundraising event – using it to engage donors and build a sustainable program. While her auctioneering skills were legendary – her real talent lay in helping people understand and build a true platform for raising funds. [Read more…]

Your 2020 Year-End Appeal Begins Today

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Hooray – you just got through December and I hope everyone raised more money than they expected. Now it’s time to lay the foundation for your 2020 appeal.  No rest for the weary!

Like everyone, I received my fair share of appeals in December. Sadly, this was the only time I heard from many of these nonprofits all year. A few had sent me newsletters, which is good – but most didn’t tell me how they used my contribution. Only a few nonprofits kept me informed – telling me how my funds made a difference before asking me again. Those are the charities I supported. The rest – their appeals went in the wastebasket or were deleted.

So here’s my question to you: if the only time you hear from your charity is when they want money –how does that make you feel? Probably the same way I feel – And I won’t give again. Nor do most donors. That is one reason why retention rates among donors continue to plummet: 57% of donors do not renew their gifts. [Read more…]

Do You Know More Than Your Donors’ Names?

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By David Deschenes

It is the new year. This means a brand new period of looking forward and planning for success. I hope that 2020 brings you all that you ask for and more. But before we look forward, I’d like to take a quick look back.

This past December, like all Decembers, my mailbox was bending to capacity with mail. LOTS of mail. Holiday sale flyers that reminded me of the shopping I hadn’t done yet, holiday cards from friends and relatives that reminded me of the family card we didn’t do this year (again), and bills (oh, the bills). Then in equal number to all of the aforementioned pieces, there was an ever-present pile of year-end appeals from every organization known to man, woman and family pet. All addressed to me. David. But while they used my name, I felt that most didn’t really know me. It would impress me as a donor if any one of these organizations asked me directly. “Hey, David. What are your interests? What do you want to know?” [Read more…]

How Do You Say “Thank You”…

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By Sharon Danosky

Your appeal has been sent, and you’ve tallied Giving Tuesday. You are in the throes of ensuring that all the funds you could potentially raise before the end of the year are coming in. Great!

So while you are busy asking for money – have you given any thought to how you are thanking the people who gave to you. I’m sure everyone is sending out the perfunctory letter with the mandatory IRS disclaimer. Most of those are filed or even discarded as quickly as that junk mail they received. So, let me ask … How are you really thanking the people who give to you?

  • Will your donor truly know how much you appreciate their gift?
  • Will your donor understand the impact they are having?
  • Will you thank your donor in a way that is personal and meaningful?
  • Will you delight (and even surprise) your donor when you thank them?
  • Will your thanking them inspire them to make another gift – maybe even a larger gift?

The average nonprofit loses about 57% of their donors every year – half of the donors who give to an organization do not gift again. Why? I think it is because we do not communicate with them in a meaningful way or acknowledge the difference their gifts made.

In this season of giving, let us enhance our own abilities to give thanks in ways that inspire.

We want to hear from you! If there is any topic you would like us to explore, please send your inquiries to info@danosky.com! See more of our blogs to read more of what we’re passionate about!

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.” [Read more…]