Guest blogger Heather Yandow brings more than a decade of experience as an outreach coordinator, coalition leader, project manager, and fundraiser to Third Space Studio’s clients.
The latest Individual Donor Benchmark Report is now available with groundbreaking findings to support small nonprofits with their fundraising efforts. The survey compiles annual fundraising data from organizations with budgets under $2 million to highlight trends nonprofits can use to spark their own success.
This year’s findings taps two clear paths to successful fundraising:
- Working from a plan strengthens individual donor fundraising for small and medium-sized organizations.
- Organizations retain just 60% of their donors from year to year, so finding new donors is a critical element of fundraising on an ongoing basis.
The Key to Success
So many of you have reached out to me recently in total panic, asking for guidance because you’re stressed to the max by pressures of launches, giving day, and year end. Then there’s the biggest one—the pressure of unrealistic expectations (especially your own). I know because I live it too.
Methods for addressing those pressures are you- and organization-specific, but some game-changing strategies work across the board. One tried and tested method stands out as the most universal, powerful, and long-term way to get happier, healthier, and more productive at work (sorry if I sound like clickbait, but it’s true):
Team with colleagues and peers in the field to share your needs, provide and ask for help, vent and listen, or to get or give a fresh take. There’s nothing like it—we are so much stronger together. The outcome is stronger too—personally, for your output, and for the ultimate results.
This incredible experiment in using virtual reality to build empathy—the first step to engagement and action—could be groundbreaking. I am following closely, can’t wait to see how this evolves, and promise to report back along the way. Van, I hope you and your team will share out what works, what doesn’t, and how other orgs and causes can use this technique to build the empathy necessary to motivate action.
Please join me on Day of Empathy’s Facebook group to follow its development, roll out, and results. So much to learn. So much inspiration. I’m so excited!
P.P.S. This Day of Empathy approach is all about making Dream Corps’ methods and goals relevant to more of us, via virtual reality. Relevance Rules! And it’s meta—Van does a fantastic job of making the experiment relevant to us in this video.
Dig in a.s.a.p. to these tested and terrific ways to get your people out of the heat and into action—shared by peer fundraisers and communicators in the field. There’s no better source of ideas, guidance, and support!
Personalize to Connect!
Here’s where you rely on your robust, reliable donor management software. The more you know and log about your prospects and donors, the better you’ll connect with them.
Connect with Your Patrons, Donors, and other Supporters via THEIR Summer Habits and Passions
When I coach folks on communicating to donors, it’s one-on-one—an individual strategy. I don’t advise them to feature Hawaiian shirts and mai tais on their communications. But every communication needs to consider the audience, so I guess we naturally consider it. People leaving or arriving for the summer have different agendas and needs.
If the recipient is “in town” for the summer, we explore why she’s interested in the nonprofit. What causes her to support a charity while on vacation? From there, we create a strategy. —Marc Pitman, Fundraising Coach
Thanks to guest blogger Mollie Katz, Multimedia Strategist at Mollie Katz Communications.
In their day, legendary journalists like Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post essentially defined the day’s news for their audiences. But today it’s a different story—Increasingly, audience interests shape journalists’ decisions on what’s news.
NBC, for example, is sharing viewers’ thoughts on the election anonymously, collecting them via text, phone, and Tumblr. The New York Times has decided “to produce a product that consumers have a greater say in creating,” according to its public editor Liz Spayd. Other examples abound, affecting news, feature, and opinion coverage.
How the News Is Changing, and Why You Should Care
This is happening because traditional media is still adjusting to the internet’s impact. Digital media has exploded with new outlets representing diverse opinions and covering an incredible range of subjects. To compete with these newcomers, traditional media outlets must stay closely attuned to their own audiences.
We’re officially one month into summer, so don’t waste a moment in heating up your communications and results with season-specific approaches.
To find the most effective ways to do so, I asked colleagues in the field what (if anything) they do differently to heat up summer giving and other actions. These superstars came back with this slew of great practices:
Is Summer: Sizzling or Slow for Your Organization (and Your Role)?
The Jury’s Still Out
Some Slowdown! We Plan, Invent, and Prep for a Fast-Paced Fall
Plan & Prep
I’m going to take the time to revamp our approach to email timing and volume, and I’m very excited. We have a broad idea of where we’re going right now but it’ll take a few months to plan the exact details and roll out our new program. –Anna Besmann, Marketing and Communications Associate, Interfaith Youth Core