Bright Beginnings Inc. IMC Plan


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Bright Beginnings Inc. IMC Plan

  1. 1.         BRIGHT  BEGINNINGS  INC.   Integrated  Marketing  Communications  Plan                   Prepared  by:     Strategies  Inc.   Georgetown  University   April  28th,  2011  
  2. 2. TABLE  OF  CONTENTS A. EXECUTIVE  SUMMARY   B. BACKGROUND   • Organization   • Industry   • Key  Publics   • Competitors   • Situational  Analysis  (SWOT)   C. FUNDING  AND  DONORS   • Revenue  Sources   • Donors  (Geography  &  Demographics)     • Donor  Segmentation   • RFM  Methodology   D. GOALS  and  STRATEGY   1. Learn   • Online  Surveys   • Informal  Conversations   • Learning  More  About  Online  Giving   2. Cultivate   • House  Parties   • Phone  Calls   • Small  Meetings   • Social  Media   3. Ask   • Appeal  Letters   • Email  Marketing   • Social  Media   • Using  Volunteers   4. Appreciate   • Thank  You  Notes   • Social  Media   5. Access  Referrals   • Open  House  Events   • Letters   • Phone  Calls   • Social  Media   E. DONOR  JUMPSTART  CAMPAIGN:  “A  Piece  of  Bright  Beginning”   • Budget   F. METRICS  &  MEASUREMENTS   G. APPENDIX     2    
  3. 3.  EXECUTIVE  SUMMARY  When  it  comes  to  fundraising  in  2011,  nonprofits  are  getting  back  to  basics.  This  year’s  goals  focus  on  engaging  individual  donors  and  cultivating  relationships  through  consistent  and  honest  communications.  Like  other  nonprofits  navigating  their  way  through  a  tough  and  unpredictable  economy,  Bright  Beginnings,  Inc.  (BBI)  could  benefit  from  strengthening  its  relationships  with  its  individual  donors.      Combined  with  an  overall  commitment  to  a  cause,  a  high-­‐level  of  emotional  involvement  with  an  organization  amplifies  a  potential  donor’s  willingness  to  give  and  directly  influences  the  amount  they  will  give.  Better  donor  relationships  would  allow  Bright  Beginnings  to  credibly  and  reasonably  ask  for  higher  donations;  and  they  could  help  open  the  door  to  donors’  social  networks,  making  it  easier  to  identify  potential  new  donors.  Building  stronger  relationships  with  donors  stimulates  deeper  community  involvement,  volunteerism  and  a  higher  level  of  support  for  the  organization’s  mission  overall  while  simultaneously  paving  the  way  to  creating  a  reliable  revenue  stream.    While  “donor  cultivation”  can  be  an  overwhelming  and  somewhat  imprecise  concept  in  the  philanthropic  community,  the  following  integrated  communications  marketing  plan  by  Strategies,  Inc.,  demystifies  “cultivation”  and  offers  a  series  of  strategic  conceptual  and  practical  recommendations  that  can  be  implemented  in  a  campaign  to  make  the  most  of  the  fundraising  opportunities  surrounding  BBI’s  20th  Anniversary.    Our  Strategy  Increasing  donations  from  individual  donors  begins  with  analyzing  current  donors’  contribution  patterns.  We  did  this  by  creating  a  rating  for  each  donor  based  on  the  recency,  frequency  and  monetary  value  of  their  past  contributions.  We  then  divided  your  donors  into  three  categories:  Inner  Circle,  Dedicated  Donors  and  Supporters.  Segmenting  your  donors  in  this  way  allows  you  to  focus  your  outreach  efforts  toward  the  donors  who  are  most  likely  to  deepen  their  engagement  and  commitment  to  you.  For  example,  there  are  216  donors  in  your  Inner  Circle.  While  we  believe  all  donors  are  important  and  valuable,  these  donors  should  be  your  first  priority  if  there  are  limited  resources  available  for  tailored  personal  outreach.    The  strategy  can  be  summarized  in  five  stages  of  outreach:   1. Learn.  Gather  as  much  information  about  donors  as  possible  via  surveys  and  informal   conversations.  Keep  the  dialogue  open  and  honest  and  ask  for  feedback  at  every   opportunity.   2. Cultivate.  Create  a  deeper  sense  of  “belonging”  for  donors  by  enabling  greater  access  to   Bright  Beginnings’  staff  and  facilities  through  cultivation  events.  Cultivation  events  are   events  that  allow  you  to  strengthen  the  bond  with  donors  in  advance  of  planned   solicitations.   3    
  4. 4. 3. Ask.  Sharpen  Bright  Beginnings’  solicitation  practices  by  increasing  the  quantity  and  the   quality  of  the  way  you  ask  for  gifts  in  each  communication  channel—online,  direct  mail,   phones,  etc.   4. Appreciate.  Create  an  appreciation  protocol  that  triggers  an  appropriate  and  timely   response  for  every  contribution  that  comes  into  Bright  Beginnings.   5. Access  Referrals.  Spend  several  months  reconnecting  with  existing  donors  in  order  to   open  up  referral  networks  and  ask  for  referrals  for  new  donors.    Donor  Jumpstart  Campaign:  “A  Piece  of  a  Bright  Beginning”  The  implementation  plan  that  follows  will  utilize  Bright  Beginnings  20th  Anniversary  as  a  hook  to  recognize  past  donor  contributions,  create  urgency  and  begin  asking  for  higher  donations.    BBI’s  20th  Anniversary  in  September  2011  is  a  perfect  time  to  roll  out  donor  relationship  initiatives.  The  campaign  entitled,  “Piece  of  a  Bright  Beginning”  will  demonstrate  how  the  marketing  strategies  and  tactics  come  together  to  achieve  the  overall  goal  of  increased  individual  donor  contributions.  This  comprehensive,  multi-­‐channel  campaign  will  look  back  to  the  past  20  years  and  recognize  donors’  contributions  and  look  to  the  future  where  a  partnership  with  donors  will  advance  BBI’s  mission  and  help  more  homeless  children  have  bright  beginnings  and  bright  futures.   4    
  5. 5.  BACKGROUND    Organization  Bright  Beginnings  Inc.  was  established  in  1991  and  is  a  nationally-­‐accredited  child  and  family  development  center  that  offers  care  and  support  for  homeless  infants,  toddlers,  preschoolers  and  their  families.  The  organization  originated  after  a  community  needs  assessment  determined  an  immediate  and  critical  need  for  childcare  for  homeless  families  living  in  Washington,  DC.      In  over  a  decade,  Bright  Beginnings  has  provided  assistance  to  more  than  1,000  homeless  children  in  the  district.  In  1998,  Bright  Beginnings  moved  to  the  Perry  School  Community  Services  Center.    The  increase  in  the  number  of  children  served  doubled  when  they  added  a  program  for  infants/toddlers  and  childcare  slots  for  low  income  families  living  in  the  community.  Several  years  later,  Bright  Beginnings  launched  its  Early  Learning  Evening  Care  Program  that  is  open  to  all  working  families  in  need  of  safe  and  reliable  evening  care.  Today,  Bright  Beginnings  has  started  the  pre-­‐development  phase  of  a  second  center  to  double  its  current  capacity.  The  second  center,  located  in  the  District’s  most  chronically  poor  region,  Wards  7  and  8,  will  serve  100  additional  homeless  children  and  their  families.  This  site  is  expected  to  open  in  2010  and  fundraising  efforts  have  already  begun.  As  only  one  of  two  centers  in  our  nation’s  capital  devoted  to  homeless  children,  Bright  Beginnings  is  dedicated  to  meeting  the  immediate  needs  of  children  and  families  living  in  homeless  environments  by:   • Providing  children  with  a  safe  and  healthy  environment   • Preparing  children  for  kindergarten   • Supporting  and  educating  parents  to  stabilize  their  lives  Industry  Families  with  young  children  are  among  the  fastest  growing  segments  of  the  homeless  population  in  Washington,  DC.  According  to  the  U.S.  Census  Bureau,  which  conducted  a  survey  on  the  population  and  housing  in  DC  from  2005-­‐2009,  18%  of  people  in  the  district  were  in  poverty  and  29%  of  children  were  below  the  poverty  level.    The  National  Association  for  the  Education  of  Homeless  Children  and  Youth  recently  published  a  report  showing  that  there  are  close  to  1,000,000  homeless  children  enrolled  in  U.S.  schools.    This  is  a  41%  increase  from  just  a  few  years  ago.  One  child  out  of  every  classroom  of  thirty  is  homeless  and  the  average  age  is  nine  years  old.       5    
  6. 6.    Key  Publics  Strategies  Inc.  recognizes  that  good  communication  planning  calls  for  the  identification  of  Bright  Beginnings  various  publics.    Each  of  the  publics  identified  below  are  linked  with  the  organization  through  a  unique  relationship.    In  identifying  the  key  publics  we  can  better  understand  and  avoid  wasting  time  and  money  trying  to  communicate  with  people  who  do  not  have  a  relevant  relationship  to  Bright  Beginnings.    The  key  publics  that  are  linked  with  Bright  Beginnings  are  identified  as:   • Board  of  Directors     • Dr.  Betty  Jo  Gaines,  Executive  Director     • Junior  League   • Staff  and  Volunteers  at  Bright  Beginnings   • Donors   o Federal  Government   o DC  Government     o Foundations   o Corporations   o Community  Partners   o Individuals   o Faith-­‐Based    Among  these  publics,  the  key  stakeholders  and  influencers  for  Bright  Beginnings  are  the  Board  of  Directors  and  Dr.  Betty  Jo  Gaines,  Bright  Beginnings  Executive  Director.  Second  to  these  stakeholders  is  the  Federal  Government  for  their  involvement  with  the  Head  Start  and  Early  Head  Start  Grants  and  the  DC  Government,  Office  of  the  Superintendent,  as  they  regulate  early  childhood  education  services. Appendix:    Key  Publics  Chart  Competitors  Bright  Beginnings  competitors  can  be  defined  as  broadly  as  any  and  all  nonprofits  and  organizations  that  donors  are  supporting  and  funding.  Considering  just  the  Washington,  DC-­‐based  organizations  focused  on  children,  early  development  and  homelessness,  the  competitors  are  as  follows:       House  of  Ruth  helps  women,  children  and  families  in  the  greatest  need  and  with  very   limited  resources  build  safe,  stable  lives  to  achieve  their  highest  potential.  At  House  of   Ruth,  women,  children  and  families  heal  from  lifetimes  of  abuse.       Community  of  Home  DC  provides  hope  and  stability  to  low-­‐income  and  homeless  adults   and  children  in  Washington  DC.  This  organization  offers  a  range  of  programs  from   6    
  7. 7. healthcare  to  housing  with  supportive  services  and  programs  promoting  and  creating   stable  lives  for  themselves  and  for  their  children.   The  Homeless  Children’s  Playtime  Project  is  the  only  children’s  program  offered  in  five   shelters  a  total  of  eight  times  each  week.  The  program  model  provides  one-­‐on-­‐one   attention,  healthy  snacks  and  access  to  developmental  toys  and  activities  designed  to   reduce  the  traumatic  effects  of  homelessness  on  children  and  to  promote  learning  and   joy.       Bright  Beginnings     House  of  Ruth   Focuses  on  Early  Childhood   Focuses  on  Abused  Women  &   Development  and  preparing  the   Children  -­‐Support  Services  to   child  to  enter  Pre-­‐K     recover  from  domesmc  violence   Offers  Full  Service  Program  -­‐to   Offers  Temporary  Housing   reposimon  parents  for  a  more   stable  future        &  Daycare   The  Homeless  Children   Community  of  Home  DC   Play^me  Project   Focuses  on  Healthcare   Focuses  on  Children’s  program   and  Temporary  Housing   offered  in  shelters  -­‐8  mmes  each   Offers  Tutoring  &  Mentoring   week   Aoer-­‐school  acmvimes   Promotes  healthy  living  and   reduce  tramamc  effects  on   children  Every  product,  business  or  service  needs  a  Unique  Selling  Proposition  that  will  make  it  stand  out  from  the  competition.  Strategies  Inc.  considered  the  following  questions  to  determine  BBI’s  USP.   • What  does  the  organization  do  the  best?     • What  does  the  organization  do  better  than  our  competition?     • What  awards  have  been  won?   • What  does  the  organizations  service  do  better  than  anyone  else?   • What  makes  the  organizations  business  model  different  from  our  competition?   7    
  8. 8.  Strategies  Inc.  feels  that  BBI’s  uniqueness  lies  in  that  it  is  the  only  local  organization  that  provides  comprehensive,  long-­‐term  benefits  to  homeless  children  and  families  through  a  holistic  approach  that  focuses  on  the  highest  standards  of  early  childhood  education.    Bright  Beginnings,  Inc.  has  earned  accreditation,  twice,  as  one  of  the  nation’s  premier  child  and  family  development  centers  by  the  National  Association  for  the  Education  of  Young  Children.    This  award  has  only  been  achieved  by  eight  percent  of  early  childhood  centers  nationally,  is  one  of  the  most  respected  and  widely  sought  after  designations  for  child  and  family  development  centers.   Appendix:    Competitor  Communications  Audit    Situational  Analysis  (SWOT)  Strengths  Bright  Beginnings  strength  lies  in  the  service  and  care  they  provide  to  homeless  children  and  their  families.  Their  program  is  full-­‐circle;  taking  the  child  in,  preparing  that  child  to  enter  Kindergarten,  as  well  as  counseling  and  educating  the  parents  to  stabilize  their  lives.    Bright  Beginnings  addresses  the  immediate  and  long-­‐term  needs  of  the  children  and  their  families.  The  following  are  Bright  Beginnings  strengths:   • A  Head  Start/Early  Head  Start  grantee.   • A  curriculum  centered  on  High/Scope,  an  approach  to  learning  that  is  widely  recognized  for   helping  young  children  in  disordered  environments.   • Comprehensive  case  management  program  that  addresses  the  root  causes  of  homelessness.   • Strong  emphasis  on  parent  involvement  in  the  healthy  development  of  their  children.  Weaknesses  The  organization  relies  too  heavily  on  funding  from  government  and  institutions  and  needs  to  pay  attention  to  developing  their  individual  donor  base.    They  have  not  developed  and  cultivated  relationships  for  long-­‐term  support  and  financial  stability.    Their  internal  focus  needs  to  shift  to  develop  a  program  that  proactively  communicates  and  tracks  their  individual  donor  base.    Bright  Beginnings  weaknesses  can  be  defined  as:     • Underdeveloped  relationships  with  current  individual  donors.   • Underdeveloped  tracking  system  for  donors.   • No  strategic  communications  and  outreach  programs  to  sustain  and  develop  new  donors.           8    
  9. 9. Opportunities   The  timing  is  right  to  grow  Bright  Beginning’s  individual  donor  program.  Institutionally,  Bright   Beginnings  needs  a  way  to  manage  increased  demands  from  the  community.  At  the  same  time,   according  to  an  annual  survey  conducted  by  Wilson  Research  Strategies,  Americans  plan  to   increase  their  charitable  giving  in  2011  for  the  first  time  since  the  recession  began  in  2007.  This   plan  takes  advantage  of  that  anticipated  trend  with  a  manageable,  tailored  program  that   maximizes  donations  from  individuals.         Threats   With  so-­‐called  Republican  “deficit  hawks”  controlling  the  U.S.  House  and  promising  to   eviscerate  all  discretionary  government  spending,  the  current  political  climate  in  Washington  is   exceptionally  hostile  to  organizations  that  serve  America’s  underprivileged.  Likewise,  Bright   Beginnings  faces  the  threat  of  reduced  funding  from  foundations  and  corporations,  which  could   potentially  retrench  during  the  economic  downturn.     9    
  10. 10.  FUNDING  &  DONORS    Revenue  Sources  The  primary  challenge  facing  nonprofits  today  is  financial  stability.    Bright  Beginnings  has  successfully  established  and  maintained  solid  revenue  sources;  however,  their  financial  support  is  imbalanced  toward  corporations,  foundations,  and  the  government.    In  2009,  approximately  64%  of  Bright  Beginnings’  total  funding  came  from  government  contracts,  grants,  foundations  and  corporate  contributions.    While  those  sources  have  remained  stable,  Bright  Beginnings’  demand  for  services  has  tripled  and  the  loss  of  jobs  and  chronic  underemployment  has  continued  to  take  its  toll  on  DC’s  poorest.    In  order  to  meet  higher  demand  in  the  community,  Bright  Beginnings  must  maintain  its  current  revenue  sources,  while  simultaneously  shifting  focus  to  expand  and  cultivate  its  individual  donor  base.    In  2009,  individual  donations  represented  8%  of  its  funding  support,  indicated  significant  room  for  growth.  Growing  the  individual  contributions  is  important  because  individuals  tend  to  offer  more  flexibility  in  their  donations,  giving  more  room  to  spend  on  operational  needs.   Bright  Beginnings  2009  Total  Revenue  and  Support   Government  Contracts  &  Grants  (46%)   Foundamon  &  Corporate  Support  (18%)   Contribumons  (8%)  (Individual  Donors)   Donamon  Services  &  Equiptment  (9%)   Special  Events  (2%)   Interest  &  Other  Income  (1%)   Net  Assests  Released  from  Restricmon  (16%)             10    
  11. 11.  Donors  (Geography  &  Demographics)  Mindful  of  Bright  Beginnings’  lean  staffing  and  resources,  Strategies  Inc.  recommends  maximizing  the  giving  potential  of  each  existing  donor.  Working  with  existing  donors  saves  time  and  money.  It  costs  much  less  to  energize  current  donors,  compared  to  the  costs  of  a  larger  campaign  to  acquire  new  donors.      The  following  section  offers  an  overall  picture  of  the  geography  and  demographics  of  Bright  Beginnings’  entire  donor  database.    The  Heat  Map  below  is  a  snapshot  of  where  the  current  donor  base  lives  and  the  demographic  characteristics  they  share  based  on  a  geographic  analysis.           11    
  12. 12.  An  analysis  of  donor  zip  codes  shows  that  the  highest  concentrations  of  Bright  Beginnings’  donors  reside  in  wealthier  areas:   • Northwest  Washington,  DC     • Fairfax   • Arlington   • Bethesda   • Silver  Spring  These  affluent  neighborhoods  are  populated  with  highly  educated,  upper  income  professionals.    The  following  is  a  list  of  characteristics  of  Bright  Beginnings’  donors  based  on  their  geographic  information:   • Median  household  incomes  of  more  than  $140,000.   • Mostly  educated  to  the  graduate  level.     • Professionals  in  management  positions.     • Predominantly  white,  with  a  high  concentration  of  Asian  Americans,  with  some  Hispanic/Latino   and  black.   • Travel  enthusiasts;  technology-­‐savvy  with  a  penchant  for  the  good  things  in  life  such  as:   expensive  imported  cars,  exclusive  retail  shopping  and  specialty  exercise.       Appendix:  Personas,  examples  of  donors    Donor  Segmentation  Since  the  best  predictor  of  future  behavior  is  past  behavior,  Strategies,  Inc.  proposes  segmenting  Bright  Beginnings’  donors  based  on  the  recency,  frequency,  and  monetary  value  of  previous  donations.    Segmenting  donors  creates  groups  of  individuals  who  share  similar  characteristics.  This  will  allow  Bright  Beginnings  to  focus  on  cultivating  the  most  promising  donors,  while  offering  them  specific,  tailored  messaging.    Strategies  Inc.  utilized  a  scoring  methodology  to  better  understand  the  donation  behaviors  of  the  current  donors.    This  scoring  method  is  referred  to  as  RFM.   Recency  –  How  recently  has  the  individual  donated?   Frequency  –  How  often  does  the  individual  donate?   Monetary  Value  –How  much  does  the  individual  donate?     12    
  13. 13.  Strategies,  Inc.  created  categories  based  on  behavior  patterns  for  each  attribute,  which  were  scored  on  a  scale  from  1-­‐5.    RFM  Methodology     RECENCY       FREQUENCY   MONETARY  VALUE   •   2011  -­‐  5  Points   • 10+  donamons  -­‐  5  Points     • $5000  +  -­‐  5  Points   •   2010  -­‐  4  Points   • 6-­‐9  donamons  -­‐  4  Points   • $1000  -­‐  $4999  -­‐    4  Points   • 2009  -­‐  3  Points   • 3-­‐5  donamons  -­‐  3  Points   • $500  -­‐  $999  -­‐  3  Points   • 2008  -­‐  2  Points   • 2  donamons  -­‐  2  Points   • $100  -­‐  $499  -­‐  2  Points   • 2007  or  earlier  -­‐  1  Point   • 1  donamon  -­‐  1  Point   • $0  -­‐  $99  -­‐  1  Point        RFM  Model:    Donors  Segments  based  on  the  RFM  Score   Dedicated   Inner  Circle     Supporters   Donors   • 11-­‐15  Points   • 6-­‐10  Points   • 1-­‐5  Points   • 216  Donors   • 501  Donors   • 307  Donors   • 21%   • 49%   • 30%                 13    
  14. 14.  Inner  Circle     • There  are  216  donors  (21%  of  the  total  database)  who  scored  between  11  and  15  points.   • The  ideal  “Inner  Circle”  Donor  gave  in  2011,  has  donated  more  than  6  years,  and  gives  $5,000  or   more.   • Inner  Circle  donors  are  concentrated  in  20007,  20008,  20009,  20016  and  20815  zip  codes.      Dedicated  Donors     • There  are  501  donors  (49%  of  the  total  database)  who  scored  between  6  and  10  points.     • The  ideal  “Dedicated  Donor”  gave  in  2010,  has  donated  more  than  3  years,  and  gives  $500  or   more.   • Dedicated  Donors  are  concentrated  in  20007,  20008,  20015,  20016,  20815  and  22101  zip  codes.    Supporters     • There  are  307  donors  (30%  of  the  total  database)  who  scored  between  1  and  5  points.   • The  ideal  “Supporter”  gave  in  2008,  has  donated  1  or  2  times,  and  gives  $100  or  more.     • Supporters  are  most  likely  donors  who  contributed  during  a  fundraising  event  such  as  the  5K   race  or  the  Help  the  Homeless  Walkathon.     • Supporters  are  concentrated  in  20007,  20008,  20009,  20816  and  20016  zip  codes.           14    
  15. 15.  GOAL    Based  on  the  2009  annual  report,  total  individual  donations  were  $226,629,  representing  just  8%  of  Bright  Beginnings’  total  revenue.  The  goal  of  this  plan  is  to  increase  individual  giving  by  25%  or  $56,657  by  end  the  end  of  2011  by  focusing  on:     • Increasing  value  of  each  donation   • Increasing  frequency  of  donations   • Accessing  donor  referral  networks      STRATEGY    Strategies  Inc.  has  created  a  five-­‐step  strategy  to  strengthen  BBI’s  Individual  Donor  Cultivation  Program   that   focuses   on   strengthening   the   bonds   with   individual   donors   by   meeting   their  emotional   needs   and   expectations.   We   recommend   using   a   multi-­‐channel   approach   while  executing  the  strategy.  A  study  by  Blackbaud,  Inc.  showed  that  using  a  multi-­‐channel  approach  resulted  in  an  increase  in  first-­‐year  donor  retention  rates  by  61%  compared  to  32%  retention  rates   for   offline   donors   and   24%   for   online   donors.   Multi-­‐channel   donors   also   give   higher  donations  than  single  channel  donors.  Below  are  5  strategy  points,  followed  by  a  description  of  how  to  implement  the  strategy  through  multiple  channels.   1. Learn.  Gather  new  information  about  donors  via  surveys  and  informal  conversations.   Keep  the  dialogue  open  and  honest  and  ask  for  feedback  at  every  opportunity.   2. Cultivate.  Create  a  deeper  sense  of  “belonging”  for  donors  by  enabling  greater  access  to   Bright  Beginnings’  staff  and  facilities  through  cultivation  events.  Cultivation  events  allow   you  to  establish  a  trusting,  long-­‐term  relationship  in  advance  of  planned  solicitations.     3. Ask.  Set  up  more  fertile  opportunities  to  ask  donors  for  their  support,  then  sharpen   BBI’s  solicitation  practices  by  increasing  the  quantity  and  the  quality  of  the  “ask”  in  each   communication  channel—online,  direct  mail,  phones,  etc.   4. Appreciate.  Use  your  insights  on  donors  to  put  together  a  meaningful  appreciation   program.  Create  an  appreciation  protocol  that  triggers  an  appropriate  and  timely   response  for  every  size  of  contribution.   5. Access  Referrals.  Spend  several  months  reconnecting  with  existing  donors  in  order  to   later  ask  your  donors  to  help  identify  new  prospects.       15    
  16. 16.  1. LEARN:    Learning  about  your  donors.   The  first  step  to  creating  a  meaningful  donor  cultivation  program  is  recognizing  that  the   relationship  with  the  donor  is  a  two-­‐way  street.  Below  is  a  list  of  the  core  reasons  people   give  when  asked  why  they  donate  to  charity:     • Because  they  were  asked   • Belief  in  the  organization’s  mission   • Recognition   • Self-­‐image,  honor   • Sense  of  belonging  to  something  bigger  than  oneself   • Giving  back  to  a  cause  that  has  helped  them   • Peer  pressure   • Admiration  for  a  professional  leader  of  the  organization   • They  want  or  already  occupy  a  leadership  role  in  the  organization   • To  set  an  example   • Family  or  religious  tradition   • Tax  deduction   • Personal  gain  (getting  basketball  seats,  etc.)   While  it’s  clear  that  Bright  Beginnings’  donors  are  already  motivated  by  the  mission,  this  list   shows  that  donors  have  many  reasons  for  giving,  and  several  of  those  reasons  are  about   fulfilling  an  emotional  need.    We  recommend  reaching  in  deeper  to  find  out  more  about  your   donor’s  needs  and  what  they  expect  to  get  emotionally  in  exchange  for  their  donation.  Here   are  several  ideas  of  activities  that  help  you  learn  more  about  what  makes  your  donors  tick.       • Online  donor  surveys,  for  example  Survey  Monkey,   are  a  free  and  efficient  way  to  take  the  temperature   Online  Surveys   of  your  donors.  You  can  ask  up  to  10  quesmons  for   free  and  get  the  results  tabulated  and  analyzed   instantly.  (Sample  survey  included  in  the  appendix.)   • Ask  donors  or  volunteers  to  describe  the  reasons   why  they  donate  and  how  they  feel  about  the   Informal   quality  and  the  quanmty  of  communicamon  they   Conversamons   receive  from  you.  Reasons  may  change  over  mme,   so  it’s  important  to  check  in  periodically.       Appendix:    Sample  Donor  Survey   16    
  17. 17. Learning  More  About  Online  Giving  There  are  several  important  key  findings  to  help  us  learn  more  about  the  benefits  of  online  giving.    According  to  the  2010  Online  Giving  Report  from  Blackbaud:     • Online  giving  grew  34.5%  in  2010.   • 7.6%  of  total  fundraising  now  comes  from  online  giving.   • 88%  of  nonprofits  had  at  least  one  online  gift  of  $1,000  or  more.   • 31.3%  of  all  online  giving  takes  place  in  October,  November  and  December.  What  does  this  means  for  Bright  Beginnings?   • While  online  fundraising  is  usually  small  compared  to  direct  mail,  it  grows  exponentially  each   year.   • Your  major  donors  are  online,  so  use  email  marketing  and  social  media  to  learn  more  about  your   online  donors.     • Year-­‐end  fundraising  is  important.    Build  your  list  now  and  create  a  plan  so  that  youll  be  ready   to  raise  more  money  this  year.   • Capitalize  on  the  news  cycle  and  use  it  to  rally  your  base,  reach  new  supporters  and  raise  more   money.    2. CULTIVATION  Bright  Beginnings’  core  strength  lies  in  its  compelling  mission  and  institutional  longevity.  It  has  successfully  raised  money  from  individual  donors  on  those  merits  without  a  significant  or  systematic  individual  donor  cultivation  program.  The  good  news  is  that  local  donors  already  respond  very  positively  to  BBI’s  mission—as  they  should.  In  2009,  BBI  brought  in  $226,629  in  individual  donations,  an  impressive  number.  Clearly,  the  work  that  BBI  does  to  improve  the  quality  of  life  in  our  community  inspires  donors.    Even  better  news  is  that  while  donor  dollars  have  rolled  in  despite  modest  outreach,  research  shows  BBI’s  donors  are  positioned  to  give  more.    According  to  IRS  data,  “households  making  more  than  $100,000  represent  about  10  percent  of  the  population  but  make  up  69  percent  of  all  individual  charitable  donations.”  Analysis  of  BBI’s  donor  base  shows  that  most  of  BBI’s  donors  live  in  households  exceeding  that  income  level.    Combined  with  an  overall  commitment  to  a  cause,  a  high-­‐level  of  emotional  involvement  with  an  organization  amplifies  a  potential  donor’s  willingness  to  give  and  directly  influences  the  amount  they  will  give.  Better  donor  relationships  allow  you  to  credibly  and  reasonably  ask  for  higher  donations;  and  they  help  open  the  door  to  donors’  social  networks,  making  it  easier  to  identify  potential  new  donors.  In  addition  to  paving  the  way  to  a  more  reliable  revenue  stream,  building  stronger  relationships  with  donors  stimulates  deeper  community  involvement,  volunteerism  and  a  higher  level  of  support  for  the  organization’s  mission.   17    
  18. 18. In  order  to  create  a  sense  of  community  and  guard  against  donor  fatigue,  it  is  important  initially  to  have  a  series  of  personal  contacts  in  which  they  are  not  actively  solicited  for  funds.  Here  are  some  ideas  for  learning  more  about  donors  and  creating  a  sense  of  belonging:     • Culmvamon  parmes  are  small  parmes  that  allow  you  to  get  to   know  your  donors  bever  and  create  a  sense  of  community.   These  parmes  can  be  hosted  by  the  Execumve  Director  or   Inner  Circle  Luncheon   Board  Members  in  geographic  hotspots  such  us  NW,   Washington  DC,  Northern  VA  and  MD;  these  are  culmvamng    (House  Parmes)   events  that  aim  to  build  strong  relamons  with  core  individuals   with  the  goal  of  later  meemng  potenmal  new  donors  through   their  referrals.   • Consider  phoning  through  the  donor  list  to  say  thank  you  for   past  gios  and  give  an  update  on  the  capital  campaign  or  20th   Anniversary  events,  without  asking  for  a  donamon.  (Messages   Phone  Calls   on  answering  machines  are  okay  too.)    The  idea  is  that  you   reach  out  to  donors  in  a  friendly,  informamve  way  before  the   next  solicitamon.   • Face-­‐to-­‐face  interacmon  creates  deeper  mes  and  sets  the   stage  for  asking  for  more  money,  volunteerism  and  referrals.   Small  Meemngs   Meet  with  nner  Circle  donors  frequently,  and  with  Dedicated   Donors  as  ooen  as  possible.  Face-­‐to-­‐face  meemngs  encourage   the  idea  that  donors  are  not  just  donors,  put  partners.                 18    
  19. 19. Cultivating  Donors  Through  Social  Media  Social  networking  gives  nonprofits  a  cost  effective  way  to  promote  events,  educate  and  raise  awareness,  and  ultimately,  create  an  ongoing  conversation  between  the  organization  and  its  supporters.  Social  media  platforms  such  as  blogs,  Facebook  and  Twitter  are  crucial  in  building  a  fully  engaged  online  community  that  will  lead  to  campaign  success.    Bright  Beginnings  currently  uses  Facebook  and  Twitter  platforms  as  their  main  social  media  online  tools.    Here  are  some  posting  suggestions  for  practices  already  in  place:     Post  daily,  but  only  if  posts   Start  a  conversamon  and   are  interesmng  and  relevant.   generate  word-­‐of-­‐mouth   Make  sure  posts  relate  to  fan   The  goal  is  to  build   markemng  instead  of   demographics.   relamonships,  not  bombard   broadcasmng  “calls  to   readers.   acmon.”   Post  armcles  that  show   stamsmcs  and  facts  about   Foster  interacmons  that   homelessness  in  the  U.S.,  or   connect  people  with  BBI’s   relay  informamon  on  local   mission.   legislamon  that  affects  the   homeless.    3. ASK   Bright  Beginnings  needs  to  sharpen  its  solicitation  practices  by  increasing  the  quantity  and   the  quality  of  the  way  it  asks  for  gifts  in  each  communication  channel—online,  direct  mail,   phones,  etc.  Appeal  LettersCurrently  Bright  Beginnings  mails  two  annual  appeal  letters  per  year.  Strategies  Inc.  recommends  that  Bright  Beginnings  begin  sending  appeal  letters  quarterly.Consider  creating  seasonally  themed  appeals  that  give  you  a  natural  “reason”  to  contact  donors.  For  example,  in  the  late  summer  an  appeal  letter  with  a  “back  to  school”  theme  that  focuses  on  BBI’s  needs  during  the  start  of  the  new  school  year.  No  matter  how  many  appeals  are  sent,  it’s  best  to  vary  the  tone  of  the  communications  so  that  a  donor  is  not  getting  a  letter  every  month  that  says,  “The  situation  is  critical!  Please  send  money  now!”  Donors  don’t  respond  to  a  tone  of  constant  desperation,  instead  they  like  to  feel  as  though  their  donation  is  making  a  positive  difference.         19    
  20. 20. Tips  for  an  effective  appeal  letter:   • Highlight  a  specific  event  or  project.    For  example,  an  appeal  lever   suppormng  a  back-­‐to-­‐school  drive  could  ask  for  funding  for  children’s   Highlight  Special  Projects   books,  art  supplies,  paper  and  pencils.  Idenmfying  seasonal  needs  will     grab  donors’  avenmon  and  jusmfy  the  addimonal  appeal.   • Use  a  personal  story.  Personal  stories  illustrate  how  BBI  makes  a   Use  a  personal  story.     difference  in  childrens  lives.  Appeal  levers  could  also  highlight  a   project  that  children  students  are  working  on.   • Invite  two-­‐way  communicamons.  Consider  solicimng  donors’   Invite  two-­‐way     opinions  on  an  issue  related  to  BBI  or  suggest  ways  in  which   interested  donors  can  help  with  a  parmcular  task  including  the   communicamons.     development  of  BBI’s  policies.   • Include  a  clear,  strong  call  to  acmon-­‐-­‐  this  is  where  the  “ask”  for   the  donamon  takes  place  (or  in-­‐kind  donamon  or  volunteer  help   Include  a  clear,  strong  call  to   when  applicable).  BBI  should  always  be  direct  in  telling  people   acmon   what  they  can  do  to  make  the  parmcular  project,  event,  campaign   a  success.    Specifically  refer  to  past  gios  and  directly  ask  for  an   increase.     • Phone  calls  are  an  effecmve  supplement  to  direct  mail  and  email   Follow  Up  with  a  Phone  Call   markemng.  A  phone  campaign  in  conjuncmon  with  direct  mail  can   increase  direct  mail  response  rates  by  500  to  1000%.       20    
  21. 21.  Using  Email  Marketing  To  Make  The  “Ask”  Email  marketing  is  an  easy  way  to  reach  out  to  your  donors  and  make  the  “ask.”  Here  are  a  few  tips  to  create  a  solid  “ask”  in  an  email  campaign:     1. Include  a  compelling  call-­‐to-­‐action   • Compel  readers  to  do  something   • Give  them  a  sense  of  excitement  and/or  urgency   • Use  specific  action-­‐oriented  language   2. Create  supporting  landing  page(s)  –  cultivate,  ask,  refer   • Draw  them  to  the  website   • You  got  them  to  act,  bring  them  closer  by  emailing  them  basic  points  and  allowing   them  to  find  out  more  info  on  your  website    It  is  also  important  to  note  that  according  to  a  recent  comScore  study,  web  based  email  declined  in  2010,  while  mobile  email  increased  by  36%.  Bright  Beginnings  should  consider  optimizing  action  alerts  and  fundraising  appeals  on  mobile  email  and  ensure  that  they  are  focused  and  easy  to  read  with  a  clear  call  to  action.      Using  Social  Media  To  Make  The  “Ask”  As  you  have  read  above,  we  suggest  that  BBI  send  appeal  letters  four  times  per  year.    Strategies,  Inc.  also  recommends  updating  all  social  networking  with  the  same  messaging  as  used  in  the  appeal  letters.    It  is  important  to  make  sure  the  messaging  is  consistent  through  different  online  channels.      Below  are  a  few  tips  for  making  the  “ask”  through  social  media:   Create  complementary   Create  larger  “Donate”  buvons   Send  an  email  guiding  donors   messaging  for  Twiver,   in  the  top  leo  corner  of  all   to  find  you  on  your  online   Facebook,  Email  and  the   website.   online  media  sites.     channels.     Add  “join  my  list”  to  the  Bright   Add  a  Causes  link  to  Facebook.   Beginnings’  Facebook  page.   Request  acmon  by  asking   When  users  click  on  Facebook   Facebook  friends  to  donate  to   from  the  Bright  Beginnings’   your  cause.       website,  Facebook  should  open   to  the  join  my  list  page.         21    
  22. 22. Who  Will  Do  The  Asking?    Building  Up  Your  Fundraising  Army  With  modest  staffing  members  working  on  both  communications  and  development,  BBI  will  need  to  recruit,  train  and  manage  a  group  of  volunteers  to  assist  in  fundraising.     1.    Idenmfy  a  core  group   • Volunteers  make  especially  effecmve  fundraisers  because   they  care  about  your  mission  and  other  donors  respect   of  10  volunteer     them  as  messengers.   fundraisers.   2.    Create  a  volunteer   • The  program  should  clearly  define  the  goals  of  the  20th   Anniversary  campaign  and  define  “the  ask”  for  each  level   orientamon/training   of  donor.   program.   3.    Put  volunteer   • For  example,  the  first  project  should  be  phone  calls  to   fundraisers  to  work  re-­‐ previous  donors  who  have  dropped  off.   establishing  bonds  with   previous  donors.      4. APPRECIATE   A  thank-­‐you  note  is  the  beginning  of  a  donor’s  next  gift  to  Bright  Beginnings.  While   nonprofit  organizations  almost  always  thank  donors,  very  few  do  it  well  or  often  enough.   Implementing  a  thorough  and  strategic  plan  of  gratitude  ensures  that  you  stand  out  from   any  other  organization  that  your  supporters  may  give  to.  The  task  of  thanking  should  take   up  about  20%  of  the  staff  time.  A  thank-­‐you  note  serves  four  important  functions   • It  lets  the  supporter  know  the  gift  was  important  to  you • It  reminds  them  that  they  actually  gave  a  gift   • It  gives  them  written  proof  of  their  gift  for  the  IRS • It  is  an  opportunity  for  Bright  Beginnings  to  establish  or  further  the  relationship  with  the   supporterIf  done  well,  it  sends  the  message:   • “We  value  you—not  just  your  money”   • “We’ll  use  this  money  wisely—as  promised”       22    
  23. 23. Thank  You  Follow  Up  Diagram  by  Donor  Segment:         Receive  “enhanced”     thank-­‐you  lever     Supporters   within  one  week  of     donamon         Receive  handwriven   If  mme  allows,     thank  you  lever   follow-­‐up  with  this   Dedicated  Donors   within  24-­‐72  hours   donor  with  a  phone     of  receipt  of  gio   call  within  a  week.     Follow-­‐up  with  donor   Receive  phone  call   Follow-­‐up  with   to  make  sure  they   Inner  Circle   within  24-­‐72  hours   handwriven  thank   know  an  invitamon  is   of  receipt  of  gio   you  note   extended  to  supporter          Thank-­‐you  Notes  A  thank-­‐you  note  should  be  more  than  a  receipt  or  form  letter.  A  well-­‐executed  thank  you  note  is  personal  and  memorable.  Unexpected  touches  like  sending  a  personalized,  hand-­‐crafted  card,  artwork  or  picture  makes  a  difference.  The  thank-­‐you  note  is  an  opportunity  to  reiterate  how  the  gift  is  helping  Bright  Beginnings  do  its  work.  Supporters  enjoy  hearing  something  they  haven’t  heard  before  about  the  organization,  such  as,  what  progress  is  already  underway  on  the  specific  project  to  which  they  gave,  or  what  upcoming  events  BBI  has  planned,  or  how  many  new  supporters  have  recently  given  donations.    Every  donation  should  be  seen  as  an  opportunity  to  further  a  relationship  with  the  supporter.   • Everyone  who  donates  any  amount  of  money  or  in-­‐kind  gift  to  Bright  Beginnings  should  be   acknowledged  for  his/her  effort.   • Anyone  who  makes  more  than  a  token  gift  to  Bright  Beginnings  should  receive  a  prompt,  ideally   hand  written  letter  within  24-­‐72  hours  of  receipt  of  their  gift.   • Those  that  give  a  substantial  amount  should  receive  a  phone  call  and  an  invitation  to  come  to   the  Bright  Beginnings  campus.       23    
  24. 24. A  thank-­‐you  note  is  about  the  person  who  made  the  donation.  Some  sample  language  you  might  consider  using:   • “You  made  my  day”   • “Guess  what  you  made  possible”   • “I  opened  my  mail  today  and  saw  your  donation”   • “I  have  a  great  story  to  share  with  you”   • “Your  donation  came  across  my  desk  today”   • “Your  donation  is  helping  us  provide  X”   • “Your  support  has  helped  us  to...”    While  form  letters  may  be  the  easiest  way  to  send  out  large  quantities  of  thank-­‐you  letters  they  are  the  least  effective.  If  you  absolutely  must  use  a  form  letter  you  can  make  personalize  it  by:   • Including  children’s  artwork  or  photos.   • Including  a  brief,  handwritten  note  at  the  bottom  of  the  letter.   • Including  an  insert  or  invitation  to  an  upcoming  event  at  Bright  Beginnings.     • Following  up  in  a  personal  way  like  a  phone  call  or  note  in  the  mail  when  you  have  time.     24    
  25. 25.  Sample  Thank  You  Letter      Dear  Don:    Thanks  to  you,  Anthony  and  his  twin  sister,  Jane,  will  enter  kindergarten  this  August  ready  to  succeed.  I  was  thrilled  to  open  today’s  mail  and  find  your  very  generous  donation  of  $75.  Your  commitment  to  helping  displaced  children  in  Washington  D.C.  grow  and  learn  in  a  loving  environment  is  appreciated  by  those  who  help  them  and,  most  importantly,  by  those  who  benefit  from  our  services  -­‐-­‐  children  just  like  Anthony  and  Jane  and  their  families.  Community  support  has  been  very  encouraging  as  we  have  received  gifts  from  over  100  people  so  far  in  2011.  And,  there’s  even  more  exciting  news  to  report  to  you  today:  Your  gift  will  be  used  to  help  open  our  new  campus  in  Washington  D.C.  We  are  almost  at  our  goal  of  $5  million  dollars.  This  means  you  are  an  integral  part  of  helping  give  150  additional  children  a  safe  place  to  learn  and  grow.  To  comply  with  Internal  Revenue  Service  regulations,  this  letter  also  confirms  that  you  are  receiving  no  goods  or  services  in  return  for  your  contribution.  I  am  so  thankful  for  people  like  you.  We  hope  you’ll  come  see  the  difference  your  gift  has  made,  at  our  celebration   th thfor  Bright  Beginnings  20  anniversary,  on  October  24 —at  our  Bright  Beginnings  campus.  Look  for  more  details  in  an  upcoming  mailing  or  on  our  website  at  To  a  brighter  future,      Joan  Woods    Development  Director  Bright  Beginnings  Inc.       Appendix:    Handwritten  Thank  You  Note   25    
  26. 26.  Appreciate  Through  Online  Media  It  is  important  to  show  appreciation  to  all  online  supports.    Use  email  marketing  and  social  media  to  thank  your  donors  and  supporters.   Post  an  individualized  thank   Send  thank  you  emails  and   Post  tesmmonials  from   you  to  donors  who  make  a   update  all  social  media   parents  and  kids  that  have   gio  of  $5,000  or  more.  This   sending  a  thank  you  aoer   benefited  from  Bright   can  be  included  in  BBI’s   each  event.   Beginnings’  services.       newslever  as  well.     Respond  to  @menmons  or   Post  pictures  of  children’s   retweet  thanking  the   artwork  and  pictures  from   individual  or  organizamon  for   each  event.   their  support.      5. ACCESSING  REFERRALS       The  donor  relationship  strategy  comes  full  circle  when  current  donors  engage  in  peer-­‐to-­‐ peer  fundraising  by  becoming  BBI’s  “brand  ambassadors.”  The  concept  of  amplifying  your   Inner  Circle  and  Dedicated  Donors  is  best  summed  up  by  Seth  Godin:  “Turn  strangers  into   friends.  Turn  friends  into  donors.  Then  do  the  most  important  job:  Turn  donors  into   fundraisers.”     A  collaborative,  donor-­‐centric  strategy  to  build  up  BBI’s  individual  donor  stream  may  be  the   most  effective  and  cost-­‐efficient  approach  to  reaching  new  donors.  With  limited  budget  and   short  staff,  getting  through  all  the  clutter  and  reaching  potential  new  donors,  it  is  best  to   leverage  relationships  with  current  donors  and  access  their  social  networks  for  referrals.   Events  are  an  ideal  way  to  do  accomplish  this.     26    
  27. 27. • Invite  deeply  engaged  donors  to  bring  their  friends  to  BBI   Open  House   for  an  Open  House.  Introducing  them  to  the  facility  and  the   kids  creates  a  compelling  call  to  acmon.   • Levers  invimng  donors  to  the  open  house  is  a  crimcal  tool  to   encourage  them  to  bring  their  friends.    Stress  that   Levers   advancing  BBIs  mission  is  a  collaboramve  effort  between  the   donor  and  the  organizamon.   • An  invitamon  via  a  phone  call  adds  a  personal  touch  to  a   Phone  Calls   mailed  invite.  It  makes  the  request  more  sincere  and  creates   an  opportunity  to  reinforce  the  appeal  to  bring  a  friend.        Accessing  Referrals  through  Online  Media  It  is  simple  to  ask  for  referrals  through  online  channels  using  the  following  tips:   • Email  marketing  and  social  media  posts  should  include  a  request  to  share  with  friends.   • Generate  more  fans  by  challenging  current  fans  to  invite  their  friends  to  support  Bright   Beginnings’  cause.  To  help  Bright  Beginnings  make  the  most  of  their  social  media  networks,  we  also  recommend  the  use  of  a  social  media  dashboard  called     Appendix:  Quick  Tips  on  Mobile  Email  Optimization     Appendix:  How  to  Grow  Your  Email  List     27    
  28. 28.  DONOR  JUMPSTART  CAMPAIGN:  “A  Piece  of  a  Bright  Beginning”      Campaign  Overview  BBI’s  20th  Anniversary  on  September  2011  is  a  fitting  event  to  launch  and  put  into  practice  the  relationship-­‐  building  recommendations  outlined  in  this  plan.  The  campaign  entitled,  “A  Piece  of  a  Bright  Beginning”  will  demonstrate  how  the  5-­‐point  strategy  of  LEARN,  CULTIVATE,  ASK,  APPRECIATE  &  ACCESS  REFERRALS  will  come  into  play  within  a  7-­‐month  period  or  the  remaining  part  of  the  year.  The  first  three  months  will  aim  to  know  current  donors  through  online  survey  and  personal  conversations,  while  cultivating  relations  with  them.  This  part  of  the  campaign  will  pave  the  way  for  an  effective  “ask”  during  the  anniversary  month.  The  final  three  months  of  the  campaign  will  create  a  venue  to  appreciate  their  contributions,  continue  cultivation  initiatives  and  tap  into  donors’  networks  for  future  referrals.  This  comprehensive,  multi-­‐channel  campaign  will  highlight  BBI’s  success  over  the  past  20  years  and  set  the  organization’s  goal  to  help  more  homeless  children  in  the  future  through  a  robust  and  mutually  beneficial  partnership  with  donors.     28