The Art of Listening


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This session will help you maximize the value of donor information to support your mission, measure the value of information, and teach you to recognize and capture precious data you've overlooked. Donors are your organization's most valuable asset. Without loyal supporters, your mission will be compromised at best or unachievable at worst. One sure-fire way to diminish the value of this asset is to treat donors like ATM machines by taking their money for granted without making efforts to show you care about who they are. You have the means to aim higher. Donors reveal something about themselves every time they interact with you. Are you showing that you're paying attention and hearing what they are saying? Take the time to know how they should be addressed, how they want to be contacted, and what they care about.

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The Art of Listening

  1. 1. The Art of Listening<br />Are you really leveraging what your donors are telling you?<br />Chuck Longfield <br />
  2. 2. Why care about data?<br />One of your greatest assets<br />The lens through which you view your donors<br />Impacts how your donors view your organization<br />Effects your ability to allocate scarce resources and grow the value of your asset<br />
  3. 3. One of Your Greatest Assets<br />Just as real as your endowment<br />Generates millions annually<br />Like other assets, requires maintenance<br />Can be easily mismanaged<br />
  4. 4. Recommendation #1- Monitor your data quality regularly<br />Identify 100 donors randomly, each year, and thoroughly review their data- Incorrect data (typos, moved, married, dead)- Duplicate records- Missing information- Correct treatment (clubs, tracks, expire dates)<br />
  5. 5. Your View of Your Supporters<br />You don’t know most donors personally<br />Capture their rich interactions<br />What are they really saying?<br />Don’t be afraid to correct their data, e.g. “donor since” or “list of gifts”<br />What is valuable and what isn’t?<br />
  6. 6. Recommendation #2– Use Richer Dataset in Selections<br />Test different variables, e.g. matching gift<br />Clean up messy data<br />Create single passion variable<br />Is a matching gift worth more than a web site registration?<br />
  7. 7. Your Donor’s View of Your Organization<br />“I just gave to them”<br />“They spend all of my money sending me mail”<br />“They can’t even spell my name right”<br />Passionate donors may tolerate your missteps but not all donors will<br />
  8. 8. The Cost of a Typo!<br />Organization A<br />Organization B<br />
  9. 9. Recommendation #3– Call All New Donors!<br />Are you really a new donor?<br />Do we have your correct name & address?<br />Why did you give to us?<br />What would you like from our relationship?<br />And say thank you!<br />
  10. 10. Your Ability to Allocate Scarce Resources<br />Costs keep increasing<br />Not all donors are created equal<br />Invest in the donors with the greatest potential<br />Look across all development activities<br />
  11. 11. Recommendation #4– Look at Donor ROI<br />Lends itself to increased stewardship<br />What was the “thank you” call worth?<br />Did the campaign yield positive net results for all donors?<br />
  12. 12. Your Ability to Grow the Value of Your Asset<br />Cheaper to keep your existing donors<br />Encourage your donors to contact you<br />Encourage donors to volunteer time or information about themselves<br />Capture all donor data in one place <br />
  13. 13. Recommendation #5– Create hurdles for donors to clear to qualify for further investments<br />Who returned the survey?<br />Who came to the event?<br />Who called the call center, visited the web site, or matched their gift?<br />
  14. 14. Recommendation #6 –Follow-up with all non-renewing members above $100 personally<br />Update records where necessary<br />Determine reason for non-renewal<br />Change business practices where necessary<br />
  15. 15. How to value a piece of data?<br />What is the value of an email address?<br />What does the email address enable, that generates value?<br />
  16. 16. What does an email address enable?<br />Less expensive, electronic communication<br />Better customer service (e.g. timely thank you’s)<br />Faster receipt of funds? (e.g. pledge reminders)<br />Identification of more affluent and educated donors (who own computers?)<br />Identification of more passionate donors(who will share information about themselves)<br />Unique identifier resulting in fewer duplicates<br />
  17. 17. Data – What is it good for?<br />Not all data are created equal<br />What would you do differently?<br />When is 1 + 1 = 3 (or more)?<br />Pay attention to the source of the information<br />Does it need to be transformed to be useful?<br />Who else is using it? Should be using it?<br />What is the data really telling me?<br />When is enough, enough?<br />
  18. 18. Take-aways<br />Know the real value of your data<br />Care for your data better<br />Use your data more effectively<br />