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The Art of Listening: Are You Really Leveraging What Your Donors Are Telling You?
 

The Art of Listening: Are You Really Leveraging What Your Donors Are Telling You?

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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. ...

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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  • Very difficult to know all of your donors personally and your resources are scarce.So how do you know in which donors to invest. Who will provide the best ROI – now and in the future?This is especially true with large numbers of regular donors who look alike.Knowing their income & wealth can help but that is a weak indicator of inclinationYou are likely tracking lots of data that can identify those worthy of additional investment..In this morning’s presentation I will show you how to leverage this dataIn this afternoon’s concurrent sessions, I will show you how to collect and maintain this data.
  • Not all donors are the same, even those with identical giving patternsLots of reasons why they support – feel fortunate, personally impacted by cause, friends & relativesTell ACLU story $100 donor gives $1 million when asked.Lots of similar anecdotes of the “little old lady” who leaves a legacy gift
  • And resources are scarce. Donors come and go. You can’t invest in everyone.And you can’t afford to invest in someone who isn’t likely to stay or to give more
  • So how do you know in whom to invest?Tell story Ken Burnett’s 1994 experiment with 35 regional PBS stations in U.S.½ didn’t reply at all – some misspelled her name and address
  • Very few chapters even thanked this donor because the gift was so small, in spite of the letter.
  • Most donors aren’t trying to hide their interest in your organization.They are waving their arms to be noticed.
  • But many organizations are not set up to notice.Important details are discarded, and only the “accounting” captured.
  • For example, say a donor calls to tell you they moved. They want you to have their new address, and while on the phone they tell you how much they love your organization and your mission.What do you do?Most organizations just hope to capture their new address correctly!But do you note that they told you they loved you? Do you pass this along to a major gift fundraiser?Is it coded in a way that would be easily selected, for example, Love on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being passionate!Do you incentify the donor services desk to take their time and capture this information or are they rushed to answer the next call.Do you recognize what this donor is really saying - “I don’t want you to lose track of me”This piece of information predicts that this donor is 11 times more likely to leave a legacy gift.
  • Similarly, what if they call to complainTell story of schoolmate and how much he hated organization – but years later became involved with “science fair” and gave annual major gifts
  • What else is worth noting? If donors are not all the same – how can I tell them apart?Did the donor share something personal with you – like Rebecca Brown?Did they write a note on the reply slip? What did it say?Did they fill out a survey? Even providing an email address or a home phone # indicates elevated passion. Remember if they really like you, you’re not just another non-profit asking for a gift.And what they tell you can be very important. What if the donor says they don’t want the thank you gift? Well, they want all of their money to go to your cause. 5 times more likely to make a legacy gift.
  • Volunteer – 5-10 times more likely to give a major or planned gift
  • Volunteer – 5-10 times more likely to give a major or planned gift
  • Told you that you are their favorite non-profit!How would you find this out? You could ask!Or you could infer it from their actions:Explain Everyclick and their Give as You Live product – % of every sale to one non-profitExplain justgiving & Amazon shopping & the charity registry – what is the donor saying with these gifts?!
  • So what elseIf they give unsolicited gifts 5 times more likely to give a major or planned giftIf they decline the thank you gifts – 5 times more likely to leave a bequest.Increase their gift regularly – giving the same amount each year doesn’t indicate passion, just loyaltyAnd more recent examples – Spending time on your web page, Facebook Cause, Asking Friends to give,
  • Look at interactions, not just transactionsInvestment – build better and deeper relationships

The Art of Listening: Are You Really Leveraging What Your Donors Are Telling You? The Art of Listening: Are You Really Leveraging What Your Donors Are Telling You? Presentation Transcript

  • t
    The Art of Listening
    Are you really leveraging what your donors are telling you?
    Chuck Longfield, Chief Scientist
  • Decline in New Donor Acquisition
  • Decline in First Year Retention Rates
  • So what should you do?
    Watch your donors more closely
    Track their actions in your CRM
    Use all available data when making investment decisions
    Evaluate where the investments paid off