Meaningful communications that lead togenerous and happy donors.Developing a Donor FocusedCommunication StrategyBrian Bare...
The more donor-centric my communications became, themore money I raised.
Sending more communications, even if it’s “social”media, will not significantly impact your ministry partnerdevelopment ef...
From Separate to ConnectedFrom Somewhere to AnywhereFrom Channel Specific to Channel AgnosticFrom I to YouFrom Scarcity to...
Every communication sent to donors, whetherit’s on email, social media, direct mail, phone,or SMS must work together to cr...
It’s critical to create digital content that allowscurrent and potential donors to find out moreabout you and your organiz...
One communication on one channel, or onemessage forced into a variety of channelswithout optimizing for context will limit...
Your donors receive personalized experienceswhen they shop, eat, and play. They crave thesame when they give. Shifting the...
Talk about opportunities and outcomes morethan needs and problems. Your donors want afor good return on their investment.F...
The tools and preferences of yourdonors have changed ...
The way they send and receive information haschanged...
The tools they use to connect withpeople have evolved too...
SOCIAL media makes people happy.“Sincere, Open, Collaborative, Interested, Authentic, Likable”“SOCIAL” created by Vala Afs...
Developing an donor-focused communicationstrategy will allow you to multiply the time you spendon MPD.A survey of 15 full-...
Donors can perceive redundant communications fromfundraisers as impersonal.“Only 16% of donors gave more moneythe followin...
The number of or % of new partners peryear.Average length a ministry partnerdonates.% increases in amount of special gifts...
More Tailoring, Not More TimeSpending more time refining a communication strategy without thinking through first how well ...
Your current and future ministry partners havelimited attention, scan more than they read,receive more requests for donati...
They should enjoy reading your communications.Have a friend over read over the last two or three communications you sent t...
Your current and future ministry partners have alimited amount of attention.infographic courtesy of ExactTargetIt’s critic...
Your current and future ministry partners have moreoptions when choosing to make a donation thanever before.The number of ...
Your current and future ministry partners use moredevices to communicate and consume information.infographic courtesy of E...
Unifying your communications across direct mail,email, and social will increase the amount of timeand attention your partn...
Optimize Email
Email is still the most frequently used digitalchannel by the majority of your donors.
“Sorry for the late delay in getting back withyou. Work has been crazy with year-endstuff and your email kept getting buri...
Email services such as Mailchimp provide thefollowing benefits:Customize the design and format for smartphones, tablets, a...
How to increase the number of people who open,read, and respond to your email.Compose email for the size of a smartphone s...
From $60 a year to $600:Mailchimp’s tracking and ratings features led to asignificant increase in giving.In order to raise...
Additional Email TipsEmail communications should provide content that complements your directmail efforts. If your direct ...
Optimize Facebook
Facebook offers the ability to regularly interact withyour partners around their interests while they areusing their smart...
On average Fans see 1/500updates, or 0.016%, from apage they have liked.90% of fans who like a page,never visit the page a...
Many of your ministry partners use Facebook pagesto transact with brands, not interact with people. Byusing a Facebook pag...
1. Go to Facebook.com/bookmarks/lists2. Select “Create List”3. Name the List4. Add ministry partners to the ListCreate a l...
The updates your ministry partners share can help youbuild meaningful relationships with them.Liking, commenting, or shari...
The updates that gain the most likes, commentsand shares combine an interesting photo with textthat invites activity.“102M...
Optimize Your Online Presence
49% of mid-level and major donors will always visit anonprofit’s website before making a first-time gift ordonation.Google...
Traditional Decision Making ProcessBy the time a donor meets with you in person the chances are high that haveresearched y...
The ZMOT introduces a new step in the decision makingprocess.Google’s ZMOT reveals a new critical step in the decision mak...
The number of sources people use to make a decisionare dramatically increasing.Many donors are looking at websites and ask...
Charity: Water understands the importance ofwinning the ZMOT with potential donors.charity: water’s website provides a hig...
Websites that use multimedia (video, photos and text),have plenty of whitespace and automatically change toformat a smartp...
Donor Engagement
Cru conducted over 62 hours of interviews withministry partners who donated to a variety ofministries. 3 core themes emerg...
Donors ultimately give to people, notorganizations.
While donors need to be personally aligned with theorganizations they back, ultimately and wheneverpossible, donors give t...
Crowdfunding campaigns work best for short-termtrips and projects and acquiring a first gift.Crowdfunding campaigns work b...
Supporting an individual brings to life the organization’smission and personalizes the impact that donors aremaking in a w...
Donor-centric communication can significantlyimprove donor acquisition, retention, andengagement.I led Jenny to Christ yes...
You are awesome.What’s happening because of your investment iseven more awesome.Thank you for being so awesome.A tongue in...
There is a stark difference between donor-centric andorganization-centric communications that significantlyimpacts how a p...
From Separate to ConnectedFrom Synchronous to MobileFrom Channel Specific to Channel AgnosticFrom I to YouFrom Scarcity to...
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Developing a Donor Focused Communication Strategy

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Pragmatic tactics within a donor-focused framework to help grassroots fundraisers raise more money, communicate results more effectively, and meaningfully engage donors on the channels they prefer.

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  • Need to introduce yourself // Social media rockstar
  • Donors can perceive redundant communications from fundraisers as impersonal. According to the study, only 16% of all donors gave more money the following year. Read more: http://www.frogloop.com/care2blog/2013/2/11/strategies-to-increase-nonprofit-donor-retention-rates.html#ixzz2SHnVChWJ
  • Your ministry partners often associate Facebook pages to transact with brands, not interact with people.
  • Your ministry partners updates offer significant relationship building opportunities.
  • Developing a Donor Focused Communication Strategy

    1. 1. Meaningful communications that lead togenerous and happy donors.Developing a Donor FocusedCommunication StrategyBrian BarelaDonor Experience Advocate@brianbarela
    2. 2. The more donor-centric my communications became, themore money I raised.
    3. 3. Sending more communications, even if it’s “social”media, will not significantly impact your ministry partnerdevelopment efforts.
    4. 4. From Separate to ConnectedFrom Somewhere to AnywhereFrom Channel Specific to Channel AgnosticFrom I to YouFrom Scarcity to AbundanceA donor-focusedcommunication strategy
    5. 5. Every communication sent to donors, whetherit’s on email, social media, direct mail, phone,or SMS must work together to create ameaningful experience. Break down the silosand align your content to tell a powerful story.From Separate toConnected
    6. 6. It’s critical to create digital content that allowscurrent and potential donors to find out moreabout you and your organization assmartphones and tablet adoption fuelscontinuous content consumption.From Somewhere toAnywhere
    7. 7. One communication on one channel, or onemessage forced into a variety of channelswithout optimizing for context will limit donorengagement and ultimately donations.From Channel Specific toChannel Agnostic
    8. 8. Your donors receive personalized experienceswhen they shop, eat, and play. They crave thesame when they give. Shifting the focus fromyou or your organization to them is the placeto start getting personal.From I to You
    9. 9. Talk about opportunities and outcomes morethan needs and problems. Your donors want afor good return on their investment.From Scarcity to Abundance
    10. 10. The tools and preferences of yourdonors have changed ...
    11. 11. The way they send and receive information haschanged...
    12. 12. The tools they use to connect withpeople have evolved too...
    13. 13. SOCIAL media makes people happy.“Sincere, Open, Collaborative, Interested, Authentic, Likable”“SOCIAL” created by Vala AfsharIt’s critical to think about the emotions we want to elicit and the context in which ourdonors interact with our communications. Social media provides fundraisersunprecedented opportunities to demonstrate an interest in their donors lives.
    14. 14. Developing an donor-focused communicationstrategy will allow you to multiply the time you spendon MPD.A survey of 15 full-time fundraisers revealed a deep care for their donors, but communicate with them on average1x a month, usually through email and/or direct mail. Over 90% of respondents did not segment their donors intogroups. They shared they were uncomfortable with social media as a primary communication channel and do notunderstand how it can improve their fundraising efforts.“Lack of time” “Desire to call ministrypartners morefrequently”
    15. 15. Donors can perceive redundant communications fromfundraisers as impersonal.“Only 16% of donors gave more moneythe following year.”--Fundraising EffectivenessProject
    16. 16. The number of or % of new partners peryear.Average length a ministry partnerdonates.% increases in amount of special gifts orend-of-year donations.You can measure whether your fundraising effortsare working by looking at the following keyperformance indicators:Average gift size
    17. 17. More Tailoring, Not More TimeSpending more time refining a communication strategy without thinking through first how well it’s tailored to thepreferences of your donors will not significantly improve your fundraising efforts.
    18. 18. Your current and future ministry partners havelimited attention, scan more than they read,receive more requests for donations, and usemore devices than ever to communicate
    19. 19. They should enjoy reading your communications.Have a friend over read over the last two or three communications you sent to a donor. Ask them to share withwhat they are thinking about and feeling about it to understand whether they are accomplishing what you want.
    20. 20. Your current and future ministry partners have alimited amount of attention.infographic courtesy of ExactTargetIt’s critical to improve the engagement your donors have with your communications, as both devices andapplications dramatically increase.
    21. 21. Your current and future ministry partners have moreoptions when choosing to make a donation thanever before.The number of nonprofits has increasedfrom 1,259,764 million to 1,574,674 milliontoday. The growth rate of the nonprofitsector has surpassed the rate of both thebusiness and government sectors. --sourceThe number ofnonprofits hasincreased by25% in the last10 years.
    22. 22. Your current and future ministry partners use moredevices to communicate and consume information.infographic courtesy of ExactTarget
    23. 23. Unifying your communications across direct mail,email, and social will increase the amount of timeand attention your partners give you.CasualConnectedCordialEach channel (email, directmail, social) ofcommunication can be usedto accomplish a variety ofgoals.Your ministry partners havea variety of channelpreferences and mayinterpret communicationsdifferently than you.
    24. 24. Optimize Email
    25. 25. Email is still the most frequently used digitalchannel by the majority of your donors.
    26. 26. “Sorry for the late delay in getting back withyou. Work has been crazy with year-endstuff and your email kept getting buried inthe other 300+ emails!”--Donor“For the first time ever, more emailsare opened on mobile phones thanon desktops/laptops.”--The Importance of Email in a Cross-ChannelWorld, ExactTargetMobile optimized email communications candramatically increase donor engagement.
    27. 27. Email services such as Mailchimp provide thefollowing benefits:Customize the design and format for smartphones, tablets, and traditionaldesktops/laptops.Track how many people open your emails, and if they click on a link.Rate your subscribers based on interaction.Receive a notification when an email is no longer valid or when someoneunsubscribes.Create segments (groups) of people.Visit mailchimp.com/features for more information
    28. 28. How to increase the number of people who open,read, and respond to your email.Compose email for the size of a smartphone screen; increase the font to atleast 16pt, remove header images, keep text to no more than 3 sentences.Eliminate PDFs as attachments to decrease the amount of time it takes fordonors to open and read your updates.Segment your emails into groups. The first segment to create would be yourtop 10-20 donors. Other segments could include geography (by state orregion), demography (age), or interests (college students).Using open and click rates to determine future content, especially email titles.Remember most people use the title to decide whether or not to open anemail. Take an extra 1-2 minutes to make your email title as engaging and“openable” as possible.Say “thank you” more. Consider ways to make the donor the subject of thecommunication, rather than you or your organization.
    29. 29. From $60 a year to $600:Mailchimp’s tracking and ratings features led to asignificant increase in giving.In order to raise a significant amount of new financial support, one fundraiserran an increase campaign among his existing donors. In the past, the peopletargeted in the campaign would be prioritized by current gift size.Using Mailchimp’s user rating feature allowed a new way to measure donorinterest beyond their average annual donation amount.A donor that gave just $60 a year but rated extremely high by Mailchimpdecided to increase to $600 a year when asked. Without this additional metricthe fundraiser may have passed over this person in favor of those who gavelarger amounts.
    30. 30. Additional Email TipsEmail communications should provide content that complements your directmail efforts. If your direct mail letter focuses on a ministry success story, usean email to share a personal story. Be sure to stagger the distribution of yourdirect mail, email updates, and any social media posts to signal to your donoran awareness that you are interested in them throughout the month, ratherthan on a specific day or week.Use links to blog posts, videos, or websites to create opportunities for deeperengagement. While most people scan email throughout the week or duringwork hours, many have long periods of free time (think parents at a soccergame). Providing links inside an email keep the length brief but allow thedonor to engage beyond the email if they have time and interest.Capture the email of both husband and wife. The husband and wife may sharea personal email account, but both may have separate and even multiple workemail accounts. Be sure to spend time throughout the year seeking to updateand acquire the most used email address for both the husband and wife.
    31. 31. Optimize Facebook
    32. 32. Facebook offers the ability to regularly interact withyour partners around their interests while they areusing their smartphone.“Facebook revealed a new design for News Feed that includes largervisuals, more opportunities to drill down to specific types of contentand a user interface that is more consistent with Facebook’s mobiledesign.” --Inside Facebook
    33. 33. On average Fans see 1/500updates, or 0.016%, from apage they have liked.90% of fans who like a page,never visit the page again,interacting only with content on theirnewsfeed.Beware of using Pages as the primary means ofcommunicating with your partners on Facebook.
    34. 34. Many of your ministry partners use Facebook pagesto transact with brands, not interact with people. Byusing a Facebook page instead of a profile you riskcoming across as impersonal.Infographic courtesy of Subscribers, Fans and Followers,ExactTarget
    35. 35. 1. Go to Facebook.com/bookmarks/lists2. Select “Create List”3. Name the List4. Add ministry partners to the ListCreate a list of your ministry partners to understandand interact around their interests.
    36. 36. The updates your ministry partners share can help youbuild meaningful relationships with them.Liking, commenting, or sharing a donor’s update provides a high-touch interaction with minimum effort. If you areusing a CRM or database to manage donor information you can enrich the basic contact or giving history datawith information about their interests.
    37. 37. The updates that gain the most likes, commentsand shares combine an interesting photo with textthat invites activity.“102M People Accessed Solely From MobileIn June, Up 23% Since March.”--FacebookBetter Get Mobile Quick.Posts that include an image take up 4x asmuch space than a post that only uses text.Optimize the text and images for smallscreens (tablets + smartphones).
    38. 38. Optimize Your Online Presence
    39. 39. 49% of mid-level and major donors will always visit anonprofit’s website before making a first-time gift ordonation.Google calls this the ZMOT (Zero Moment ofTruth), the moment when a person makes asignificant decision based on informationthey access online.“79% of consumers now say they use asmartphone to help with shopping.”Your website and social media accounts provide information that current and potential donors may use toevaluate whether or not to start or continue giving. They may also compare you to other charitable giving optionsusing online research.
    40. 40. Traditional Decision Making ProcessBy the time a donor meets with you in person the chances are high that haveresearched you online and through word of mouth, and have already made theirdecision. Realize that the in-person meeting is no longer the “first” moment of truth inthe decision making process.
    41. 41. The ZMOT introduces a new step in the decision makingprocess.Google’s ZMOT reveals a new critical step in the decision making process thatfundraisers must understand and optimize. Consider an informal interview with 1-2donors to ask them about the ways they use mobile devices, social media, and the webto research and give to nonprofits.
    42. 42. The number of sources people use to make a decisionare dramatically increasing.Many donors are looking at websites and asking a variety of people about you or thenonprofit you represent. Consider all the possible online sources of information and beprepared to answer questions or respond to questions that may come from yournonprofit’s website, or online news sources.
    43. 43. Charity: Water understands the importance ofwinning the ZMOT with potential donors.charity: water’s website provides a highly visual, easy to understand experience thatfocuses on the donor, rather than the organization.
    44. 44. Websites that use multimedia (video, photos and text),have plenty of whitespace and automatically change toformat a smartphones, tablets and traditional screenswill ensure a positive experience for current andpotential ministry partners.1. Visit google.com2. Type in “free tumblr styleWordpress themes”http://bit.ly/freemobilethemesVisit the link below toexplore 18 Free Wordpressthemes:
    45. 45. Donor Engagement
    46. 46. Cru conducted over 62 hours of interviews withministry partners who donated to a variety ofministries. 3 core themes emerged:3. Supporting an individual brings to life theorganization’s mission and personalizes the impact thatdonors are making in a way that giving to a facelessorganization does not. This can only be done when it’srelational.1. Donors ultimately give to people, not to organizations.2. While donors need to be personally aligned with theorganizations they back, ultimately and wheneverpossible, donors give to people.
    47. 47. Donors ultimately give to people, notorganizations.
    48. 48. While donors need to be personally aligned with theorganizations they back, ultimately and wheneverpossible, donors give to people.“A free party game for horriblepeople.”Raised $15,570 from 758people, $11,000+ over theirgoalSold over 100,000 copiesKickstarter campaigns demonstrate the powerof people giving to people.
    49. 49. Crowdfunding campaigns work best for short-termtrips and projects and acquiring a first gift.Crowdfunding campaigns work best for short-term projects, and are least effective formonthly sustainer campaigns. Gaining the first gift, regardless of the amount, should bethe goal in a campaign of this nature. After cultivating the first gift, it’s then best to comeup with a plan for gaining a larger donation or converting them to a monthly amount.
    50. 50. Supporting an individual brings to life the organization’smission and personalizes the impact that donors aremaking in a way that giving to a faceless organization doesnot. This can only be done when it’s relational.“Donors are more passionate than we expected.”“Many donors want to be valued beyond their capacity to give money.They want to be partners. This more accurately describes their desiredbehavior.”charity: water’s donate your birthday campaign reveals how passionate people areabout the causes they support.
    51. 51. Donor-centric communication can significantlyimprove donor acquisition, retention, andengagement.I led Jenny to Christ yesterday!Your investment in our ministry allowed meto lead Jenny to Christ yesterday!Please pray for me as I’m speaking to 500college students tomorrow.You can make a difference in the lives of500 college students tomorrow. Please praytomorrow at 12pm that I can share theGospel boldly with them.I’m going on a six week summer project to servecollege students from around the country.Your generous prayer and financial supportwill allow me to mentor college studentsduring a short-term trip this summer.These are examples of changing the subjectfrom the fundraiser to the donor to increaseinterest and engagement.
    52. 52. You are awesome.What’s happening because of your investment iseven more awesome.Thank you for being so awesome.A tongue in cheek format for writing a donor-centeredcommunication.
    53. 53. There is a stark difference between donor-centric andorganization-centric communications that significantlyimpacts how a person feels and thinks.“Receipt for your donation to Saran” “One Time Online Donation Submission”“Horses are not food. Save them fromslaughter.”“Create peace of mind”The examples on the left side focus on the donor and the benefits they receive from theirdonation. The examples on the left focus on the organization and the problems they seekto solve.
    54. 54. From Separate to ConnectedFrom Synchronous to MobileFrom Channel Specific to Channel AgnosticFrom I to YouFrom Scarcity to AbundanceA donor-focusedcommunication strategy

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