Retaining Your Donors:
Effective Techniques for Stewardship and
Cultivation
Operation Smile Donor First Case Study
Jann Sc...
Operation Smile mobilizes a world of generous hearts
to heal children‟s smiles and transform lives across the globe.
Donor First Philosophy
To make the Donor‟s experience as
exceptional as the services we provide to
children & families aro...
„Donor First‟ in Action
„Donor First‟ in Action
„Donor First‟ in Action
 Review touch points through the
„lens‟ of Donor First Philosophy
 Identify gaps, issues and
cha...
Major Gifts
• Acknowledgement signed by Co-founders
• $10K+ - Personal Thank You Calls
• Major Gift Officer
• Co-founder
•...
THANK A THON
WELCOME KIT
Multi-Channel Welcome
Series
Welcome Series Schedule by Communication Channel
Day of
Donation
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 ...
WELCOME SERIES
First E-mail in Series
- Welcome
Second E-mail in Series
- Reporting Video
Third E-mail in Series
- Appeal ...
REPORTING VIDEO
Donor First Results
 Improved process & procedure
 Exceeding industry standards
◦ Gift deposits
◦ Timeliness of Acknowle...
“Donor First” Goes Global
 United Kingdom
 Japan
 Italy
 Sweden
Takeaways
 Define your “Donor First Philosophy”
 Review all donor touch points
 Identify issues & challenges
 Take ste...
Retaining Your Donors: Effective Techniques for Stewardship and Cultivation
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Retaining Your Donors: Effective Techniques for Stewardship and Cultivation

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Jann Schultz shares with you how knowledge and skills developed in the for-profit world to build customer loyalty have been translated and implemented at Operation Smile to retain committed donors. With so much choice for donors it is of vital importance that once you have acquired a donor that you keep your donor, just like the importance of building loyal customers in the for-profit world. Find out why effective techniques for DONOR FIRST stewardship and cultivation are of vital importance.

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  • NYFD June 2011Session: Retaining Your Donors: Effective Techniques for Stewardship and CultivationOperation Smile Donor First Case StudyJann Schultz, Director of Donor RelationsThank you <name>…and thank you for including me in Fundraising Day 2011.I was privileged to become a member of the non-profit community almost five years ago when I joined Operation Smile. My for-profit professional career prior to Operation Smile was spent within the travel industry, 12 years in call centers – focusing on sales and service. We were intensely focused on building our customer base through creative acquisition using multi-channel techniques including direct response TV, digital and other strategies. But even more important was developing customer loyalty – creating connections and personal relationships – so that our customers would return to book their vacation with us year after year. So what have I discovered since arriving in the non-profit world? Did you know that the number of charities and foundations in the United States reached nearly 1.3 million in 2010? That’s according to new data released by the IRS in April. That’s more than double the number of organizations that were on the rolls just 15 years ago. With so much choice for donors – it is of vital importance that once you have acquired a donor – that you keep your donor, just like the importance of building loyal customers in the for profit world. That’s where effective techniques for stewardship and cultivation are of vital importance. So I’m going to share with you how those skills I learned about customer loyalty in the for-profit world I have translated and implemented at Operation Smile.
  • Let me start by introducing you to Operation Smile, founded by Dr. William and Mrs. Kathy Magee and headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia.Now in our 29th year, Operation Smile has been providing free reconstructive surgery to children around the world - suffering from the physical and emotional distress caused by cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.Since 1982, we have transformed the lives of over 160,000 children and we currently have a presence in over 60 countries. What is different about Operation Smile is that this care is delivered by Volunteers – international medical professionals from over 76 countries – who come together and travel to areas around the world where this population is underserved.For almost 20 years, the primary method of raising funds at Operation Smile was through a traditional Event, Major Gift and Corporate fundraising program. The use of Direct Response marketing was launched in early 2004 to acquire new donors and grow our revenue so we are able to help more children. We have been very successful in these efforts.our donor base here in the US has grown from 20,000 in 2003 to almost 700,000 in 2010 our annual fundraising revenue has grown from <$9 million> in FY2003 to <$34 million> in FY2010
  • In the for-profit world, you commonly hear “put the customer first.” However – in the non-profit world, we serve multiple constituencies. And when you are laser focused on delivering your mission - managing the relationship with your other constituents can be challenging.This is exactly what I found when I arrived at Operation Smile. Our organization was correctly focused on the delivery of services to children yet they were struggling with management and support of the needs of their other constituents. So I introduced a new framework to our Direct Response Program and a philosophy that now stretches across the organization – Donor First. This forms the foundation of our stewardship and cultivation activities.<SLIDE: Donor First Philosophy: To provide the same exceptional care to our donors as the children and families we serve around the world.>Whether you call it a Philosophy, a commitment or simply our Donor Services Mission – the purpose is the same: To effectively build long lasting relationships with our donors, volunteers and advocates.ASK: Why would we do that? <Responses>Our goal is to build loyalty, increase retention and the long term value of our donors and volunteers.So how do we do that? And have we been successful?
  • So how do we put this philosophy into action? <Photo LENS> It is through this lens - putting the Donor First… <Photo Touch> …that we examine every touch-point of the donor from their perspective.This helps us identify gaps, issues or challenges with the donors experience with Operation Smile. We have developed a culture of considering the donor and making every effort to put “the donor first” when making decisions about service and direct response strategies.We then craft solutions to make improvements, maximize efficiencies or impact results – to enhance their experience and retain more donors.
  • So how do we put this philosophy into action? <Photo LENS> It is through this lens - putting the Donor First… <Photo Touch> …that we examine every touch-point of the donor from their perspective.This helps us identify gaps, issues or challenges with the donors experience with Operation Smile. We have developed a culture of considering the donor and making every effort to put “the donor first” when making decisions about service and direct response strategies.We then craft solutions to make improvements, maximize efficiencies or impact results – to enhance their experience and retain more donors.
  • So how do we put this philosophy into action? <Photo LENS> It is through this lens - putting the Donor First… <Photo Touch> …that we examine every touch-point of the donor from their perspective.This helps us identify gaps, issues or challenges with the donors experience with Operation Smile. We have developed a culture of considering the donor and making every effort to put “the donor first” when making decisions about service and direct response strategies.We then craft solutions to make improvements, maximize efficiencies or impact results – to enhance their experience and retain more donors.
  • SEE Separate Script “Thank You Strategy”
  • Sometimes, just due to volume, resources and time – you can’t steward everyone the way you would like to. Using Donor First - we found that our most loyal donors – those who give through our monthly giving program, month after month, year after year – are often overlooked and don’t receive a true personal touch.So we established an annual Thank A Thon that happens around Thanksgiving. The entire staff is involved – from the Medical Program Team to Admin and including our Co-founders. Facilitated by the Donor Relations Team, we reach into our database and find donors who have given lower level gifts – but for long periods of time as a Smile Partner. We craft scripts to guide the conversation and establish procedures so we can document the calls and record comments in our database.We divide the list and give 10 names, numbers and giving history to each staff member. Our student volunteers help decorate the office for our Thank A Thon day.<CLICK MOUSE TO ADD DONOR PHOTOS> On the day, everyone calls to thank our donors – followed by a celebration with refreshments at the end of the day. We come together and share donor stories. You see, we ask “what inspired you to give to Operation Smile?” And we hear wonderful things! The donors stories help us celebrate our work and reconnect the staff back to our donors whose gifts allow us to transform the lives of children around the world.
  • See DRTV WELCOME KIT SCRIPT
  • This grid is our multi-channel welcome series of touch points, over the course of 8 weeks, beginning with the donors first gift.The blue row is our online channel – starting with week 2, these are all new e-mail elements.The beige row is direct mail.And green is where we layer in a phone call, beginning with a thank you within a week of their first gift.
  • Here are examples of our creative for the first four touch points online.We begin with an e-mail welcome from our Co-founder and the story of a child.The next week they receive a thank you video showing the impact of gifts on the lives of children.We then begin our efforts to re-engage them and build the case to give a second gift – which we know a second gift indicates true loyalty and commitment to our cause.The follow up e-mail shows the need for additional support through a video story of Mimi from Ethiopia.Plus we have three additional online touch points that includes a new donor survey as part of our engagement strategy.
  • I’d like to share with you the thank you video we send our first time donors that shows them just how their donation is making a difference. VIDEOThe Welcome Series 2 Email  Open Rate:                             31.60%Compared to our 2010 Operation Smile Average Open Rate:       9.03% Opened-Click-through Rate: 52.10%Compared to our 2010 Operation Smile Average Click Through rate:       9.47% This video is the most clicked on e-mail in our new online Welcome Series.
  • DONOR FIRST RESULTS SLIDE SCRIPTSo how has Putting the Donor First impacted Stewardship and Cultivation at Operation Smile? Our haphazard processes that didn’t consider the impact to the donor have now been replaced or enhanced and we have our entire team always “thinking like a donor” and making additional improvements. We exceed industry standards for timeliness of gift deposits, receipting and acknowledgements.In Fiscal Year 2010 we saw <25.8%> improvement in retention of new donors and a <24.2%> increase in revenue from those donors. That works out to $1.8 million dollars in revenue for Operation Smile.Our third party vendors and teams across our organization are fully engaged with us on our journey of putting the “Donor First.” Donor First is not just a philosophy utilized for our US Donors – it is part of our philosophy for our donors and volunteers around the world. This can best be demonstrated by the expansion of “Donor First” internationally to our partner countries.
  • Script for DONOR FIRST GOES GLOBAL
  • So what can you takeaway from my sharing Operation Smile’s Donor First Philosophy with you today?I would encourage you to go back to work on Monday and:Define your organization’s version of the “Donor First Philosophy”2. Begin to review all touch points through the eyes of your donors – this means working with multiple teams or departments and testing your internal processes. When was the last time you made a donation to check the timeliness of your acknowledgement and thank you process?3. Identify issues & challenges with the donor’s experience – and prioritize the “low hanging fruit”4. Take steps to improve or change the processes, the strategies or messaging that result in a less than “Donor First” experience for your supporters.And, at a minimum – engage local volunteers to write thank you notes, make thank you calls and implement a thank-a-thon to let your donor’s know you appreciate their support.
  • As I wrap up, like Christa, I would like to offer suggestions for recommended reading. I have two easy to read books that are required reading by my team:- Tiny Essentials of Donor Loyalty by Adrian Sargeant provides you in just 64 pages with key thoughts on creating loyal donors – in particular his thoughts on measuring Donor Satisfaction.And my favorite, The Zen of Fundraising by Ken Burnett – in it Ken boils down his key messages into 89 ideas on donor-centric fundraising. Donor First is fundamentally idea #3 – developing a culture of high quality donor service in your organization.I go back to these resources every year to refresh and refocus our work on Donor First.>>>So - why do we utilize a Donor First Philosophy at Operation Smile to steward and cultivate donors? Because the results allow us to help more children. So I thank you and these lovely children from Rwanda thank you.
  • Retaining Your Donors: Effective Techniques for Stewardship and Cultivation

    1. 1. Retaining Your Donors: Effective Techniques for Stewardship and Cultivation Operation Smile Donor First Case Study Jann Schultz, Director of Donor Relations New York Fundraising Day June 2011
    2. 2. Operation Smile mobilizes a world of generous hearts to heal children‟s smiles and transform lives across the globe.
    3. 3. Donor First Philosophy To make the Donor‟s experience as exceptional as the services we provide to children & families around the world served by Operation Smile.
    4. 4. „Donor First‟ in Action
    5. 5. „Donor First‟ in Action
    6. 6. „Donor First‟ in Action  Review touch points through the „lens‟ of Donor First Philosophy  Identify gaps, issues and challenges  Design solutions and implement across Donor touch points
    7. 7. Major Gifts • Acknowledgement signed by Co-founders • $10K+ - Personal Thank You Calls • Major Gift Officer • Co-founder • Handwritten note from Co-founder Donor Care Program-Mid-Level Gifts • Acknowledgement • General File - $1000+ - Personal Thank You Call • DC Program - Gifts of any size receive personal TY Call • Handwritten note from Donor Care Associate General Donors-Direct Response • Acknowledgement • <$99 – Thank You VM • >$100 – Personal Thank You Call • If unable to reach by phone – e-mail or handwritten note from Donor Relations Specialist or Volunteer Thank You Strategy
    8. 8. THANK A THON
    9. 9. WELCOME KIT
    10. 10. Multi-Channel Welcome Series Welcome Series Schedule by Communication Channel Day of Donation Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Email Email Confirmation (TV/Web source) Welcome Email Reporting Video Matching Challenge eAppeal Mimi Video Matching Challenge eAppeal Survey Email Non-Season Catalog eAppeal GIK eAppeal Direct Mail Postcard with drive to video/ways to get involved Matching Challenge DM Appeal GIK DM Appeal Phone Thank You Call/Blast Follow-up Call to DM 6 x 9 Receipt Package (DM source) Welcome Kit (TV/Web source)
    11. 11. WELCOME SERIES First E-mail in Series - Welcome Second E-mail in Series - Reporting Video Third E-mail in Series - Appeal w/ Match Fourth E-mail in Series -Appeal w/ Match that includes video Plus three additional touch points
    12. 12. REPORTING VIDEO
    13. 13. Donor First Results  Improved process & procedure  Exceeding industry standards ◦ Gift deposits ◦ Timeliness of Acknowledgement  Increase in retention  Increase in revenue from retained donors  Organization and Partners focused on “Donor First”
    14. 14. “Donor First” Goes Global  United Kingdom  Japan  Italy  Sweden
    15. 15. Takeaways  Define your “Donor First Philosophy”  Review all donor touch points  Identify issues & challenges  Take steps to improve/change the process or strategy  At a minimum…engage volunteers to write notes, make phone calls and implement a Thank A Thon
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