Missing Middle Webinar (April 2014)

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After compiling detailed data from 27 organizations and experts, Sea Change Strategies presents its findings on how to leverage those mid-level donors and keep them involved in your fundraising plan.

In this webinar you'll learn:

How to jumpstart your fundraising success with Mid-Level Donors
How Rainforest Alliance successfully implemented a Mid-Level Donor Program
The habits of highly effective Mid-Level Donor Plans


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  • TODAY WE’RE RELEASING THIS WHITE PAPER – IT’S PART STUDY, PART MANIFESTOTHE REPORT IS FREE, AND ON OUR WEBSITE AND WE’LL BE PROVIDING A LINK AT THE END OF THE PRESENTATION
  • THREE SURPRISING REALIZATIONS DROVE US TO DO THIS STUDY
  • MID-LEVEL DONORS ARE DIFFERENT – DRAMATICALLY PLUGGED IN TO YOUR WORK
  • MID-LEVEL DONORS GIVE A LOT OF MONEY
  • PARETO ON STEROIDS
  • MIDDLE D’S GET NEGLECTED…WE’LL TALK MORE ABOUT WHY IN A FEW MINS
  • One more piece of context ==BIGGER PICTURE -- THE DIRECT MAIL DEATH SPIRALACQUISITION AND RETENTION DECLININGARMS RACE OF GIMMICKS AND TECHNIQUE DRIVENIS THIS SUSTAINABLE?
  • SET CONTEXTSURVEY THE ROOM – DM, MD MIDDLE DONOR PEOPLE?
  • ALIA LEADS
  • ALIA LEADS
  • ALIA LEADS
  • ALIA LEADS: Management is doing things right
  • ALIA LEADS: Leadership is doing the right things.
  • ALIA LEADS: When senior executives don’t fully grasp the interdependent workings of fundraising programs it’s impossible for them to do either well. They can’t lead by setting their sights on the types of projects and investments that merit their attention. They can’t manage by fostering the cooperation and collaboration among siloed fundraising teams needed to get results.
  • ALIA LEADS: This tension is why middle donor fundraising is one of the most overlooked areas by leadership. It’s not as intuitive as new donor acquisition. It’s not as exciting as a million dollar major gift prospect. And it’ certainly not a media-friendly hook about how the Internet is disrupting fundraising as we know it. It’s not the shiny paint on the red porsche. But it’s the engine.
  • ALIA LEADS
  • ALIA LEADS: To create a successful middle giving program, executive directors must understand that a functional and philosophical gap exists in thenon profit donor pyramid.They must lead by adjusting strategies in investments to bridge the gap. And they must manage by creating cross-silo teams that can collaborate to maximize the potential of this audience.
  • ALIA LEADS
  • ALIA LEADS: A primary theme that arose from the research is that one of the biggest barriers to entry is that middle donors is ano man’s land between direct response and major donors and that not enough organizations have had the foresight to focus a full-time employee on this audience.
  • ALIA LEADS: A bright spot comes from The Nature Conservancy.Jamal Harris’s role is to provide that single, comprehensive view of mid-leveldonors, regardless of how they’re managed or where they are managed.
  • ALIA LEADS: But letting go isn’t always easy. Cathy Finney from the Wilderness society says that One of her biggest challenges now that she’s got the mid-level giving officer in place is convincing hermajor gift officers to feel okay letting go of some of those lower dollar donors – the ones they shouldn’t have been staffing in the first place. Which leads right into our next habit.
  • MARK LEADS
  • DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS…BUT THERES MORE TO IT THAN THAT
  • VERY DIFFERENT BOTH TEMPERAMENTALLY AND HOW THEY GO ABOUT THEIR WORK
  • HERE’S A TYPICAL SCENARIO – THE DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT TAKES MID-LEVEL DONORS OUT OF THE MAIL STREAM, BUT THEN DOESN’T CULTIVATE THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE CHASING THE WHALESTHE DM PEOPLE DON’T INVEST EXTRA TIME AND EFFORT IN THE MIDDLE DONORS BECAUSE THEY’RE NOT USED TO DEALING WITH SMALL POPULATIONS AND THEY MAY NOT GET INSTANT GRATIFICATION
  • A SUCCESSFUL MODEL IS MORE OF A NEW ANIMAL – PERSONAL TOUCH AND FOCUS ON STEWARDSHIP WITH MORE FOCUS ON DATA AND METRICS AND COSTS
  • BUT TO GET THERE YOU HAVE TO GET OVER THE ATTRIBUTION HURDLEAtt in multichannel world is Murky NIGHTMAREBUT HERE WE ARE TALKING SOMETHING MORE PRACTICAL, MORE POLITICAL THAN UNCOVERING THE MYSTERY OF MULTICHANNEL ATTRIBUTION
  • FUNDRAISERS ARE THE MOST GOAL DRIVEN PEOPLE IN AN ORGANIZATION. WE CANT TELL YOU THE NUMBER OF TIMES WE HAVE SEEN FUNDRAISIING STRATEGIES DRIVEN MORE BY WHAT COUNTS THAN ON WHAT WILL BRING IN HIGHEST RETURNIF THE MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR BRINGS IN A THOUSAND DOLLAR GIFT THAT DOESN’T GET CREDITED TO HIS OR HER BUDGET, SHE’S NOT GOING TO WORK VERY HARD TO GET THOUSAND DOLLAR GIFTSWE’VE SEEN SOME INTERESTING EXAMPLES OF SPLITTING GIFTS BETWEEN BUDGET LINES, USING SOFT CREDITS AND OTHER APPROACHES
  • MARK LEADSCONTENT IS WHERE THE MAJOR DONOR PLAYBOOK IS PROBABLY MORE RELEVANT THAN THE DIRECT MKTG ONE
  • SCREAMING HEADLINES AND OVER-WROUGHT PROSE
  • IN FACT, Just as we are blown away in our research by how little low dollar donors know about the orgs they support, just the opposite is true of middle donors
  • IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A MODEL … MORE LIKE CASE STATEMENT
  • YOU ONLY NEED TO BE SAYING THREE THINGS, BUT YOU NEED TO SAY THEM OVER AND OVER
  • markLEADSHeres how roger puts itMORE IN THE STUDY
  • ALIA LEADS
  • ALIA LEADS: The financial potential of middle donors won’t be unleashed overnight. Roger Craver uses an orchard metaphor. It can take years to get an orchard to be productive, but once it is, it yields fruit for years and years.
  • ALIA LEADS: The challenge we have in direct response is that we have to prove that the investment we made in cultivation plays out in 0-12 month and 13-24 month time frames, but donor relationships don’t really fit into those neat little boxes.
  • ALIA LEADS: Further, loyal direct marketing donors are a wellspring for middle donors, then major donors and almost always for planned giving. So it makes it even more crucial to have lower dollar donors thanked and cultivated appropriately. It’s a long game for return on investment, but one well worth it.
  • MARK LEADS
  • THIS IS THE AGE OF THE CONSUMER GETTING HEARDTHE COPORRATE SECTOR HAS RELIGION ON THIS – NPS, LISTENING COMMUNITIES, ARMIES OF TWITTER FOLKSYOUR DONORS CAN TELL YOU A LOT ABOUT HOW YOU’RE DOING AND PROVIDE DISTANT EARLY WARNING OF POTENTIAL TROUBLETHEY EXPECT TO BE HEARD!
  • HERE’S AN EXAMPLE OF JUST ONE TACTIC WE’VE USED IN RECENT YEARS
  • 25-30 DONORS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY – WE’VE USED IT TO PRE-TEST CONTROVERSIAL POSITION, BUT ALSO JUST TO DELIVER SUSBTANCE TO DONORS IN AN INTERESTING WAYWEEKEND SYMPOSIUM ON MARINE BIOLOGYVIRTUAL BOOK CLU WITH AUTHOR OF A BOOK ON GLOBAL WARMING
  • AND WHILE OUR GOAL WAS TO LEARN ABOUT DONORS, WE DISCOVERED THERE WAS A SIDE BENFIT THAT MIGHT BE JUST AS IMPORTANT – PEOPLE LOVED ITBUT HERE’S WHERE DM MATH GETS IN THE WAY – 25-30 PEOPLE AT A TIME, THIS COULD GET EXPENSIVE, RIGHT?
  • IT’S NOT THE 25-30 WHO TAKE PART, IT’S THE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE INVITED
  • ALIA LEADS
  • ALIA LEADS: Everyone we talked to said that the Internet is not the easy button. Successful middle donor programs are channel agnostic and rely heavily on highly personalized and substantive communications across channels. It’s knowing who they are and how they want to be communicated with.
  • NICK GOES FIRST – RAINFOREST ALLIANCE
  • Rainforest Alliance Intro & OverviewThe Rainforest Alliance is an int’l environmental organization that works with farmers, foresters and tour operators all over the world, to help improve their practices, socially, environmentally and economically.We then work with companies who wish to source responsibly produced crops from these certified operations.This means consumers like you and I can go to the grocery store and purchase items with the Rainforest Alliance certified seal, and know that some of the ingredients we’re responsibly cultivated.We work in a practical and innovative corner of the conservation world. We realize two things may never change moving forward: western consumer demand for items cultivated from environmentally sensitive areas – and the existence of communities who rely on cultivating that land for their livelihoods.We work to offer a solution to this.
  • Major Gifts and the Mid-Level DonorsThe Rainforest Alliance has a Major Gifts program that identifies, cultivates, solicits and stewards individual donors who have the capacity to donate $1,000 or more on an annual basis.
  • Mid-Level Solicitation and StewardshipBeginning in 2013, our team decided to take a harder look at how were running the stewardship, solicitation, and renewal our mid level segment of donors.
  • One of the most important new strategies for our Mid Level donor program has been re-thinking stewardship and benefits. We feel like when someone donates at the $1,000-$5,000 level, they have very little interest in premiums or freebies. They want to feel like their contribution grants them access to information, exclusive access, or insider’s view, to the Rainforest Alliance’s activities.Historically, first time donors are the hardest for us to retain, yet we receive around 20-30 first time CA gifts each year. The key directive for growing our mid level base is to improve our retention rates through this type of involved stewardship. I want to begin each year with a welcome webinar from our President for all new CAs… with success based on the actual offer and holding of the webinar, not attendees.In the last year we began implementing events that were purely for donor stewardship, including restaurant cocktail parties, serving food and drinks made with certified products, wine and chocolate tastings, and regional events in NY, Boston and San Francisco.
  • Moving ForwardWith the close of 2013, we finished our first year long cycle with our new strategy for mid-level donors – and the results were significant.
  • ALIA GOES SECOND - HRC
  • ALIA LEADS: Everyone we talked to said that the Internet is not the easy button. Successful middle donor programs are channel agnostic and rely heavily on highly personalized and substantive communications across channels. It’s knowing who they are and how they want to be communicated with.
  • MARK LEADS
  • Missing Middle Webinar (April 2014)

    1. 1. Are you missing millions? Engage YOUR Mid-level donors #c2webinar Alia McKee– Sea Change Strategies Mark Rovner-Sea Change Strategies Nick Canedo– Rainforest Alliance Justin Perkins– Care2
    2. 2. Nonprofits use Care2 for: • Recruiting donors and supporters • Driving traffic – fundraising and branding • Advocacy • Growing Facebook community Citizens use Care2 for: • Starting and signing petitions • Donating • Spreading news • Commenting on blogs • Starting groups (organizing) • Joining nonprofits About
    3. 3. 1%OF DONORS 34%
    4. 4. Methodology • Survey of 27 leading practitioners, May-June 2013 • In-depth interviews with six fundraisers • Seven years of proprietary research
    5. 5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Annie Berger, Rainforest Alliance Kristin Bugge, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Nick Canedo, Rainforest Alliance Pete Carter, CCAH Diane Clifford, National Audubon Society Susan Comfort, Playworks Washington, DC Megan Contakes, Integrated Direct Marketing Roger Craver, The Agitator Geraldine Engel, ACLU Nancy Enterline, Monterey Bay Aquarium Cathy Finney, The Wilderness Society Dane Grams, Human Rights Campaign John Graves, Eidolon Communications Fraser Green, Good Works Jamal Harris, The Nature Conservancy Tricia Hart, Amnesty International USA Krista Harte Sassaman, The Lukens Company Lori Hutson, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Mikaela King, Defenders of Wildlife Kevin Layton, Human Rights Campaign Robert J. Levy, Robert J. Levy Consulting David Love, Agents of Good Dennis McCarthy, Blackbaud Frank O’Brien, OMP Rosemary Oliver, Amnesty International Canada Sam Parry, Environmental Defense Fund Carol Rhine, Target Analytics Martha Schumacher, Hazen Inc. Shiloh Stark, Amnesty USA Milo Sybrant, International Rescue Committee
    6. 6. 8 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE MID-LEVEL DONOR PROGRAMS
    7. 7. 1. LEADERSHIP IS EVERYTHING
    8. 8. Middle donors should be viewed as a central part of an organization’s lifetime value efforts. They will be retained and upgraded far more than smaller donors and far more than major donors. They represent the most significant block of money, commitment and loyalty
    9. 9. 2. IT TAKES PEOPLE POWER
    10. 10. 3. BUST THOSE SILOS
    11. 11. Culture Clash! “Hi. I’m A Direct Mail Guy” “Hi. I’m A Major Donor Fundraiser”
    12. 12. • Spreadsheets and Pivot Tables • Mass Production • Low margin, high volume • Wal-Mart • Donor profiles • Everything is custom • Low volume, monster returns • Tiffany’s DIRECT MAIL MAJOR GIFTS
    13. 13. 4. ATTRIBUTE THIS
    14. 14. What Gets Measured Gets Done.
    15. 15. 5. GETTING THE CONTENT RIGHT
    16. 16. 3 THEMES • Your money is making a difference. • You are an insider. • Your generosity is valued.
    17. 17. “if you hold the gift back in the donor’s mirror— reflect it back to them saying ‘you’ve done a great thing; you have saved this bird or you have saved this area; because of you that crane will live.’ That is what the donor wants to hear.”
    18. 18. 6. ALL WE NEED IS JUST A LITTLE PATIENCE
    19. 19. 7. LISTEN UP
    20. 20. “This was a wonderful opportunity and I would be happy to participate in more things like this. Anything to help an organization that I care about...”
    21. 21. It’s the Invitation, St upid.
    22. 22. 8. THE INTERNET IS NOT THE EASY BUTTON
    23. 23. PROFILES OF SUCCESS
    24. 24. Protect an additional 100 million acres of forestland Develop new certification standards Establish hundreds more alliances with companies Educate millions of children about their role in global Engage tens of millions of consumers in making responsible
    25. 25. PROFILES OF SUCCESS
    26. 26. VOLUNTEERS EVENTS DIRECT MARKETING THREE TIERED SUCCESS
    27. 27. 150 VOLUNTEERS 32 COMMUNITIES STRIVE FOR FIVE VOLUNTEER POWER TRAININGS 2X ANNUALLY STRIVE FOR FIVE DIGITAL COMMUNITY PORTAL
    28. 28. LOCAL ACQUISITION & RETENTION EVENTS LOCAL GALA DINNERS NATIONAL DINNER EVENT POWER PROGRAMMING SUPPORT FROM NATIONAL STAFF INVITATION SUPPORT FROM NATIONAL STAFF
    29. 29. 4 YEARS IN COLLABORATION SUPPRESSION DIRECT MKTG POWER MAIL PHONES EMAIL
    30. 30. http://seachangestrategies.com/missing-middle/
    31. 31. JUMP START YOUR MID-LEVEL PROGRAM: A 30 DAY PLAN
    32. 32. A SAMPLING FROM MID-LEVEL DONOR PROGRAMS
    33. 33. Thank YOU! Alia.Mckee@SeaChangeStrategies.co m NCanedo@RA.org Mark.Rovner@SeaChangeStrategies.c om
    34. 34. QUESTIONS? #c2webinar Alia McKee– Sea Change Strategies Mark Rovner-Sea Change Strategies Nick Canedo– Rainforest Alliance Justin Perkins– Care2

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