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Everything You Need To Know About Creating and Maintaining Donor Relationships


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Join Sandy Rees and our own Jay Love for a discussion on donor relationships. This free, 60-minute webinar will focus on attracting and creating donor relationships, as well as best practices for nurturing and retaining those donors. You will finish the hour with at least five ideas to put into immediate action!

About Sandy Rees:

Sandy Rees is a fundraising coach and consultant with a passion for showing small nonprofit organizations how to raise more money, strengthen their Boards, and build relationships with donors. She's also a mentor and coach to other nonprofit consultants who want to learn to build a business using passive and leveraged income. You can learn more about her at

Published in: Technology, Health & Medicine
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Everything You Need To Know About Creating and Maintaining Donor Relationships

  1. 1. Building Great Donor RelationshipsMay 2, 2013Jay Love and Sandy Rees
  2. 2. Why focus on individual donors?2011 Contributions: $290.89BillionAccording to 2011 Giving USAReportCorporations5%Foundations14%Bequests8%Indviduals73%
  3. 3. Why focus on individual donors?Statistical AnnualRetentionStay65%Go away35%
  4. 4. Why do some leave?• Move away• Pass away• ???*Ultimately they leave becausethey don’t have a relationship
  5. 5. It’s ALL about the relationshipRelationships lead to• Volunteers• Money• Other Resources• Other potential donors
  6. 6. But “authentic” relationships can’t be presumptuous• Don’t rush the ask• You’ve got to value the relationship over the gift
  7. 7. It’s ALL about the relationshipSharedPassionIntentionalInvestmentLoyalDonors
  8. 8. It’s ALL about the relationshipDonors that you have a relationship withand who love what your organization does,are the foundationof sustainability.
  9. 9. Do you want Donors or Friends?Donors FriendsGive you money Give you money and love andsupport, and cares about yoursuccessMay or may not give again Will always be there for youMay or may not support you inother waysLook for other resources (includingpeople) to bring to youMay or may not speak well of youin the communityAre ambassadors for you, spreadingthe word about your missionDon’t necessarily feel engaged orconnectedSee themselves as partners in yourwork
  10. 10. So why does it feel icky?The wrong mindset will leave you feeling yucky about buildingrelationships with donors.“They’ll think I’m just after their money.”“I’m being manipulative.”“I’m taking advantage of them.”
  11. 11. Change the mindset!“I’m making friends for my organization.”“The more friends we have, the more people we can help.”“I’m giving these folks the chance to partner in our work.”
  12. 12. How does a relationship grow?• It ALWAYS starts with an introduction• In small steps• Intentionally and over time• Give and take• Lots of interest• Lots of attention• Lots of communication
  13. 13. Steps to Building a Relationship on Purpose1. Network, consistently look for introductions2. Get interested. Learn all you can about them. Look forshared passions, common interests, etc.3. Get to know them. What are their likes and dislikes?4. Ask questions.5. Listen.6. Communicate regularly but appropriately.7. Keep the focus on THEM not YOU.
  14. 14. Retaining DonorRelationshipsWhat Technology Can Do to Reverse the Trend ofFalling Donor Retention and Improve Relationships15
  15. 15. Your PresenterJay B. LoveCEO and Co-Founder of Bloomerang• 29 Years of Technology Leadership• Over 20,000 Database Installations• Former Founder & CEO of eTapestry• Former CEO of Master Software/Fund-Master• AFP Board Member• AFP Ethics Committee Member• Center on Philanthropy at IU Board Member• Innovation Fund at Butler University Board Member• Gleaners Food Bank Board Member• Co-Chair of Indianapolis YMCA Capital Campaign3
  16. 16. Donor Retention Ratewas 41%Donor Attritionwas 59%!172011 FEP Data on Donor Retention Rate »
  17. 17. 18This scares most NPO Board Members »Donor Attrition Over Five Years# of Donors AttritionRateDonorsRemainingAfter 1 YearDonorsRemainingAfter 2YearsDonorsRemainingAfter 3YearsDonorsRemainingAfter 4YearsDonorsRemainingAfter 5Years1,000 20% 800 640 512 410 3281,000 40% 600 360 216 130 781,000 60% 400 160 64 26 10
  18. 18. Addressing the Retention Problem!Is it a Donor Relationship Problem?19
  19. 19. The ProblemHow many of you use a donor database?What percent of the product do you use?@bloomerangtech | 20
  20. 20. The ProblemHow many of you use a donor database?What percent of the product do you use?@bloomerangtech | 21• Majority of NPO’s Use Less Than 20% of TheirDatabase’s Functionality• Large Amounts of Features = Complexity• Database Complexity Keeps Fundraisers Out
  21. 21. @bloomerangtech | 22
  22. 22. 1. Game Changing Ideas2. Strong & Respected Leaders3. Relentless Execution@bloomerangtech | 23Revolutionary Change Comes From?
  23. 23. Game Changing Idea:• No training required• Anyone can use@bloomerangtech | 24
  24. 24. Game Changing Idea:• No training required• Anyone can use• Bring BEST practices to life@bloomerangtech | 25
  25. 25. Game Changing Idea:• No training required• Anyone can use• Bring BEST practices to life• Focus on core functions only@bloomerangtech | 26
  26. 26. Net Result:• All fundraisers use the database@bloomerangtech | 27
  27. 27. Net Result:• All fundraisers use the database• Everyone using a database equals…@bloomerangtech | 28
  28. 28. Net Result:• All fundraisers use the database• Everyone using a database equals…Relationship Building &FUNDRAISING SUCCESS!@bloomerangtech | 29
  29. 29. Next Gen Database/CRMEnables Fundraising Best PracticesDonor Retention/Donor CommunicationsExtreme Ease of UseRelentless Focus on Results, not FeaturesLeading a “Revolution of Change”
  30. 30. Pedigree . . .”Finally Got It Right!”FUND-MASTER
  31. 31. CUE THE EXPERTS:Dr. Adrian SargeantBloomerang Chief ScientistProfessor of Fundraising at the Center onPhilanthropy at Indiana University holdingwhat is presently the world’s only endowedchair in that discipline.Top 10 Most Influential People in FundraisingRenowned expert on Donor Retention andDonor Loyalty32Mr. Tom AhernBloomerang DonorCommunications Head CoachOne of the world’s top authorities on donorcommunicationsAuthor of 4 books on Donor CommunicationsWinner of 3 prestigious international IABC GoldQuill awards
  32. 32. DONOR RETENTION BEST PRACTICESDr. Adrian SargeantBloomerang Chief Scientist33“A 10% improvement in retention can doublethe LIFETIME value of your donor database!”
  33. 33. @bloomerangtech | 34
  34. 34. @bloomerangtech | 35
  35. 35. Automatic Engagement Factors@bloomerangtech | 36• Recency and pattern ofgiving• Cash donors vs.sustaining donors• # of years giving +• Upgrade /Downgrade + -• Lapsed -• Event attendance +• Opens email +• Click links in emails +• Unsubscribesfrom email -• Has statedcommunicationpreferences +• Has inboundinteractions +• Has soft credits +• Volunteers +• Social Media(coming soon)• …and a whole lot more!
  36. 36. What is thedonor’sengagementover time!Highlight vital “retention” information---
  37. 37. DONOR COMMUNICATION BEST PRACTICESMr. Tom AhernBloomerang Donor CommunicationsHead Coach38"Successful direct mail appeals are quite simple. Atheart, they are love letters to donors &prospects, woven through with clear cries forhelp."
  38. 38. @bloomerangtech | 39
  39. 39. Conclusion:So Strive For:• Donor Satisfaction• Donor Commitment/Engagement (which . . .)• Donor Trust• Donor Loyalty (close your eyes)Doubling Your Lifetime Value = ?40
  40. 40. Questions?Creating and Retaining Donor RelationshipsSandy Rees & Jay B.