Introduction – who we are and what we doWhy we wanted to talk about thisWe are not experts. We are just interested in it. It’s a hot topic for us right now. We’d love to hear about what you’re doing too. We wanted to refresh our strategy, but felt that customer care is the most important thing, and that actually we needed to address any issues here first. This is the entire DM team, including Legacies and In Mem, our Database Manager, and our Donor Support Officer. We are much smaller than people often think!
Provide some context here. Most charities are split into the traditional fundraising disciplines of Corporate/ Trusts/ Events/ Major donors/ DM/ Community.This works for many reasons, but it also leads to some common problems, namely that each team is very protective of ‘their’ donors, and is reluctant to share themSome bigger charities are starting to work towards a different model, where the work is segmented by projects, rather than by discipline. This means that the donor really does come first – it’s about what they actually do, rather than what we think they should do.
This is something we have just started exploring, and it the first step towards having a truly donor centric programme.Realistically, we have always been at the 2nd stage up – sporadic departmental analysis. Like lots of smaller charities, we expect?Every charity should be aiming to be at the top of the pyramid, but it takes a lot of work to get thereBriefly explain a fundraising hierarchy and how the analysis works: to looks at your whole portfolio of activity, and do in depth analysis of each bit, looking at who gives to it and how much, and what the profit is. Then decide which activity is most important. Plan your annual schedule around this, and then decide which donors get which communications based on what will bring in the most profit.
In most fundraising departments, any data sharing or decisions on which projects take priority are made based on negotiations, and personal opinions, rather than a factual analysis of which activity brings in the most profit and increases donor loyalty. This way, it ends up being about income, not personalities.It means that ultimately, the donor gets the best of us.
This is about the importance of constantly reviewing the hierarchy, once you’ve set it. It will change, and often. Build it into your project schedules form outset.Never assume anything.Talk about the need to be sure that we always understand our donors and how our donor base is changing. Its only by understanding who we are that we can be sure that we are meeting their needs.
One easy way to find out what your donors want is to ask themWe’ve been doing a lot of this recently and the results have really paid off. Talk about legacy survey: was sent to 11,277 people, and got a 14% response rate - much higher than we get for an appeal. overview of results. One interesting thing was that 116 people told us we were their favourite charity, which is an incredibly useful thing to know. We called them to say thank you, and they were delighted, and keen to tell us all about their relationship with THT and why they supported us. Mostly, they were outraged that people with HIV still faced so much stigma and thought we did a great job of dealing with it. Now we know we can rely on them – to donate, to use as guinea pigs, to put into our legacy programme, and to generally be an advocate of THT’s to all their friends and family, and we’ve made them like us even more by calling them to say thanks. Now they are our favourites too.Survey Monkey: Used as a way to obtain supporter feedback on our gala events programme (Auction, Supper Club, Cocktail Club). Individually tailored questions for each event.Used to evaluate the events and helps inform key decisions for the next one. We find out: how successful different types of marketing were, quality of the venue, and an evaluation of drinks/food/entertainment/ticket prices etc. Sent the day after an event with the thank you email. A key part of the supporter journey, helping them to feel involved and to shape the programme themselves. Add WFL and running event examples
One benefit to always asking questions is that anything that encourages a response also encourages a gift. Especially if you put the question on the donation form!We have included a survey in our Welcome Pack for some time now. It’s a great way of engaging new donors, and making them feel like part of the organisation from the outset. It also provides us with a really useful insight into our new donors, so that we can do some basic profiling by recruitment source. If a donor calls to change their address or whatever, ask them questions. Engage with them. See what they think of your organisation, and what they’d like to hear more about. If nothing else at least they know you care.The effect of this is impossible to measure and quantify, but we have had very positive feedback.Case studies – obviously this isn’t relevant for lots of charities, but we’ve started asking our supporters to ‘tell us their story’ so that we can use them in our next newsletter or our next appeal. Take up for this is very small, but often it’s the asking that matters. Listen with caution: what they tell you they are interested in isn’t necessarily the thing that will motivate them to make a donation. Always use surveys alongside quantitative analysis.
The importance of looking at your entire programme through a fresh pair of eyes. Could use a classic Boston Matrix for this. Almost the most important thing is to get rid of anything that isn’t working well enough (and you believe can’t/isn’t worth being transformed). Don’t waste time and energy and money on this. Think about what else you could be doing. This is where an extensive competitor analysis is useful, so that you know the market and can see what others are doing. It’s especially important if you’re a small organisation like us and you can’t afford to do lots of testing. Let the RSPCA do it for you, and watch what works and what doesn’t.
For us, this is the most important message today. We are all in the habit of seeing our supporters as a DM donor, or an event attendee. But they just see themselves as a supporter. Give them the option to do that in whichever way they choose. BUT – this doesn’t mean that you have to send your Gala events invitations to all of your DM donors. Find other opportunities to tell them about things. Use your DM thank you letters to invite your donors to run the marathon for you. Put a leaflet about your In memoriam programme into a goody bag for your marathon runners. Talk about the Supper Cub being cross sold in a retention letter to DM donors, we had two new table hosts as a result of this, and, more importantly, two donors who were suddenly worth much more and were much more loyal than they had been previously. A no brainer. Finally, as fundraisers, we are all very wary of asking our donors to do things that they don’t usually, incase it feels like they are being bombarded with requests. So don’t make it a request, or an ask, make it an invitation. They’ll be glad to have been included, and just ignore it if they’re not interested. We do this in many ways: in our major donor newsletters, our DM newsletters, our Members newsletters, our corporate newsletters. Ross Watson event: not part of our normal events calendar, we invited all our events supporters to the opening evening of the exhibition and 140 people have said yes already (out of 4k) despite our fears about it being one request too many.
??? Get info on WFL from Amelia.
Give the example of the legacy we learned about recently. £100,000 from someone who hadn’t supported us since 2006 and who we had long since given up on. He left us half of his entire estate. We’re not suggesting that you keep mailing everyone forever, obviously, this is about the bigger picture and making sure that every interaction that a supporter or potential supporter has with any part of your organisation is a pleasant one. This isn’t just about fundraising – it’s about everyone. THT have introduced a customer care programme which is being rolled out across the entire organisationGames Makers example: McDonalds were responsible for training the games makers, not a natural choice for a sporting event but they have a huge customer service training programme, and did a marvellous job of making the Games Makers truly inspirational. There has been so much positive coverage of them in press around the world, and they played a key role in making the Olympic and Paralympic games such a success. Crossing the road – example of someone who left a legacy to ? Charity because someone from there once helped her across the road. Sonya you know about this don’t you?
It’s cheaper than you think especially for small charitiesTalk about how it helps to give your organisation a sense of authority, especially for smaller charities that people might not have heard of before. There are some codes of conduct that you must abide by, but they are not restrictive and are things we should all be doing already anyway
We’ve been doing these for three years now and have had excellent feedback. Despite having no ask and no donation form, they often break even because people make a donation anyway. It’s a great opportunity to tell our donors about what we’ve been spending their money on, and to celebrate our successes, and to tell them about what else they might like to get involved inWe try to change them, and use different people, different formats, different messages, to keep them fresh.
In the charity sector we are all constrained by our increasingly limited budgets, and limited resources. And we are all guilty of having endless meetings and discussions before we actually do anything. We know that’s because we want to get it right, but to our supporters it looks like we’re doing nothing at all. So don’t wait until you can do something perfectly, just do something. The example of our middle donors. We have gone through a long process of developing a new strategy to upgrade them to Major donors, which has been delayed by the usual staff changes and other priorities. Werealised that they weren’t getting anything while the programme was developed. These valuable donors were left with no communication, and more importantly, no asks! We realised that of course we should just keep mailing them in the mean time.We recently carried out a customer insight project for our annual World AIDS Day campaign on December 1st. Rather than spend time and money that we didn’t have on a huge project, we just picked up the phone and called some of them instead, to ask what they thought of various ideas. As well as getting some valuable insight, we also found that they were flattered that we had asked for their advice. It also made is much easier to go back to them afterwards and ask them to take part in it, because by then we had their buy in.
If you love your donors, set them free sonya trivedy, amanda beamon - terrence higgins trust
If you love your donors, set them free
Introductions• Sonya Trivedy, Head of • Amanda Beamon, Head Fundraising of Individual Giving
Today’s session• Reviewing what you do• Some possible refinements• Customer care• A final thought• Questions and discussion – over to you
Traditional fundraising• Typically, fundraising departments are organised into separate teams by discipline• Working in silos• But does the donor support the THT community fundraising programme, or do they just support THT?
A fundraising hierarchyChart produced by Moving Thinking
A fundraising hierarchy• Why is it important? - Decisions are based on science, not negotiation - It makes everything about the ROI – which is why we are all here - And most importantly, it makes it about the donor, and their needs, as well as ours
On-going analysis• We all know this is important, but do we do enough of it?• Review everything, every time you do it• Be sure to understand your donor base. The chances are that it is changing, so we must change too
Surveys• Another way to do it is to constantly ask questions: - In appeals “What did you think of this appeal? Please give us your feedback” - Include a short survey in your Welcome Pack - When they call you - Use them as your case studies But… listen with caution
Review your offering - is it out of date?• Now that you know what you know, what needs to go?• What else should you be doing to keep your donors interested (and giving)?
Share• DON’T RINGFENCE YOUR DONORS (within reason!)• Look for opportunities to cross sell, it doesn’t always mean putting them into another comms stream entirely• Example: Supper Club event cross sold to traditional DM donors• Don’t be afraid to ask –if they’re not interested,they’ll just say no
Feedback• Tell them what you’re doing with their money, and celebrate your successes• Walk For Life• Over to you - what examples of asking for feedback do you have from your own charity?• Or can you think of any instances when you’ve seen charities feeding back to their donors particularly well?
Say thank you, a lot• Be nice, always. Just because you think of a donor as lapsed, doesn’t mean they do• Lend a hand• Games Makers• We are currently rolling out customer care training across the whole organisation
Fundraising Standards Board• Join the FRSB• Shout about your membership, and put the logo on everything you do
Retention mailings• Twice yearly mailings torecent donors with no ask• A simple thank you, andan update, and a greatopportunity to cross sell• A chance to show thema nice, smiley face
A little less conversation, a little more action• If you don’t have the budget or the time to do what you really want, do something else instead• If you can’t roll out an entire customer care programme right away, just pick up the phone and say thanks every so often• Example: Customer insight for World AIDS Day
ConclusionsWhat we’ve covered today…• The importance of a hierarchy, and taking a step back to review what you do• Share your data• Basic and easy ways to improve your customer care• Some new things to try out