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Mid level magic

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LISA MASKA, CFRE
Partner
Lautman Maska Neill & Company
JOSH ADLER
Director of Individual Giving
The Actors Fund of America...

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#Bridge16
Our Conversation Today
The Actors Fund Case Study
• Challenges faced
• What’s working
• Lessons learned
Smart st...

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#Bridge16
The Actors Fund
Since 1882, The Actors Fund has helped performing
arts and entertainment professionals in times ...

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Mid level magic

  1. 1. LISA MASKA, CFRE Partner Lautman Maska Neill & Company JOSH ADLER Director of Individual Giving The Actors Fund of America #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 2
  2. 2. #Bridge16 Our Conversation Today The Actors Fund Case Study • Challenges faced • What’s working • Lessons learned Smart strategies for using direct response to boost upgrades #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 3
  3. 3. #Bridge16 The Actors Fund Since 1882, The Actors Fund has helped performing arts and entertainment professionals in times of need, crisis or transition. •$33.1 million budget •Headquartered in New York City with regional offices in Los Angeles and Chicago •Lots of celebrity support •Heavy events and membership focus #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 4
  4. 4. #Bridge16 Revenue Breakdown Individual Giving raises $5.7 million annually Membership/tributes - $2.2 million In The Spotlight ($2,500-$24,999) - $1.4 million Planned Giving - $2.1 million #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 5
  5. 5. #Bridge16 Advancement Team of 20 Chief Advancement Officer (1) • Individual Giving (8) • • • • • • Special Events (5) • Institutional Giving (2) • Communications (4) • Director • Manager of Membership • Manager of PG/Major Gifts • Major Gift Officer (LA) • Membership Associates (2) • Database Assistant • Membership/Comms Assistant #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 6
  6. 6. #Bridge16 Base of Dedicated Supporters 12,000 Members giving $25-$2,499 • Most acquired through direct mail • Some acquired from industry unions – SAG, Equity, IATSE 305 “In The Spotlight” Members giving $2,500-$25,000 • Upgraded through direct mail 25 Major Donors giving $25,000+ #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 7
  7. 7. #Bridge16 Direct Mail How to Leverage Direct Response to Augment Your Team’s Efforts #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 8
  8. 8. #Bridge16 Mini proposal format used to drive upgrades for specific program need #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 9
  9. 9. #Bridge16 The Results • Beat revenue goal by 69% • 42 gifts $1,000+ totaling $98,000 • 3 gifts of $1,000 from $250 donors • 15 gifts of $1,000 from $500 donors • 2 gifts of $10,000 from $5,000 donors • And – started the conversation between the donor and the organization #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 10
  10. 10. #Bridge16 Certificates serve as cultivation effort #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 11
  11. 11. #Bridge16 The Results • 13 gifts $1,000+ totaling $48,500 • 1 gift of $1,000 from a $100 donor • 1 gift of $1,000 from a $250 donor • 9 gifts of $1,000+ from $500 donors • 1 gift of $2,500 from a $2,500 donor • And – a $30,000 gift from a $10,000+ donor! #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 12
  12. 12. Capital Campaign Naming Opportunity #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 13
  13. 13. #Bridge16 The Results Naming opportunities at $300, $2500, and $10,000 price points •$300 – 51 bricks sold •$2,500 – 9 bricks sold •$10,000 – 3 bricks sold •Allows donors to raise their hand •Creates a lasting connection between donor and organization #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 14
  14. 14. Mid-level Renewals – “In The Spotlight” #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 15
  15. 15. What’s the Secret? • Benefits As a Way of Engagement #Bridge16#MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 16
  16. 16. We Were in a Bind… #Bridge16 • Program was not organized • Position had been vacant • Focus on Events & Celebrities • Donors were being ignored! #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 17
  17. 17. #Bridge16 Going Forward… How do we build something new without taking the steam out of the old? #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 18
  18. 18. #Bridge16 How We Are Doing It We began by adopting the higher education major gift model #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 19
  19. 19. #Bridge16 Organizing Donors • Major gift prospects organized into discrete pools • Assigned to the six staff members who serve as solicitors #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 20
  20. 20. #Bridge16 Communicate! • Scheduled weekly prospect meetings • Forum to discuss challenges and opportunities • Develop a pipeline plan with donors • Membership Associates included in meeting — they are the everyday front line and have amazing relationships #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 21
  21. 21. #Bridge16 Conversation Shift • Shift conversations from membership (transactional) to donor-centric philanthropy (what’s important to you) • Seek to engage donors • Show them that they have an opportunity to make a lasting difference through a major gift. • Discovered that some prospects with high capacity ($5mm+ in assets) were only interested in the benefits of membership (house seats). #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 22
  22. 22. #Bridge16 Active Outreach • Began to engage donors more personally • Personal (email) acknowledgments for gifts over $1,000 and handwritten note for gifts over $5,000 • Daily gift report detailing the previous days gifts • Create small events for ITS members #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 23
  23. 23. #Bridge16 The Challenge • Takes TIME to manage a prospect pool of 687 prospects • Progress is slow … but the needle is moving #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 24
  24. 24. #Bridge16 Donors “Wanna Be In the Room Where It Happens” • Creating a top-tier giving society • Recognize the members of the various levels publicly to generate interest. #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 25
  25. 25. #Bridge16 Above All… Pay attention to your donors! If one thing isn’t working, don’t be afraid to try something new There is no special formula… #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 26
  26. 26. #Bridge16 The Results Year to year comparison for individual contributions: •2014 -9.2% variance •2015 -13.0% variance •2016 +.04% variance (in the midst of a capital campaign) #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 27
  27. 27. #Bridge16 The Results Year to year comparison of ITS component: •2014 -28.2% variance •2015 -27.7% variance •2016 5.9% variance #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 28
  28. 28. #Bridge16 You Just Never Know … Two True-Life Stories Ruth Barry #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 29
  29. 29. Additional Strategies – Takeaways for Everyone Direct response can be used to enhance mid-level and major gift work • Educates donors • Reports back and shows impact • Engages donors in ways beyond just writing check #Bridge16 #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 30
  30. 30. #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 31
  31. 31. #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 32
  32. 32. DonDon’t forget to visit the’t forget to visit the Solutions Showcase!Solutions Showcase! #MidLevelMagic @lautmandc @theActorsFund 33

Editor's Notes

  • Direct mail can be used to enhance mid-level and major gift work
    Educates donors
    Reports back and shows impact
    Engages donors in ways beyond just writing check
  • $2,500-$25,000 renewals were run in house
    New renewal series created
    Highly personalized
    Expanded from 3 to 4 notices
    Calls from staff as 5th notice
  • Excellent donor support/stewardship program to service members
    “House Seat” member benefit extremely valuable
    Two dedicated Membership Associates to handle ticket requests by phone
    Membership Associates very savvy with relationship building
    Membership manager and staff very responsive to members
    Phone calls, emails and letters to members provided great cultivation and stewardship
    “Everyone loves the bartender…”
  • Donors were “assigned” relationship managers but were not organized into prospect pools.
    Many donors ultra high net worth individuals were members but were under the radar and giving at $2,500/yr level instead of $25,000/yr.
    And hadn’t been outreached.
    My position had been vacant for 6 months. Predecessor focused on events.
    Major donors $25,000 were on CEO’s radar
    Events were main focus
    Capital Campaign underway
    $2,500 to $25,000 donors were being ignored
    Planned giving was an area for opportunity
  • Events provided visibility
    Membership was main focus (membership upgrades were primary focus of Individual Giving).
    But Membership was very successful (growing from $100k to $3.6mm).
  • (CEO, CAO, Director of Western Office, Director of Individual Giving, Planned Giving Manager, Major Gift Officer (LA)).
  • Scheduled weekly prospect meetings to discuss prospects.
    Each solicitor to discuss prospects contacted in previous week and provide forum to discuss challenges.
    Solicitors asked to develop a pipeline plan with donors (planned asks per month, ask amount, expected gift).
    Membership Associates included in meeting to discuss some donors and flag some for attention. They’re the everyday front line and have amazing relationships.
  • Shift conversations from membership (transactional) to donor-centric philanthropy (what’s important to you at The Fund? In life?).
    Seeking to engage donors and show them that they have an opportunity to make a lasting difference through a major gift.
    Discovered that some prospects with high capacity ($5mm+ in assets) were only interested in the benefits of membership (house seats).
  • Began to engage donors more personally.
    Personal acknowledgments for gifts over $5,000 from myself, CAO, or CEO depending on status of donor and size of gift.
    Daily gift report detailing the previous days gifts
    I send a quick THANK YOU! Email for every individual gift higher than $1,000.
    Chance to look at the donor more closely to recognize consecutive giving record, capacity, giving patterns, etc.
    Create small events in conjunction with Special Performances to encourage ITS members to bring a friend (or three).
  • I manage a prospect pool of 276 prospects.
    Administrative duties hamper four Major Gift Solicitors’ ability to get face-to-face with donors.
    Essentially, we were trying to change course of a supertanker in open water.
    Takes TIME.
    We’re not seeing the kind of progress I’d hoped to see over the past 12 months.
  • Creating a top-tier giving society
    Very exclusive.
    Recognizing donors who give cumulative $25k+ in a calendar year
    To quote Aaron Burr in HAMILTON, they “wanna be in the room where it happens.”
    Palm Springs fundraising event in March.
    Jackie Autry, Helene Galen, Harold Matzner, etc.
    Our donors tend to give to multiple things (membership, Gala table, direct mail appeals, capital campaign).
    We have several high Q-rating donors among top donors within the Broadway community, but not with regards to general public.
    Need to bring some Bill Gates-y Mark Zuckerberg-y donors in to get the buzz.
    Colleen Dilen’s blog about what UHNWIs consider when making major gifts: http://colleendilen.com/2016/06/22/what-wealthy-donors-consider-before-making-a-gift-greater-than-one-million-dollars-data/
  • the most important component in the major gift process is to pay attention to your donors.
    If one thing isn’t working, don’t be afraid to shift away from it and try something new.
    There isn’t any kind of special formula, but there are lots of ideas out there and they may help you to craft the strategy that works for your donor pool.
    Higher ed philanthropy is different than grateful patient giving, which is different than arts giving, which is different from poverty….
  • this is year-to-year for the first two quarters
  • this is year-to-year for the first two quarters
  • Ruth Nerken
    Former client of mine when I was a voiceover agent also happened to manage a significant foundation started by her father. Had reached out to my CAO for lunch because she was on a hospital board and was moving off of it. Exploring the Fund. Had a great lunch and fell in love with our mission. Pledged to give us $100k/yr to various appeals (Encore $30k gift) and has joined our board.
    Barry Kaye
    ITS Gold member for many years. Had a health scare last year which affected his ability to walk. I spoke to him through the year, checked in on him, called to see how he was feeling. UHNWI. Gave two motorized wheelchairs to the Home. Thanked him. When he renewed his membership, he doubled the level to $10,000 and said that we should talk at the end of the year.

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