Nonprofit Fall Workshop Offers Digital Fundraising Training

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Blog 9 26 19SM

A crowd of over 170 nonprofit leaders gathered this past Wednesday at Best Western Bridgewood Resort Hotel and Conference Center in Neenah with a goal of gaining knowledge on leveraging their fundraising data in order to have the best impact they can on the Fox Valley community and beyond. The workshop presenter was Rachel Ramjattan,  who is the National Program Director for Impact & Sustainability at Network for Good. Rachel has achieved massive increases in revenue and donor retention rates for her customers through winning donor stewardship practices powered by right-sized technology. She presented some hard-hitting facts to those in attendance, stating that “good work and a thank you no longer keeps donors giving.” She pointed out that the next generation of philanthropists expect nonprofits to curate experiences that align with their donors’ interests and then offer real-time impact updates that are accessible anytime, anywhere.
The age of your donor no longer dictates what channel or vehicle you need to use to reach them. Rachel shared that 78% of Americans now use smartphones, email, text, and post to social platforms. Utilizing each of these channels in your messaging is critical to the success of your nonprofit. Not only do you need to utilize all of these platforms, but the messages you push out need to be personalized. Does that thought overwhelm you? Well, Rachel offered some tips including segmenting out your donors into groups and then giving those groups stories consistent with their interests.
Research done by Network for Good showed that in order to garner repeat donors, 41% of those donors expect personalized communication explaining the impact of their support. Providing that heartfelt and prompt acknowledgement is key to securing them as repeat donors.

As a closing to the workshop, Rachel shared 13 steps attendees could use to help them in the journey to being successful at fundraising:

  1. Consider the donor’s experience and interface with your organization as mission-critical for success.
  2. Clean your data. An internal mess will be projected internally, and it will cost you big time.
  3. Understand who your most valuable donor is, then, understand their lifestyle, and use it as a map to develop the experience you want to create.
  4. Educate prospects and create awareness by sending them content that shares the problem you’re solving, how you solve it, and the role they can play.
  5. Be strategic about what you ask for-you’re likely to get it, if you completed steps 1-3.
  6. Measure your conversion rate from contact information to first (recurring) gift.
  7. Let donors know you are adapting to their tastes and preferences to create a real (sometimes digital) relationship.
  8. Develop a monthly communications plan to keep donors informed as you put their (monthly) gifts to work.
  9. Create personalization by setting up unique segments using software.
  10. Enable interactivity. Provide outlets for donors to provide feedback and information.
  11. Give donors reasons to come back often by establishing yourself as a curator of helpful and valuable content.
  12. Identify your mid-level and major donor prospects, and expand the experience to include a greater degree of personalization.  
  13. Create a culture where data, not good ideas or opinions, drives decisions.

Thank you to our Nonprofit Training co-sponsors, along with United Way Fox Cities: CLA, Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, and Nonprofit Leadership Initiative.