“Donor Sapiens”, Supporter Superheroes & More

Lori Halley 10 October 2014 0 comments

Since we’re celebrating Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, this week’s link round-up is all about fundraising and giving thanks to donors and supporters.

We’ve found blog posts with insight into why and how donors need to be thanked (to keep them from going away); ideas on “the sad extinction of donor sapiens”; “great advice for storytelling for nonprofits”; tips for avoiding acronyms and jargon in your non-profit communications; and strategies for turning supporters into fundraisers.

Here are five of the top fundraising posts that we’ve bookmarked on Apricot Jam this week.

Donors Need to be Thanked: Outrageous Donor Service, Part 4

Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels (Veritus Group) suggest:

The whole subject of donor retention boils down to one big point: the donor is not happy (for one reason or another), so she just goes away.

As Jeff and I have studied this subject we have concluded that there are two major reasons why donors go away. They are not thanked or appreciated properly and they don’t know their giving is making a difference. I am going to address the concept of “making a difference” in the next post in this series. Right now I want to drill down on thanking, especially as relates to major donors.

Is it me you’re looking for? The sad extinction of the donor sapiens

Francesco Ambrogetti (101 Fundraising) suggests:

...A prompt acknowledgment and thank for the donation, a regular update on what the donation has helped to achieve (and don’t forget to ask again!) and voila the donors are ours forever, isn’t it like that? Not really.

I think that part of the problem is exactly in the formulaic approach we blindly use (like the £3 a month, the welcome pack, the lapsed donors, etc.).  In fact it is often the formula,  that sometimes we implement just like an ”output” of a production process,  that has little if not a negative effect on donor loyalty.

...But I also  want to focus on three mysterious ways, often ignored, that make donors feel ignored, abandoned, mistreated by charities and what in the end leads them  to break up with us and start dating somebody else (can you blame them?)  And maybe then suggest some ideas on something to do about it rather than just complaining or contemplating the fact that our donors are leaving.

Great Advice on Storytelling for Nonprofits

Kivi Leroux Miller (Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog) tells us:

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has been running a great series of articles by Paul VanDeCarr on storytelling the past few months called “Storytelling Summer: Advice about Motivating Your Audience.” The columns are packed with advice as well as lots of great examples, written in response to specific questions. It’s worth curling up with these links and good warm beverage for an hour or two. Here are just a few that answer storytelling questions I get a lot:

Kivi offers the three questions and links to blog posts with the answers.

A Cure for fundraising acronym agita: Why those clever initials aren’t the shortcut you think 

In the Grow Report this week, Pamela Grow reminisces about her foundation vice president “using a red pen to circle the instances of jargon. It wasn’t pretty.” Pamela notes:

You’ll be doing your organization, and your donors, a great favor when you learn how to simplify.  Humanize your communications.  Your donors do not need to know HOW you do what you do.  And always remember:  you’re writing to a dear friend.  Without their support, where would you be?

And in a guest post on on Pamela Grow's blog, Lisa Sargent (The Loyalty Letter) suggests:

Acronyms are handy, I know. But the fact is, the brain — make that your donor’s brain — doesn’t process them the same way as names.

So by using only the acronym, FFoP, for your organization — Faithful Friends of the Poor — your writer sucks power out of the thank-you in two ways…

Lisa outlines the "two ways" and also offers “cures for fundraising acronym agita."

Strategies to turn supporters into fundraisers for #GivingTuesday, and beyond

Jamie McDonald (Nonprofit Marketing Blog) reminds us:

#GivingTuesday – what for many will be the launch of the December giving season – is now just 7 weeks away. Gulp.

Your year-end campaigns are just about ready to go, but making the most of December is probably in the back of your mind all the time. Perhaps you’re asking yourself if there is anything else you can put into motion today that can move the needle at year end.

Yes! Try a peer fundraising campaign.

...Your superheroes – no cape required.
Campaigns like the Ice Bucket challenge are the exception for sure, but their lessons are transferable to every peer fundraising initiative. They’re effective because supporters, who often reside in the background of your fundraising, move front and center, and become the heroes of the story. We want to root for their success.

McDonald offers lots of practical tips to “Empower your supporters to get going, now.”

That’s it for this week’s link round-up - want more non-profit and membership links?

That was just a taste of some of the membership and non-profit posts and articles we’ve bookmarked on Apricot Jam lately. For more, you can check out the latest posts on topics such as: Membership, Volunteers, Communications, Events, Social Media, Leadership and Fundraising.

You can also find additional articles and guides on non-profit and membership topics in our Membership Knowledge Hub.

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Friday, 10 October 2014 at 8:30 AM

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