Donor retention

Published on October 28, 2013 by

How to write for donor retention (Part 3)

My third “donor gift” is to…

Give your donors respect for their values and opinions

Your donors have views about raising families, unemployment, politics, the environment, social justice and the state of the world.

Acknowledge these views in your copy. By doing so, you show that you respect and understand their concerns about the world they live in.

It also makes you stand out from the bureaucratic corporate speak so often seen in fundraising appeal copy.

And get this – it’s the most important thing I’ll say in this post.

If you can show you have values and views ...

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Published on October 23, 2013 by

How to write for donor retention (Part 2)

Remember, building strong relationships with the donor is a two-way street. They give to you but you also need to give to them.

So here’s my second “donor gift” aimed at giving something meaningful to your donors through your copy. It’s actually a two-in-one, a double feel-good whammy for your donor.

Give the donor a heart-warming moment in their day

and

Give the donor the chance to be a hero

I’m constantly astonished at the speed with which stories spread on social media. Even untrue stories and hoaxes.

You’ve probably seen those tearjerker stories where a hard luck case makes ...

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Published on October 17, 2013 by

How to write for donor retention (Part 1)

Gimme, gimme, gimme. Sometimes, that’s all your donors feel they hear from you.

But what we should really be doing is trying to give as much as we can to the donor.

Over the next few posts I will share some "donor gifts" that will hopefully shift attitudes from “How do we get more out of the donor?” to “How do we give something meaningful to the donor?”

Yes, so the donor feels more connected, emotionally engaged, happy or comfortable about giving to you. That’s how you get donors to give – and then keep giving.

Notice I'm not talking ...

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Published on September 30, 2013 by

The difference between fundraising and begging

    “I’m not going to beg!”

Frustrated fundraisers (and in some cases CEOs) have told me this is the response they get when trying to involve board members in fundraising.

This is a great shame as it’s costing many charities thousands of dollars each year. Possibly even tens or hundreds of thousands. Money that could be used to help more people, more animals or whatever your cause is.

So I decided to write something to show the difference between fundraising and begging.

Characteristics of beggars

When you’re begging, you have no relationship with the prospect. You develop no right to ...

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Published on September 18, 2013 by

Digital storytelling for charities is about shareable content

No point in getting fabulous raw, real-time beneficiary-generated content if nobody sees it. Or cares about it. That’s why your digital storytelling content must be highly shareable.

The success of the GHNI and WaterAid projects outlined in my previous posts were dependent on supporters spreading the word online.

So what made the content highly shareable in these cases?

Close enough real time. People, including your donors, are used to instant status sharing, retweeting or 30-second posting online of what they’re thinking, doing, or looking at right now. ...

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Published on September 16, 2013 by

Digital storytelling ideas for your charity

I’m going to say upfront, this is an ideas post. It’s based on AJ Leon’s digital storytelling case studies as told to the F&P Forum last week.

It’s about changing the traditional model of storytelling from polished, charity-generated print stories to raw, real-time beneficiary-generated digital content.

Because I think it’s easy to dismiss AJ Leon’s digital storytelling model, I wanted to offer some ideas on how it could be adapted to your non-profit.

I’m not making any guarantees on whether these ideas will work. I just want to get ...

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Published on September 5, 2013 by

Thoughts about retention

Some fantastic speakers after the first day at the Fundraising & Philanthropy Forum.

First up I wanted to share with you some thoughts from Martin Paul (from More Strategic) about retention.

Here's what he said:

1. Take retention seriously. Charities are obsessed with getting more donors and spend a fortune acquiring them. But what we spend on retention - keeping the relationship alive - is miniscule.

2. Acquisition is expensive and unpredictable... And the real measure of successful acquisition is how many donors you keep after 5 years.

Well, that blows away short-term thinking on ROI.

3. Donor engagement is ...

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